A Santa Barbara vacation means spending lots of time outdoors. The weather here is so beautiful, you can't help but get outside to enjoy the sunshine!
Santa Barbara County has everything you need for a first-class holiday, too. The best room and board that money can buy.
But you don't have to have a lot of money to enjoy a Santa Barbara vacation...
Contrary to popular belief, it's entirely possible to have a great Santa Barbara vacation without spending a fortune.
Look at all the free and discounted things you can do in Santa Barbara County:
And it IS possible to find a decent room for a reasonable rate in Santa Barbara County.
The beach along the Santa Barbara, California waterfront is composed of three individual beaches. Leadbetter Beach lies to the west of the harbor. West Beach is between Santa Barbara Harbor and Stearns Wharf, and East Beach is east of Stearns Wharf.
You definitely want to spend some time along the waterfront during your Santa Barbara vacation. This is Tourist Central for a reason; there's so much to do here.
Taking a guided tour is a good way to spend some time during your Santa Barbara vacation. Here are a couple of self-guided tours you'll enjoy:
The Red Tile Walking Tour is a self guided tour of Santa Barbara's historic downtown. An earthquake destroyed much of Santa Barbara in 1925. This happened during the height of the Spanish Colonial architectural revival.
Santa Barbara leaders adopted the Spanish style and mandated its use in re-building many of the city buildings. The white stucco walls and red tile roofs have become symbolic of Santa Barbara, California.
I was awestruck the first time I saw the Santa Barbara County Courthouse. It's a National Historic Landmark and a MUST SEE during your Santa Barbara vacation.
If you're interested in seeing more of Santa Barbara's Historic District, download a map of the Red Tile Walking Tour.
If you're in good shape and up for a challenge, try one of these Do It Yourself Bike Rides. There are several places in Santa Barbara County to rent a good bicycle. Conditions in Santa Barbara County are perfect for cycling. In fact, Tour de France athletes often train here.
Continue walking up State Street into charming Old Town. You might need the whole day to explore the shops, restaurants, and extraordinary architecture there. Lower State Street is also the heart of Santa Barbara's night life.
Go for a drive. Pack a lunch and take my exclusive self guided scenic tour. You won't believe the stunning views from the top of the mountain range behind Santa Barbara. This drive takes you past the Knapp's Castle ruins, a picnic table at La Cumbre Peak, and two paraglider/hang glider launches.
Well-known Santa Barbara attractions include the Santa Barbara Mission, Santa Barbara Zoo, Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens, and Santa Barbara Natural History Museum. Your Santa Barbara vacation need not be limited to visiting these famous attractions.
There are lots of ways to do a wine tour: by limo, personal driver, pedicab, jeep, bus and bicycle. In Santa Barbara Harbor, there are sailing tours, SCUBA tours, and kayaking tours.
Do you love to fish? There are 21 lakes and reservoirs where you can go fishing in Santa Barbara County. Or take advantage of the ocean and try deep sea fishing on your vacation.
The Stow House Museum and Rancho La Patera in Goleta is an historic California lemon ranch. From the Railroad Museum there, take a scenic day trip to San Luis Obispo in a vintage Pullman railroad club car.
A beautiful pond at Lotusland.
Several Montecito estates are open to the public. If you're interested in rare plants, take the Lotusland tour. This tour does not include inside the home. I was a little disappointed by that, but the gardens are magnificent.
Another Montecito estate which is open to the public is Casa del Herrero, essentially unchanged since 1925. Many local residents still haven't discovered this local treasure.
Rather play golf during your Santa Barbara vacation? There are almost too many Santa Barbara golf courses to count.
There are two National Parks in Santa Barbara County. Lots of places to go hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, and camping in California. Los Padres National Park includes much of the mountain range between Santa Barbara and the wine country.
Have you ever dreamed you were flying? Make this a Santa Barbara vacation you'll never forget. Take paragliding lessons or hang gliding lessons and learn to fly like a bird!
One great way to plan a Santa Barbara vacation is to schedule it around an event you'd like to attend. There are several historic performing arts venues in Santa Barbara: The Granada, The Arlington Theatre, The Lobero, the Santa Barbara Bowl and the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez.
Upcoming events include:
Santa Barbara International Film Festival - January 24 - February 3, 2013.
Banff Film Festival - February 27-28, 2013 - Arlington Theater.
As you can see, there are plenty of things to do and see on your Santa Barbara vacation. And the discount programs make it more affordable than you might think. So, pack your bags and come enjoy a California beach vacation in Santa Barbara County.