Santa Barbara Attraction Guide

Santa Barbara has a number of sights that are historically and culturally significant.  They are appropriate for both families and individuals of all ages.Our city was shaped by its Spanish past and reflects that in its architecture.  There has been a strong commitment to keeping Santa Barbara beautiful.  It makes this city very easy on the eye!

The MissionThis is where it all began for Santa Barbara.  The mission is one of the most beautiful in the state and offers real historic insight.  Many events are scheduled at the Mission and it continues to be a focal point of cultural and religious activity.

The Carriage Museum is dedicated to preserving and restoring vehicles from yesteryear. Stop by and inspect our collection, one of the largest in the United States. With the building of Stagecoach Junction, we've enhanced the experience of the children as they study the history of west.

The Waterfront is at the Heart of Santa Barbara beauty and a great source of entertainment. You'll find three beaches, several excellent restaurants, a wharf, a museum, a harbor and a skate park.  If you are visiting Santa Barbara, this is an absolute must-see. 

The Courthouse - This gorgeous but functional structure is just 75 years old but it has the look and feel of a 200 year old Spanish Colonial.  If you are planning to visit, make a point of going to the top of the tower - the view is spectacular.

Santa Barbara Zoo  One of the nation's best small zoos, this is a visit for the entire family.  The Zoo was developed like a park, with plenty of picnic and open areas.  The animals are easily viewed and the setting is intimate.  They say its a small zoo but there are 600 animals!

Santa Barbara Museum of Art - This wonderful museum boasts an excellent combination of permanent and special exhibits.  Although it's not an enormous museum (you can see it all in about 90 minutes), it has an impressive permanent collection of Asian art that is a must-see.

El Presidio State Historic Park - One of the most significant historical buildings in Santa Barbara, El Presidio has been reconstructed faithfully based on historic and archeological evidence.  It combines great beauty and real function, as it is the home for many events throughout the year. 

Casa de La Guerra - Another must see.  From the outside you'd never really know that this was a wonderful  museum with some fabulous vignettes.  Since it was initially built (~1817) the Casa has been the center of civic, political and even social affairs.

The Museum of Natural History  - One of the many surprise finds, this excellent museum displays the flora and fauna of Santa Barbara and the Channel Islands.  There is also an extensive section on Prehistoric Native American life.

The Botanic Gardens - These wonderful gardens are a bit out of the way, but definitely worth the trip.  There are many events planned by the Gardens staff that give dyed-in-the-wool botanists and new enthusiasts alike something to learn.

Santa Barbara Historical Society Museum - This museum features both permanent and changing exhibits that share Santa Barbara's colorful past from the Native American age to modern times. 

Stow House  & Railroad Museum - Built by a prominent ranching family in 1873, Stow House is a rambling two story house and is the oldest frame house in the Goleta Valley. The Railroad Museum offers antique railroad artifacts, photographs and hands-on exhibits are shown in the agency office and the passenger waiting room.

GPS Coordinates - Each year, the use of hand-held GPS (Global Positioning System) receivers become more common place as location-finding tool. Here we provide you a table of latitude / longitude GPS coordinates of selected Santa Barbara County destinations.