Founded April 21, 1782, the Santa Barbara Royal Presidio was the last in a chain of four military fortresses built by the Spanish along the coast of Alta California, then a wilderness frontier. Others had been established at San Diego, San Francisco and Monterey. Padre Junipero Serra, well known for his leadership in founding the California missions, blessed the site of the Santa Barbara Presidio four years prior to the establishment of the Mission of Santa Barbara in 1786. El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park encompasses much of the original Presidio site and is located in modern downtown Santa Barbara at the intersection of Santa Barbara and East Canon Perdido Streets.
The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is a place of beauty and serenity, of education, research and conservation, of history and stewardship. They foster stewardship of the natural world through inspired learning, rigorous scholarship, and premier displays. Through an emphasis on plants native to California, they advance the knowledge and understanding of plant life and provide a rewarding experience for visitors.
Just east of Stearns Wharf, this beach has it all: white sand, picnic areas, volleyball courts and frequent impromptu music performances. Visitors call it laid-back yet lively. Others call it the epitome of Santa Barbara.
A word of caution: Santa Barbara's iconic pier has a sleepy village atmosphere that often catches visitors unawares. If the yachts sailing against a pink sunset don't hook you, the inviting shops and restaurants will.
Distinctive Spanish-Mediterranean architecture puts a unique spin on the bustling activity of downtown Santa Barbara's main drag. The legendary Arlington Theater sits among cozy cafes and contemporary restaurants where people watching is at its best.
The Santa Barbara Zoo is home to a diverse collection of animals, from insects and reptiles to elephants and leopards. This is a popular destination for visitors and locals alike.
Join this wine tour through Santa Barbara and visit the finest vineyards aboard a fleet of open air Hummers. All tasting fees, lunch and a souvenir wine glass are included.
Just a few blocks from the waterfront, Enterprise Fish Co. in Santa Barbara operates in a century-old brick building originally home to an industrial linen service for seaside hotels. While the Douglas fir floors, soaring ceilings, and glassed cupola have always been features of this historic structure, the sweeping arches facing State Street were added after much of the building crumbled during the 1925 Santa Barbara earthquake.
Fresh produce from the Santa Barbara Farmers' Market is skillfully prepared with sustainable seafood and naturally-raised meats by acclaimed Chef John Downey. We invite you to join us for dinner and taste why Downey's has been Zagat Survey's top-rated Santa Barbara restaurant for 26 consecutive years. The Downey family take great pride in their small, intimate restaurant. John heads the experienced kitchen staff aided by Liz who also handles the wine list and manages the dining room. You will be served by experienced and knowledgeable professionals who know when to be present and when to leave you to enjoy your dinner.
It's always smooth sailing at the Harbor Restaurant, featuring exquisite dining and Santa Barbara's most spectacular ocean views. Come join us for the freshest seafood and USDA Prime steaks, tender prime rib, cocktails and an award winning wine list featuring local and imported wines, all served in the area's most romantic setting and best place to watch the sun set.
The new Canary Hotel in Downtown Santa Barbara is home to Coast Restaurant and Bar, a fun and fashionable addition to the Santa Barbara dining scene. The expansive restaurant located just off the lobby offers a new vision for dining in Santa Barbara, coupling a warm and relaxed interior that can be best described as earthy, organic modernism with an accessible menu that goes for simple preparations to highlight the quality of superior ingredients. Coast Santa Barbara is the second venue dubbed Coast, after the original in Santa Monica at sister hotel Shutters on the Beach. The menu's focus is on local market fresh ingredients is evident from the first read. Chef Fermin Arias' reasonably-priced menu is rich with comfort fare updated with clean, uncomplicated preparations, and geared toward the way people prefer to dine.
At Bouchon, you'll find fresh, local ingredients, prepared with care; excellent wines that reflect the quality and character of the region and work in concert with the cuisine; and warm, inviting ambiance, service at a relaxed, leisurely pace.
Wine Cask Restaurant is a majestic space in historic El Paseo. Guests will be welcomed with creative yet familiar cuisine, wines of consequence and wine that pairs perfectly with the menu, and local produce grown by farmers the Wine Cask knows and trusts.
Located in a 19th-century citrus packing house, the Stonehouse Restaurant features a relaxing lounge with full bar service and a separate dining room with a crackling fireplace and creek side views. Chef John Trotta's evocative regional cuisine is prepared with a palate of herbs and vegetables harvested from the Ranch's organic garden.