Santa Barbara doesn’t skimp on the fun, especially when it comes to attractions and entertainment. From world-renowned gardens and unforgettable animal encounters to energizing live music and hands-on classes and tours, visitors are quick to discover a bevy of must-visit activities.
The allure of Santa Barbara is hard to miss when you’re frolicking through the exotic gardens at Lotusland or discovering the wonder of over 1,000 native plants, trees, and flowers at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. Take a step back in time at Casa Del Herrero where the flourishing landscape is just the beginning. And most visitors will agree, no trip to Santa Barbara is complete without smelling the roses at Old Mission Santa Barbara.
Zoo and Aquarium
Only in Santa Barbara do the animals get a sparkling, oceanfront view. With the sea in sight, a walk through the lush grounds of the Santa Barbara Zoo offers wild encounters with endangered species. At the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center on Stearns Wharf, get a peek underwater to see local marine life firsthand. For those brave enough, you can even pet a shark!
Whether you enjoy indie bands or musical giants, Santa Barbara’s live music scene is hard to beat. With the ocean in sight of all 4,500 seats surrounded by stately oaks and natural rock formations, Santa Barbara Bowl is an intimate and picturesque amphitheater that hosts everyone from classic artists to current sensations. For indoor venues, the Granada, Arlington, and Lobero Theatres serve up live music and special performances in the heart of Santa Barbara’s Historic Theatre District.
Classes & Tours
Get to know Santa Barbara from the guidance of local experts. Whether you’re a historian, artist, foodie, or adventurer, there’s a tour and class to match your interests. Want to taste local cuisine? Santa Barbara Tasting Tours and Eat This, Shoot That! take visitors on a culinary expedition through Santa Barbara’s tastiest neighborhoods, while Totally Cali Tours offers walking tours that pair local history with local libations. For visitors looking for unique ways to see the sights, Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure transforms Santa Barbara into one big game board.