Attractions & Entertainment

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.

Gardens

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!

Live Music

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.

Attractions & Entertainment in Santa Barbara


Recommended

Eat This, Shoot That! Food and Drink Tours

Santa Barbara Food Tours in The Funk Zone This food & photo tour starts on lower State Street and will walk you through the Funk Zone neighborhood where you will taste what Santa Barbara is known for from bites of fresh seafood, gastropub…


Recommended

Santa Barbara Trapeze Co.

Santa Barbara Trapeze Company is Southern California’s premier flying trapeze school, but it’s not just a circus school - it’s a space where you come and find out who you are, and what you are made of; you will leave feeling…


Recommended

MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation

Ignite your mind at MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation, Santa Barbara’s one-of-a-kind destination for hands-on scientific and creative experiences. Located in the flourishing Funk Zone neighborhood, MOXI invites kids, families…


Santa Barbara Maritime Museum

The Santa Barbara Channel is a pillar of the city’s history and the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum (SBMM) is the perfect place to learn about it. Located in the picturesque Santa Barbara Harbor, the Maritime Museum provides exhibits and…


Santa Barbara Zoo

Explore the wonders of the natural world at the Santa Barbara Zoo, where the beauty of the wildlife is matched only by the lush grounds and sweeping views. Located just two miles from State Street, this 30-acre park is home to more than 146…


Earl Warren Showgrounds

The Earl Warren Showgrounds is a multi-use community center just 10 minutes outside of downtown Santa Barbara. The showgrounds host events throughout the year that attract visitors and locals alike. Located off Highway 101, guests can easily access…


Ganna Walska Lotusland

Lotusland is a stunning 37-acre botanical garden in the hills of Montecito and is home to more than 3,000 species of plants, many of them rare or endangered. The Garden is the former estate of well-known opera singer and socialite,…


Additional Experiences


Must Visit Museums & Attractions
Your essential guide to Santa Barbara’s top cultural attractions and iconic landmarks.
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