Things to do in
Santa Barbara

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Our most recommended things to do in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara: Catamaran Coastal Cruise

1. Santa Barbara: Catamaran Coastal Cruise

Experience the beauty of Santa Barbara on this coastal catamaran cruise. Sail along the coast and breathe in the salt air, with the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Channel Islands surrounding you as the backdrop. Try to spot local marine and aerial life and relax in the sun with friends and family. Bask in the afternoon sun as you sail the Santa Barbara coastline on a catamaran. Climb aboard and set off, with the Santa Ynez Mountains calling in the distance. Over a dozen beaches and stunning villas line the ocean-carved coastline, making the best view of Santa Barbara, from the ocean. Enjoy a unique experience with family and friends, spotting California sea lions, otters, seals, dolphins, and many coastal birds. Lear, about local life and why this city is a popular place to visit year-round.

Santa Barbara: Santa Ynez Wine Country Shuttle

2. Santa Barbara: Santa Ynez Wine Country Shuttle

Make the most of a Santa Ynez wine shuttle service which gives you the freedom to pick from a selection of some of the best wineries in the Valley. Explore a variety of lunch options in the quaint town of Los Olivos, focus on specific varietals or even enjoy an olive oil tasting or stop at a Lavender farm. Learn about the local history and gain insights into the Santa Ynez wine region along the way with your knowledgeable guides. When you arrive in the Valley, make your first stop within walking distance of 3 wineries. Your guide will go over the choices, and you can decide on the day which one speaks to your palate. Next, head on to the Los Olivos Tasting Rooms for a lunch stop and the chance to visit another tasting room. Boasting expansive views of Santa Barbara County’s vineyards and horse ranches, the town of Los Olivos has about 25 tastings rooms you can visit. Bring your own lunch or enjoy one of the many great restaurant options in town. For your final stop, get dropped off in one of the loveliest areas in the valley, and you can decide between 2 popular vineyards on the day of your visit. There is also an optional olive oil tasting stop at Rancho Olivos Artisan Extra Virgin Olive Oil that can be discussed with your guide the day of the trip.

Santa Barbara: Catamaran Sunset Cruise

3. Santa Barbara: Catamaran Sunset Cruise

Unwind with a relaxing early evening sunset cruise on the Santa Barbara Harbor. Admire the beauty of the scenery as you sail along the coast in a catamaran, then enjoy the romantic atmosphere as the sun sets over the water. Board the Double Dolphin catamaran at the meeting point and set off from Santa Barbara Harbor. Keep your eyes peeled for seals, otters, birds, and other coastal wildlife. Sit back and relax alongside friends or family, and put your feet up after a day of work or sightseeing. Marvel at the sunset views before returning to your original starting point.

Santa Barbara: Wine Country Tour

4. Santa Barbara: Wine Country Tour

Your group will be picked up by an air-conditioned van in the morning. Travel then to the first winery in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley. Once there, begin wine tastings and sometimes are offered barrel room tours. On the weekdays, lunch will be served in the shade at a favorite winery or park. Your guide will pick up a delicious lunch sourced from local, fresh ingredients. Cold beverages will be provided. Visit 3 local favorite wineries in the area. Each has its unique vintages and award-winning selections. The winery staff will offer insight into specific blends and selections to our guests.

Santa Barbara: Guided Kayak Tour

5. Santa Barbara: Guided Kayak Tour

Meet your guides at the boat launch at Santa Barbara Harbor, where they outfit everyone in paddle jackets and PFDs. Guides will give a basic paddling demonstration and safety talk before setting out on the water. The launch is easy, right out of the boat launch. This is a great introductory lesson to kayaking or a nice relaxing kayak for more experienced paddlers. Once on the water, paddle approximately 1-2 miles along the coast surrounded by beautiful beaches and marine life. The group will continue through the harbor, paddling past boats, through the historic wharf, under the pier, out to buoys, and along the beach.  Keep a look out for wildlife along the way such as harbor seals, sea lions, brown pelicans, sea stars, cormorants, and seagulls.  Guides will offer insight into the history of the region as well as local marine ecology. Enjoy a relaxed pace and incredible marine life as well as taking in the views of Santa Barbara from the water.

Santa Barbara: Sunset Kayak Tour

6. Santa Barbara: Sunset Kayak Tour

Discover the beautiful landscapes of Santa Barbara on a relaxing sunset kayak tour. You will watch a basic paddling demonstration and hear the safety talk before setting out on the water. Spend 2-hours on the water exploring the Santa Barbara harbor and the shoreline. Watch the sun as it settles over the sea, creating a gorgeous backdrop of the city and the Santa Ynez Mountain range. Enjoy paddling along the coastline and soak in the stunning surrounding views of the sea. Immerse yourself into a dream-like nature experience for all sea kayaking skill levels, including beginners to advanced.

