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Things to do in Santa Barbara

Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.
Seafood Restaurant
$$
“Lunch or Dinner overlooking the Harbor, easy walk from Villa Azul. Brophys Can get crowded, grab a pager and walk out to the end of the breakwater. Another harbor option is order food to go from "On the Alley" or "Sushi GoGo" and find a spot to sit. ”
  • 113 locals recommend
American Restaurant
$$
“The 10 min drive is worth the views and food. On the beach dining, but can get busy with tourists and locals at sunset. We love the Lobster Mac n Cheese and the Seafood Pasta dish”
  • 101 locals recommend
Courthouse
“The courthouse has a long history of fires, earthquakes and rebuilds. The architecture is so different, moorish elements and Spanish revival with some wacky design features thrown in. The 360 degree view at the top gives you the best overall view of Santa Barbara. Not to be missed! You can tour for free daily and there are one hour guided tours daily at 2 PM and 10:30 Monday, Tuesday and Friday. Santa Barbara.com. 1100 Anacapa St., SB ”
  • 84 locals recommend
New American Restaurant
$$$
“$$$ - Our favorite restaurant in Santa Barbara! Amazing food with a trendy vibe. Best if you have a reservation. ”
  • 89 locals recommend
Sushi Restaurant
$$$
“One of the best sushi restaurants in Santa Barbara for many years. A great dining experience! Some favorite from the menu: Fiesta Roll Jalepeno Yellow Tail garlic soy edimame hot sake or beer ...and you can't go wrong with whatever you order! Usually you have to put your name in and wait as they don't take reservations. Go across the street to the Good Lion for a drink while you wait. ”
  • 70 locals recommend
Zoo
“The Santa Barbara Zoo is home to 146 species of mammals, reptiles, birds and insects. More than 500 animals are exhibited in open, naturalistic habitats. ”
  • 63 locals recommend
Rock Club
“Fantastic concert space with panoramic views and not to big. Drinks and snacks also available. Take a jacket because it can get chilly as it’s open air. ”
  • 55 locals recommend
Botanical Garden
“Well laid out gardens representing many different eco systems of California. Peaceful and delightful.”
  • 55 locals recommend
Church
“Some of Cali's oldest historic sites are missions built in the 1700s by Spaniards... John's famous quote goes like this: "In California 100 years is a long time, in Europe 100 miles is a long way"”
  • 61 locals recommend
Natural Feature
“Locals hang out beach. Surfing, kite surfing, bar & restaurant. You didn’t hear this from me. ”
  • 56 locals recommend
History Museum
“Combine this with the Rose Garden and Mission for a full day of fun. Located behind the Historic Mission in wooded beautiful canyon.”
  • 52 locals recommend
Art Museum
“The museum has an amazing collection for such a small town, thanks to the many wealthy people who live in the area. It has the largest collection of Claude Monet paintings on the west coast. It is currently undergoing a huge remodel and by 2021 it will be even more impressive than it is now. And I’m a docent there so of course I feel that it’s a great place. Docent tours daily. 1130 State St., SB SBMA.net”
  • 42 locals recommend
Nature
“An Easy walk from Villa Azul, you'll find candy shop, souvenir shops, restaurants, and Ty Warner Sea Center museum. Try casual "Char West" for our favorite Banana Wheat germ pancakes in the Morning.”
  • 61 locals recommend
Beach
“Across from the four seasons Biltmore in Montecito. Beautiful lounge with bar open to the public. Great ocean views and live music some times. This is a perfect beach for kids, running, walking or swimming. We see seals every time and even dolphins most of the time.”
  • 37 locals recommend
Food
“Very popular local brewery! Great outdoor patio and occasional music on the weekends.”
  • 49 locals recommend
Restaurant
$$
“This is the locals favorite Mexican restaurant. Most tourists will go to La Super Rica, one of Julia Child’s favorite places. It’s good too but be prepared to wait in a long line. Los Agaves is fantastic. Three locations but this one is the closest. 600 N. Milpas St., SB. Open daily.”
  • 50 locals recommend

Top-rated experiences

Top restaurants

Seafood Restaurant
“Lunch or Dinner overlooking the Harbor, easy walk from Villa Azul. Brophys Can get crowded, grab a pager and walk out to the end of the breakwater. Another harbor option is order food to go from "On the Alley" or "Sushi GoGo" and find a spot to sit. ”
  • 113 locals recommend
American Restaurant
“The 10 min drive is worth the views and food. On the beach dining, but can get busy with tourists and locals at sunset. We love the Lobster Mac n Cheese and the Seafood Pasta dish”
  • 101 locals recommend
New American Restaurant
“$$$ - Our favorite restaurant in Santa Barbara! Amazing food with a trendy vibe. Best if you have a reservation. ”
  • 89 locals recommend
Sushi Restaurant
“One of the best sushi restaurants in Santa Barbara for many years. A great dining experience! Some favorite from the menu: Fiesta Roll Jalepeno Yellow Tail garlic soy edimame hot sake or beer ...and you can't go wrong with whatever you order! Usually you have to put your name in and wait as they don't take reservations. Go across the street to the Good Lion for a drink while you wait. ”
  • 70 locals recommend
Restaurant
“This is the locals favorite Mexican restaurant. Most tourists will go to La Super Rica, one of Julia Child’s favorite places. It’s good too but be prepared to wait in a long line. Los Agaves is fantastic. Three locations but this one is the closest. 600 N. Milpas St., SB. Open daily.”
  • 50 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Great Mexican food! Order at the register. Free chips and salsa while you waite. Absolutely delicious local spot. ”
  • 38 locals recommend
Restaurant
“My favorite Mexican food in town, A LOT of other locals and travelers as well.”
  • 47 locals recommend
Bar
“Used to be a fun nighttime spot for me while at UCSB. I now discovered they have good food in addition to drinks. We went for brunch and very tasty.”
  • 37 locals recommend

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