Open For Travel

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 Stage” 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. 
  • 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
    • Aviod gatherings of any kind

Plan in Advance

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 service
  • Bars and breweries where meals are provided with to-go, curbside or outdoor service
  • Retail stores and shopping malls 
  • Museums and galleries with outdoor exhibits
  • Zoos and Aquariums with outdoor exhibits
  • Public beaches
  • Bluffs, hiking trails, and parks, with the exception of those located in Los Padres National Forest, which is closed until September 24, 2020.
  • All state park campgrounds, with the exception of those located in Los Padres National Forest, which is closed until September 24, 2020.
  • Golf courses
  • Drive-in movie theatres
  • Hair salons and barbershops 
  • Gyms and fitness facilities with outdoor services only
  • Personal care services, like spas, nail salons, and body waxing that offer outdoor only services
  • Outdoor wedding ceremonies
  • Outdoor places of worship services
  • 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*

*Please check with individual businesses and locations to confirm business hours, available services, and individual guidelines.

What is currently closed in Santa Barbara?

  • Theatres, movie theatres, and performance venues
  • Nightclubs
  • Public play structures and exercise equipment
  • Electrology, tattooing, and piercing services
  • Ice skating rinks and family entertainment centers
  • Arenas, banquet halls, conference, and convention centers
  • Indoor wedding reception and services
  • Fairs, festivals, and public exhibitions
  • Organized sports, sports stadiums, and facilities
  • Some events through early September, 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 2020 and 2021.
  • Santa Barbara Airbus has temporarily suspended service.

Need more information on Coronavirus and travel?

Please note that worldwide and throughout the U.S., conditions around COVID-19 are rapidly evolving.

Air Quality

Due to wildfires in Northern and Southern California, we advise visiting West Coast Travel Facts for real-time air quality readings for Santa Barbara County and the rest of the West Coast. For the latest information on California wildfires, visit the Cal Fire website.

Please note that there are no active wildfires within Santa Barbara County and surrounding Central Coast communities.

Last updated: 9/14/20 @ 2:12 p.m.