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local activities

From the beaches to State Street to the Santa Ynez Mountains, there's always something new and exciting to see or do in Santa Barbara. Here's some of the places we think you just have to see.

For more local recommendations, visit our Nearby Resources, Restaurants and Churches pages.

Our Recommendations

Stearn’s Wharf
200 State Street
(805) 897-2683

Enjoy the waterfront’s novelty stores, first class restaurants and marine shops. Great for boaters and land lovers alike, the wharf is filled with activities ranging from harbor cruises to renting kayaks.

Santa Barbara Museum of Art
1130 State Street
(805) 963-4364

View artwork from the classical to the modern, including the different special exhibits they run. $9 for adults, $6 for students, seniors and children. Free on Sundays and the first Thursday of every month.

Cold Springs Trail
East Mountain Drive
Cold Springs Trail Guide
This hike is located just minutes above Westmont’s Campus on East Mountain Drive between Cold Springs Road and Ashley Road. You have a choice of going all the way up to El Camino Cielo for a gorgeous view of Santa Barbara or follow the river for a waterfall adventure. It is a Westmont student rite of passage and not too strenuous!

Art Walk
Cabrillo Boulevard
Art Walk Guide
Take a leisurely walk along the Cabrillo Avenue beach while viewing the work and craftsmanship of Santa Barbara’s local artists. Their work is for purchase, which is great for getting an early jump on Christmas shopping. Sundays only.

The Courthouse
1100 Anacapa Street
(805) 962-6464

A beautiful display of traditional Spanish-style Architecture, the Courthouse and the Sunken Garden makes for a relaxing hangout on a sunny day or a prime location for a family photo. Take the staircase to the top of the tower for the best panoramic view of Santa Barbara in town.

The Old Santa Barbara Mission
2201 Laguna Street
(805) 682-4713

Mission Santa Barbara is boasted as the prettiest of all the California missions. Decide for yourself and take a historical tour for $5. If the history doesn’t impress you, perhaps the luscious rose garden (seasonal) and open grassy lawn located across the street will. It's a great place for a picnic and lawn games!

Santa Barbara Zoo
500 Niños Drive
(805) 962-5339

Take a walk on the wild side. The Zoo is located across the street from the beach and houses a variety of animals from lions to monkeys. The giraffes get an ocean view! $14 for adults and $10 for children or seniors.

The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
1010 Tunnel Road
(805) 682-4726

Nestled into the foothills of the Riviera district of Santa Barbara, you can enjoy the full spectrum of California agriculture from Redwood trees to California poppies. Take a soothing afternoon stroll. $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and students, $4 for children under 12.

Westmont College

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