With the Santa Barbara South Coast being the beautiful and alluring destination that it is, many assume that it also comes with a hefty price tag. And while this dazzling coastal oasis can offer luxury experiences, there are plenty of ways to vacation to The American Riviera® on a budget—just take a look at these free things to do in Santa Barbara. With that being said, one of the biggest travel expenses to consider when you take a trip are the accommodations. Fortunately, there are many affordable hotel options in Santa Barbara.
Whether you’re here for a weekend or a weekday excursion—arguably the most affordable time to visit!—we’ve researched budget-friendly hotels in the Santa Barbara South Coast that are easier on the wallet.
With spectacular views of the Santa Barbara Harbor and the Santa Ynez Mountains, Beachside Inn is located right in the heart of Cabrillo Boulevard, allowing guests to experience unique activities along the waterfront, sip their way through the popular Funk Zone and easily access businesses sprinkled along lower State Street. The hotel boasts a modern-coastal aesthetic in its bright and airy rooms. *Free breakfast, wireless internet, parking and business center
Situated just a half block from West Beach, Marina Beach Motel offers modest rooms for any type of traveler. Traditional hotel rooms are available for those more likely to eat at local restaurants or suites equipped with kitchenettes are an option for those looking to budget and cook their own meals during their stay in Santa Barbara. *Free breakfast, wireless internet
With rooms decorated in hints of turquoise and a splash of coastal influence, Inn at East Beach welcomes guests with spacious rooms and amenities located just steps from Santa Barbara’s popular East Beach and a short walk from Stearns Wharf. *Pet-friendly
This Motel 6—the chain’s very first location—features retro-modern, ’60s-inspired interior design in each of the rooms and is conveniently located near East Beach, in addition to the Santa Barbara Zoo and popular destinations along Cabrillo Boulevard. such as Reunion Kitchen + Drink and the Chromatic Gate.
True to Santa Barbara’s Spanish-style architecture, this bed and breakfast makes for a quintessential stay in The American Riviera®, with offerings from standard rooms to private, freestanding casitas for a more romantic getaway. *Free breakfast, wireless internet
A stay at The Waterman puts guests right in the middle of The Funk Zone, where wineries, restaurants, shopping, bike rentals and more are just steps outside the hotel lobby. This funky slice of Santa Barbara includes amenities such as a communal kitchen, games (ping-pong, cornhole and Connect 4), a pool and beach cruisers available to rent. *Pet-friendly
This beach-themed oasis is located across the street from Pershing Park and minutes from the Santa Barbara Harbor, where fresh seafood, recreation activities and restaurants are plentiful. Complimentary amenities include a breakfast bar, wireless internet and parking. *Free wireless internet
This upper State Street gem is the perfect retro-chic nook to get a taste of Santa Barbara, local-style. Pay a visit to The Crocodile Restaurant and Bar and dine on classic American fare in a relaxed atmosphere just steps from your hotel room. *Free parking, wireless internet
Located just down the street from the Lemon Tree Inn, the Orange Tree Inn is also moments away from the lively lower State Street scene, complete with shopping, nightlife and restaurants as far as the eye can see. *Free parking, wireless internet
The vibrantly colored rooms at this uptown hotel invite guests to immerse themselves in the eccentric downtown Santa Barbara atmosphere. Flanked by Kyoto Japanese Restaurant and Kimchi Korean BBQ, there’s no shortage of good food when you’re staying in this part of Santa Barbara. *Free wireless internet
This Spanish-style hotel is surrounded by towering palm trees and lush vines of bougainvillea, immersing guests in a tranquil Santa Barbara getaway. Best Western Plus Pepper Tree Inn is conveniently located next to La Cumbre Plaza, where plenty of shopping and restaurants can be found. *Free parking, wireless internet
This bougainvillea-clad property features amenities like a full kitchen in nearly every suite, complimentary refreshments, a heated pool and spa, guest laundry and more. The convenience of being close to both the waterfront and downtown Santa Barbara makes this hotel an easy choice for travelers. *Free parking, wireless internet
A luxurious stay in Montecito doesn’t have to break the bank. Coast Village Inn, a casual hotel located right on the corner of Coast Village and Middle Road, and just a quick jaunt to Butterfly Beach, is a perfect coastal getaway for those looking for a more relaxing venture to The American Riviera®. *Free wireless internet
This locally owned and operated, award-winning hotel is located on a stellar property complete with lush gardens, a freshwater lagoon and a striking koi pond to boot. Conveniently placed between Goleta and Santa Barbara proper, a stay at the Ramada by Wyndham Santa Barbara is the perfect middle ground for those looking to explore more of the Santa Barbara South Coast. *Free breakfast, wireless internet, business center
Best Western strikes again with another affordable place to stay in the Santa Barbara South Coast. Located close to Highway 101, this modest hotel is also just steps away from the Calle Real Shopping Center, where visitors can find delicious Goleta restaurants such as Nikka Ramen and Los Arroyos Mexican Restaurant. *Free breakfast, wireless internet