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.
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.
Santa Barbara is an old sea-faring town and SBMM is the place to learn about its history in the Santa Barbara Channel. Enjoy special exhibitions, events including guest lectures, tastings, celebrations, special gatherings, and more. Community Day (the third Thursday of every month) is free! While you're here, find a nautical treasure at the Museum Store.
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.
Just east of Stearns Wharf, this beach has it all: white sand, picnic areas, volleyball courts, a playground, beautiful ocean views, and frequent impromptu music performances. A full service restaurant is available at the East Beach Grill. The Cabrillo Pavilion Bathhouse, built in 1927, offers showers, lockers, a weight room, beach wheelchairs and volleyball rental.
Located between Shoreline Park and Santa Barbara Harbor, Leadbetter Beach is a popular location for swimming, surfing, and more. While the waves are usually too tame for experienced surfers, the conditions are great for beginners. Lifeguards are on duty during peak times. Enjoy reservable picnic and barbecue sites, outdoor showers, restrooms, and a grassy lawn in addition to the beach sand.
The Santa Barbara Zoo is home to 146 species of mammals, reptiles, birds, and insects, with 30 acres of lush botanic gardens including formal gardens, native plants and trees, cacti and succulents, ornamentals, and exotic species. The Zoo is open every day and is fully accessible to the disabled.
Cacti, succulents, bromeliads, ferns, and many exotic species bloom at this unique garden, created by a former opera singer who sought the rarest plants in the world. Today, tours are offered by advance reservation only at 10am and 1:30pm Wednesday through Saturday between February 15 and November 15. July is peak blooming season for the lotuses, and events are offered throughout the season.
This historic Bowl was built in 1936, renovated beginning in 2000, and completed in 2014. Originally designed for Santa Barbara's Fiesta pageant, the Santa Barbara Bowl now hosts the biggest names in concert touring, including Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Ryan Adams, Lyle Lovett, and many more. The Santa Barbara Bowl recommends saving money by purchasing tickets through the box office.
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.
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.
LUCKY'S is widely known for its exclusive selection of USDA Prime steaks, live Maine lobsters, no-nonsense cocktails and world class wine cellar.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Santa Barbara's Sandbar operates as a full service restaurant by day and transforms into a thriving late night destination featuring dancing, live music, and DJs. Sandbar has been named to the "Top 100" by Nightclub & Bar Magazine for the last 4 consecutive years. Enjoy dining and socializing in a contemporary hacienda setting inside or on one of our multiple patios. After dinner, cozy up by the fire with new friends and you may just find yourself dancing the night away under the stars just steps from the Pacific Ocean in beautiful downtown Santa Barbara.
Historic State Street Plaza in downtown Santa Barbara is one of America's most pedestrian-friendly downtown shopping areas, featuring national brands like Express and Anthropologie in addition to specialty stores, indie boutiques, local cafes, and much more. There's plenty to enjoy whether you're seriously shopping, strolling, or just taking in the scene.