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Nestled between beautiful beaches and majestic mountains, Santa Barbara offers incredible natural beauty, a wide array of cultural activities, year-round recreation and fine restaurants and shops. Find scenic spots to study or take a break and enjoy the arts, shopping or outdoor activities.

Students can enrich their education by visiting Santa Barbara’s many historic sites, museums and attractions.

  • Santa Barbara Mission
  • Santa Barbara Royal Presidio
  • Santa Barbara Historical Museum
  • Santa Barbara Museum of Art
  • Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
  • Ty Warner Sea Center
  • Santa Barbara Maritime Museum
  • Santa Barbara Zoo
Santa Barbara Mission

The arts flourish in Santa Barbara, with a variety of local musical and theatrical ensembles as well as concert series featuring Broadway shows, classical music, dance and other outstanding productions.

  • Santa Barbara Symphony
  • Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra
  • Ensemble Theatre
  • Granada Theatre
  • Arlington Theatre
  • Center Stage Theatre
  • Community Arts Music Association
  • Lit Moon Theatre Company
  • State Street Ballet
  • Santa Barbara Bowl
  • Lobero Theatre
Arlington Theater

Enjoy and explore Santa Barbara’s coastline, mountains and back country.

  • Walk on expansive beaches, including Butterfly and Hendry’s
  • See the waterfront from Shoreline Park
  • Surfing, kayaking, sailing and beach volleyball
  • Santa Barbara Harbor, Breakwater and Wharf
  • Channel Islands National Park and Marine Sanctuary
  • Los Padres National Forest
  • Extensive hiking trails, some a short walk from campus
  • Scenic bicycle routes
Girls on Beach
Santa Barbara Coastline

Stroll scenic State Street and visit the many art galleries, restaurants, shops and coffee places that make downtown Santa Barbara a favorite tourist destination. You’ll quickly find favorite spots for food and fun as you sample some of the 700 local restaurants. Check out recommendations online at Best of S.B. Dining or ask a classmate to discover amazing meals.

Students Downtown

Home to many lovely parks, Santa Barbara also offers stunning gardens.

  • Lotusland, a short walk from campus
  • Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
  • Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens
  • Santa Barbara Rose Garden
Students Smelling Roses

Throughout the year, Santa Barbara celebrates a variety of festivals that celebrate the arts, history and different cultures.

  • Santa Barbara International Film Festival
  • I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival
  • Old Spanish Days Fiesta
I Madonnari chalk drawings