Santa Barbara is a seriously beautiful part of California & not one to miss if you’re on your way down the California coast (roadtrip, anybody?). I’ve got a best friend who lives here now & so I’ve been lucky enough to visit a few times. Each time we head into town, I add to my favorites.

See below for my picks & let me know what you think. I’m not an expert on this town, but definitely wanted to point out some of the places I like to visit when I’m here. There’s a lot to do & see here so I’d love to hear your recommendations for what to do & see & eat on my next trip!

City Guide to Santa Barbara, California - What to Do, See, & Eat in the American Riviera //


Stearn’s Wharf – The wharf is fun to walk down & the beach is seriously gorgeous. I highly recommend spending a sunny afternoon just hanging out here! It’s just all the way at the end of State Street & there’s usually plenty of street parking if you are willing to drive around a bit (most of it free for the first 75 minutes, too).

Stearn's Wharf in Santa Barbara as part of a City Guide to Santa Barbara, California //

Merry-Go-Round – This antique carousel is worth a little detour. It’s a cute stop for anybody who appreciates old things (or kids! hah!). Two bucks for a five minute ride & worth every penny. The painted animals are gorgeous & super photogenic, too! Check them out on Yelp here for even more details.

Kayaking! – We rented sit on top kayaks from Santa Barbara Sail & loved paddling around the harbor & the ocean. You’re allowed as far North as you’d like, it’s gorgeous, & we got some great views of the sailboats out & about for the day (there was also a regatta going on while we were there). It’s only $10 per hour ($5 for students!) to rent your own kayak or $15 for a double (plus tax & $2 damage insurance). Stand Up Paddleboards are also available & I think we’ll definitely do that next time. The staff was super nice & helpful, too. Here’s the website; go at it!

Sailing in Santa Barbara as part of a City Guide to Santa Barbara, California //

Beaches – All of the beaches in the area are gorgeous. I was blown away by the beach in Santa Barbara the first time I saw it; you can really see why they market this area as the American Rivera. I even went swimming here in my bathing suit last year, in September. It’s not quite as warm as Hawaii or anything, but it’s pretty beautiful & a magical place to take a dip. I’ve also had the opportunity to walk the beach in Goleta – check it out if you’re farther North! SO much good ocean here.

Gorgeous Beaches in Santa Barbara & Goleta as part of a Santa Barbara Visitor's Guide //

The Old Mission Santa Barbara – Loved visiting this place. Read all about why it’s a good place to spend the afternoon (& for only six bucks, too!) right here.



The Natural Cafè – I had the best vegetarian enchiladas here & loved the fresh, clean, & healthy food. The ambience is decent for a lunch place or relaxed dinner, but mostly I was just happy to get a good meal in my belly for a reasonable price. (& I had leftovers for the next day, to boot!)

The French Press – The sweetest little independent coffeehouse. I’ve heard they’ve even started roasting their own coffee now! There’s also a great patio here, in case you just want to get a good cup of coffee & hang out. (Who wouldn’t?) See their site & find out their location here.

The lovely French Press Independent Coffeehouse as part of a Santa Barbara Visitor's Guide //

Pressed Juicery – I can’t be the only one who has heard a ton about this place. I went in for a taste, but didn’t purchase anything. If you’re in the area, stop in for some free samples, to see the branding, & perhaps to buy something (if you don’t mind the $6.50 price tag). The juice was definitely delicious & unusual & I recommend taste testing & maybe even buying a bottle! (There are many locations, including in San Francisco & the Bay Area.)

For more in-depth coverage of some of the various places we visited in Santa Barbara, check THIS out. For more in California, click here.

All photography in this post by Simone Anne

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...