Our hotels and local business community have been hard at work preparing for your return, implementing operational and physical changes with your health and safety in mind. So, when you’re ready to take a social-distancing-friendly escape, you can rest easy knowing that the Santa Barbara South Coast will be the ultimate place for you and your loved ones to retreat.
While Santa Barbara is ready to welcome you back for solo or single-family travel, before visiting, you should be aware of the following important information:
When is the right time to visit Santa Barbara?
There are four key stages to Santa Barbara County’s reopening on the road back to “business as usual.” Santa Barbara County is currently in the purple tier of the state’s plan for reopening. Leisure travel is now permitted. However, there are still important health orders in place. We’ve prepared a new guide to help you be a healthy traveler in Santa Barbara and give you more peace of mind.
How can I prepare for a trip to Santa Barbara?
Know the Basics of Responsible Travel
- Per the California Department of Public Health and Santa Barbara County, all individuals over the age of three are required to wear a face mask when inside of, in line to enter, or when conducting business through a car window or walk-up counter with any businesses including but not limited to restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, supermarkets, laundromats, pharmacies, and government agencies. Additionally, a face mask must be worn when in line for and while using public transportation, a private car service, or a ride-sharing vehicle.
- Please keep your distance and remain 6 feet apart at all times.
- From November 21 through December 21, 2020, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and the California Department of Public Health have prohibited non-essential work, movement, and gatherings between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., per the state’s limited Stay at Home order. This including gatherings and activities conducted outside the residence, lodging, or temporary accommodation with members of other households.
- Any form of gatherings or mixing with individuals outside of your household is not permitted. A “gathering” or “mixing” is considered an event or convening that brings together people in a single room or single space at the same time, such as an auditorium, stadium, arena, large conference room, meeting hall, cafeteria, or any other indoor or outdoor space.
- When traveling on State Street, in Downtown Santa Barbara between Gutierrez and Sola blocks, vehicular traffic has been restricted. Please use the street for walking and use caution, as many restaurants have expanded service onto the sidewalks and streets. Bikes are asked to proceed slowly.
- While face coverings are required outdoors when social distancing is not available, on the 500 block of State Street, face masks are required at all times and will be enforced. This stretch of State Street is also limited to pedestrian-only traffic.
- If you are attending a Tuesday Farmer’s Market along State Steet, a face mask is required.
- Vehicular traffic has also been restricted on Victoria Street from State Street to Chapala to allow for an expanded walkway and outdoor dining.
Follow Healthy Practices
- The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department has advised the following list of best health practices, including:
- Isolate at home and practice social distancing if you are feeling sick
- Avoid contact with people who are sick
- Wear a face covering or mask
- Wash hands often
- Cough into your elbow and sneeze into a tissue
- Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid gatherings of any kind
Plan in Advance
- Order a FREE copy of the Santa Barbara Visitors Magazine
- Follow Visit Santa Barbara on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for visual inspiration and up-to-date information on travel to Santa Barbara.
What is currently open in Santa Barbara?*
- Hotels, lodgings, and legal short-term rentals
- Restaurants with to-go, curbside, or outdoor dining service
- Wineries and wine tasting rooms with to-go, curbside, or outdoor dining service
- Bars and breweries where meals are provided with to-go, curbside or outdoor service
- Retail stores and shopping malls with modifications
- Outdoor playgrounds, with appropriate 6-foot social distancing and modifications
- Museums, zoos and aquariums with outdoor exhibits
- Public beaches
- Most bluffs, hiking trails, and parks**
- Most campgrounds for day use and overnight stays**
- Golf courses
- Drive-in theatres
- Family entertainment centers with outdoor operations
- Skating rinks, with modifications
- Hair salons, barbershops, and nail salons with modified service
- Gyms and fitness facilities with outdoor facilities
- Personal care services, like spas, body waxing, tattooing, and piercing with modified service
- Wedding ceremonies
- Places of worship with outdoor services
- Professional sports without a live audience. Youth sports with appropriate 6-foot social distancing and modifications.
- Santa Barbara Municipal Airport
- Amtrak trains
- Roads and highways
- Public restrooms are open throughout the city of Santa Barbara, including at parks, on Stearns Wharf, at the Santa Barbara Harbor, and on State Street near the corner of State Street and Canon Perdido Street*
*Please check with individual businesses and locations to confirm business hours, available services, and individual guidelines. Many indoor operations are offering limited capacity.
**Please check the Los Padres National Forest, California State Parks, Santa Barbara County Parks, and City of Santa Barbara Parks websites for the most current information. Kindly note that restroom and trash services may be limited or non-existent, so be sure to plan ahead and pack out any trash.
What is currently closed in Santa Barbara?
- Theatres, movie theatres, and performance venues
- Indoor playgrounds
- Arenas, banquet halls, conference, and convention centers
- Indoor wedding reception and services
- Fairs, festivals, and public exhibitions
- Organized sports, sports stadiums, and facilities
- Most events and festivals, including sporting events and shows at theatres, are canceled or have been rescheduled, due to the state order prohibiting large gatherings. Click here to find a list of festivals to plan for in 2021.
Need more information on Coronavirus and travel?
Please note that worldwide and throughout the U.S., conditions around COVID-19 are rapidly evolving.
- The best source for local public health information is the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department: https://publichealthsbc.org/
- The most recent Health Officer Orders for Santa Barbara County can be found here: https://publichealthsbc.org/health-officer-orders/
- U.S. Department of State – official travel advisories outside and within the U.S. are posted here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-19-information.html
Last updated: 11/17/20 @ 5:00 p.m.