Santa Barbara: South Coast Mountain Bike Day Trip

7. Santa Barbara: South Coast Mountain Bike Day Trip

Discover the mountains of Santa Barbara on this cycling tour. Sip on cold water as you follow your guide thorugh stunning vistas of the mountains, city, and the ocean. Pick from a simple course for beginners or an intermediate course for avid cyclers. Have the option for a beginner mountain bike tour over mostly flat terrain with a few dips and climbs, or opt for a more challenging intermediate tour with single track turns, berms, and jumps. Meet before your scheduled start time to get set up on bikes. Have the suspension and seat heights adjusted to ensure you are comfortable on your bike. Load the bikes up into the vehicle and head to the trailhead. Experience some of the local mountain biking hot spots in Santa Barbara, Montecito, Goleta, and Santa Ynez. Let your guide take care of navigation as you ride through eucalyptus trees. Transfer back to the supplier's bike shop at the end of your tour.

Santa Barbara: 1.5-Hour Harbor Kayak Tour

8. Santa Barbara: 1.5-Hour Harbor Kayak Tour

Launch from the sand of Santa Barbara’s West Beach and follow your guide along Santa Barbara’s famous surf spot, the Sandspit. Admire panoramic views of the Waterfront, Santa Ynez Mountains, the Channel Islands, the Riviera, Stearns Wharf, and more. Paddle through the calm waters of Santa Barbara's harbor and enjoy views of sailboats, yachts, and fishing vessels. Learn valuable insight from your guide into the local landscape, topography, wildlife, and history of the harbor, as well as the best places to enjoy a fresh-caught meal.

Los Angeles: Santa Barbara, Solvang Wineries & Vineyard

9. Los Angeles: Santa Barbara, Solvang Wineries & Vineyard

Enjoy a private and customizable full-day guided wine or beer tasting tour from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara. Admire the highlights of Santa Barbara like the Old Mission of Santa Barbara, Stearns Wharf, and the Santa Barbara Harbor.  Be picked up from the comfort of your accommodation in Los Angeles and sit back and relax on the drive in a spacious and air-conditioned Mercedes high top Sprinter van. Take in views of gorgeous vineyards, sweeping coastlines, and mountain scenery.  Have the option of going on the suggested itinerary which includes sampling local wine at countryside winery in the morning before heading to the coastal city of Santa Barbara to admire its Spanish colonial buildings with red-tile roofs. Stop to try some fine Californian wine while overlooking the ocean, followed by another tasting at the historic Presidio park, or head to the Funk Zone brewery to try some tasty craft beers. Craft your own unique itinerary to sights like the suburb of Montecito, or the former military post of Presidio. Choose to see sights like the Old Mission of Santa Barbara and the storied wooden Stearns Wharf. Have the option of viewing the yachts in the Santa Barbara Harbor, or visiting the boutique shops and hip cafes on State Street. Return to your accommodation in Los Angeles at the end of your tour. 

From Santa Barbara: All-Inclusive Wine Tasting Tour & Lunch

10. From Santa Barbara: All-Inclusive Wine Tasting Tour & Lunch

Enjoy a memorable day exploring California's famous wine culture and take off on a fun-filled, cultural tour of some of California's finest wineries, each with a character as rich and individual as the wines they produce. Leave your Santa Barbara-area hotel at 10:00 AM aboard a spacious custom shuttle. Throughout the day, stop at 4 different wineries to get an insider's look into wine-making and wine-tasting while sampling a full selection of wines at each of the various wineries. Pause during the day for a delicious picnic lunch in a scenic winery setting catered by one of Santa Barbara's top lunch restaurants. Santa Barbara Wine Country offers more than 120 wineries, and this tour supplier is one of the few companies that does not limit tours to a small portion of these. Instead, your day is flexible and takes into account your preferences in wine and scenery, as well as any special events or offerings at the wineries. In addition to the exciting tour, you will receive your own Value Passport that will enable you to get great discounts on a variety of top-quality wines that you may wish to purchase.

Other Sightseeing Options in Santa Barbara

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What people are saying about Santa Barbara

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 62 reviews

Took a day trip from LA to SB with a friend and we had the best time kayaking! We booked a private tour and the two of us took a great tour around the harbor with our awesome guide, Paige. She was really fun and energetic as well as knowledgeable about the local flora and fauna and history of Santa Barbara. Spending a few hours on the water learning about the city and seeing the beautiful sights was a great way to spend the day. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone looking for a unique way to experience Santa Barbara.

Tour guide Melissa was great! My friend and I took a girls trip to Santa Barbara and had a great time walking around the city, drinking local wines, and tasting a few delicious local chocolates. We even got a bonus olive oil and vinegar tasting! Melissa told us some history about some notable places in downtown which was cool to learn about too. She’s very personable and gives a great tour. I would definitely recommend if you’re looking for a fun way to explore SB!

I really enjoyed this tour. Tour guide, Melissa, is very informative and has a friendly and fun demeanor. There was more informative historical information than had been mentioned on the description, which added to the overall satisfaction of this tour. The wine/chocolate venues were top notch. The olive oil visit was also an added treat. My friends and I had a great visit in Santa Barbara on this tour.

Highly recommend! SO fun, and a great way to see all the hidden gems of the city up close. Our guide Dale was amazing! His knowledge of Santa Barbara is extensive and is only surpassed by his love for the community. He went above and beyond making sure that we were safe and comfortable ( he even had extra windbreakers for us!). We absolutely loved everything about this tour! Do it!!!!

It was a really good tour with a little bit of everything