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Santa Barbara, California Travel Guide


A coastal city located just 95 miles north of Los Angeles on the 101 Freeway, Santa Barbara is graced with natural and architectural beauty. Many buildings are constructed in the Spanish architectural style, with white adobe façades and tiled terra-cotta roofs. Santa Barbara is also a perfect place to soak up the sun, swim, or catch some waves on its palm tree-lined sandy beaches.


Santa Barbara’s roots extend more than 13,000 years back, to the days of the ancestors of the Chumash Indians. Native Americans thrived in the area until its colonization by Spanish settlers in the late 18th century. Before Spanish explorers settled in the area and built its mission, Mission Santa Barbara, Portuguese explorer Joao Cabrilho stopped briefly in the Santa Barbara harbor in 1542, and Spanish soldier Sebastian Vizcaino gave the city its name in 1602. The secularization of the California missions in 1833 marked the end of the Spanish period and led to a brief period of Mexican occupation and control. The United States took control of the area during the Mexican-American War in 1846. The city is currently affected by recurring earthquakes and fires.


Power: 120 V, 60 Hz

Languages: English

Climate: Santa Barbara enjoys a typical Southern California coastal climate – moderate, and averaging 80 degrees in the summer and 55 degrees in the winter.

Currency: US Dollar

Time Zone: PST (UTC-8) - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)

Santa Barbara has a small airport that services major airlines.


One of the most beautiful attractions is the Santa Barbara Mission. The Mission is called the "Queen of the Missions for its graceful beauty." Founded Dec. 4, 1786, it was the 10th of 21 Franciscan missions in California. It's still used as a church, but they do give quite inexpensive tours.

At Santa Barbara Harbor, you can go fishing, sailing or whale-watching. They also offer sunset cruises.

While you're in that area, walk over to Stearns Wharf, and see the Dolphin Fountain. Every Sunday you can find the Santa Barbara Sunday Arts & Crafts Show on Cabrillo Boulevard.

On Tuesdays and Saturdays, the Farmer’s Market in downtown Santa Barbara offers an excellent and appetizing selection of fresh, locally grown produce and food. Sample sublimely sweet strawberries from the nearby city of Oxnard, slurp down honey sticks from all kinds of different plants, or savor the taste of a crunchy sugar snap pea.

Downtown State Street offers many shopping and dining options for visitors.

Immerse yourself in Old World charm and head over to Solvang, a Danish town about an hour away from Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara runs a city shuttle bus that stops at the Santa Barbara Zoo and the Museum to let you off for shopping.


Experience the best of two worlds when you camp at El Capitan beach, near Santa Barbara: this campground’s setting includes sandy beaches alongside hidden creeks and sycamore forests to hike through.

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