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Things to do in The Santa Barbara Area

From classic must-see sights to insider hot spots and local haunts, there are countless things to do in The Santa Barbara Area. How do you decide? Start with our travel guide and get our favorite The Santa Barbara Area attractions and activities—shops, museums, parks, nightclubs, coffee shops, tours, and more.

Our international team of editors and writers handpick the best things to do in The Santa Barbara Area to help travelers discover authentic, local experiences. Whether a hidden boutique with handcrafted products, a popular local festival, a bakery with a cult following, or a picnic-worthy park, Travel + Leisure guides the way, providing information and inspiration. From beaches and bars to cultural attractions and up-and-coming neighborhoods, our list will help you make the most of your romantic getaway, family vacation, or trip with friends. Below find Travel + Leisure’s top picks for what to do in The Santa Barbara Area.

  • Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards

  • Arlington Theatre

    The Arlington Theatre resides in the center of downtown’s main drag and evokes another era, complete with Mission Revival architecture and red seat... More
  • Baileyana Winery

  • Bart's Books

    An open-air used bookstore set in the frame of a traditional (though roofless) house. More
  • Blair Fox Cellars

  • Bouchon Bakery, Santa Barbara

    Sample the freshest area produce and meats, including wild boar and colorful local heirloom tomatoes, escargots, pepper-crusted venison. More
  • Brewer-Clifton

  • Butterfly Beach

    Considering the small waves and cool climate, Butterfly Beach isn’t exactly a destination for surfers or sunbathers, but the palm-lined stretch of ... More
  • Casa Barranca Tasting Room

    Taste the latest vintage of organic wines. More
  • C'est Cheese

    Part cheese shop and part lunch stop, C'est Cheese sells more than 100 varieties, as well as artisan goods such as jams, olive oils, salumi, and va... More
  • Chameleon

    Flirty tops by Nanette Lapore, Isabella Fiore bags, and other women’s favorites. More
  • Channel Islands Kayak Center

    In Ventura, the center leads full-day kayaking tours of the islands, where dolphins and sea caves await. $180 per person; rentals $35–$55 per day More
  • Channel Islands National Park

    Just offshore from developed SoCal lie the Channel Islands, five of which are protected as a national park. Fewer than 30,000 people actually leave... More
  • Claiborne & Churchill Vintners

    This family-run vineyard founded in 1983 specializes in Riesling and Pinot Grigio. More
  • Cold Heaven

Explore things to do in California for more options.

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