Santa Barbara is often thought of as a small seaside town with idyllic weather, uncrowded beaches, and iconic architecture. While partially true, that only paints a small picture of what real life is like in Santa Barbara...rich in great food and wine, a thriving arts and culture scene, and events and festivals that are anything but sleepy.
Did you know that downtown Santa Barbara has 20 wineries, ten breweries, and a whiskey distillery?
Visit Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone, complete with boutique tasting rooms, cafes, galleries, and shops that cater to Santa Barbara’s contemporary side.
Sip your way through santa barbara
Featuring: Santa Barbara wine collective
Santa Barbara Wine Collective is a group of like-minded producers focusing on the unique terroir of Santa Barbara County. As the county’s first and only communal tasting room, they represent five award-winning wineries and winemakers under one roof. Head to the Funk Zone and visit the Santa Barbara Wine Collective tasting room.
Follow the Urban Wine Trail map and taste the finest wines of Santa Barbara County. The UWT has made visiting Santa Barbara's best tasting rooms easy, as more than 20 locations along the trail map are located right in the heart of the Funk Zone. Whether you're a local or popping by from out of town, this wine tasting experience is a must!
With numerous nationally and internationally awarded beers, some of the best breweries in the world are located right here. Whether you are a newbie or a cicerone (beer tasting expert), the Santa Barbara craft beer scene has something for everyone. Enjoy a classic lager or try something new like a coffee infused milk stout on nitro or a barrel aged sour.
featuring: Lama dog tap room + Bottle Shop
With a goal of providing the largest variety and highest quality beer in the county, Lama Dog is a Santa Barbara must. Get ready for a unique tap room experience, featuring a revolving draft list, exclusive events, beer-education classes, The Nook's delicious street food, and much more.
Featuring: Cutler's Artisan Spirits
Cutler's Artisan Spirits, Santa Barbara’s first legal distillery, is a small scale Craft Distillery dedicated to producing top quality spirits, using fresh local ingredients. Every spirit produced at Cutler's Artisan is made with a passion for the craft of distilling spirits. Their products include 33 Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Apple Pie, Gin, Silver Whiskey, and Vodka.
along the trail...
featuring: Topa topa
Topa Topa Brewing Company is one of the featured breweries along the Santa Barbara Ale Trail. Offering 16 rotating taps of hand-crafted beers, Topa Topa is sure to host a great sipping experience.
indulge in the best foods at the best eateries
Loquita showcases the flavors and traditional cooking methods of Spain with hot and cold tapas, wood-fired seafood, grilled meats and three types of paella. Whether you want to dine in the lively indoor dining room or around a cozy fireplace on the romantic patio, Loquita is the perfect spot to gather while in the Waterfront district of downtown Santa Barbara.
Featuring: The Lark
Situated in the heart of the Funk Zone, The Lark brings the entire Santa Barbara community together to celebrate our unique place. Menus will be locally sourced and responsibly grown, using seasonal ingredients based on the abundant bounty available on the Central Coast. Food is served family style intended for sharing.
Santa Barbara: a hub of art and culture
music, movies, and museums
Santa Barbara is home to over 15 venues with live music and 14 historical and art museums. Not bad for a 3-mile radius!
listen to the most talented musicians in california's best beach town
The Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation actively strives to create the leading outdoor performing arts center in the country. The venue has recently hosted Radiohead, Depeche Mode, Lana Del Rey, Blondie & Garbage, Florence + The Machine, Glass Animals, Bob Dylan, Ben Harper, and Alabama Shakes (to name a few!).
Every February, Santa Barbara hosts an annual international film festival that attracts some of Hollywood’s biggest names, including many who already call Santa Barbara home.
Over the past 30 years the Santa Barbara International Film Festival has become one of the leading film festivals in the United States – attracting 90,000 attendees and offering 11days of 200+ films, tributes and symposiums. We bring the best of independent and international cinema to Santa Barbara, and we continue to expand our year-round operation to include a wide range of educational programming, fulfilling our mission to engage, enrich and inspire our community through film.
Academy Award® winner Judi Dench will be honored with the twelfth annual Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film. The award will be presented at a black-tie gala dinner at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara on Thursday, November 30.
explore museums and exhibits
Santa Barbara has 14 museums that feature everything from contemporary art to maritime history to surfing.
Visit these gorgeous botanical gardens that have been arranged from plants from around the world.
Lotusland Mission Statement: We preserve and enhance the unique, historic estate of Madame Ganna Walska, care for and improve its collections, and develop its conservation and horticulture programs, so they educate us, inspire us, and advance our understanding and appreciation of the importance of plants in our lives and in the life of the planet.
MOXI (The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation) has a mission is to ignite learning through interactive experiences in science and creativity. As Santa Barbara’s newest hands-on destination for families and curious minds of all ages, MOXI is a place where you can explore and discover new things about the world around you, ask questions, seek answers and have a blast doing so.
Does this look like the Best Museum in Santa Barbara to you? Then, tell the @sbindependent so! Voting in the Best of Santa Barbara closes today at 5 PM. We'd be honored if you voted #moxisb as Best Museum and Best Family Fun Spot. Use the link in our bio to vote. #bestofsantabarbara #mysantabarbara #museum #seesb #santabarbara #familyfun
exquisite stays - the hotel californian
Featuring Spanish Colonial Revival architecture and modern Moorish themed interior décor from celebrity designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard, the Hotel Californian is the new center of the Santa Barbara waterfront. And it gets better: the hotel californian is Located steps from the beach, one block from Santa Barbara Amtrak Station and adjacent to Santa Barbara’s vibrant Funk Zone.
Rooms mix classic Spanish Colonial Revival architecture with Moroccan influences and unexpected custom furnishings from celebrity designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard – making for a modern take on seaside Santa Barbara. Guestrooms feature signature Moroccan-inspired tile wainscoting, bronze oil-rubbed bath fixtures, mashrabiya patterned bathroom vanities and closet doors and premium cocktail carts and gourmet snacks.
Majorelle, a distinctly Moroccan blue found in the traditional tiles, windows, and doorways of Marrakesh, evokes a sense of active tranquility. Its deep hue soothes and enlivens, while the rich indigo pigment inspires intense revitalization. Majorelle invites you to discover the sublimity of one-of-a-kind spa treatments tailored to your personalized expression—an essential luxury along the path to wellness.
The Goat Tree
Casual, all-day dining is available at Goat Tree, a gourmet café with al fresco seating offering fresh, local fare, including superb pastries and baked goods, cold-pressed juices and coffee, seasonally curated picnic baskets, and a full breakfast menu, all with a hint of Mediterranean culinary influence.
Classic meets contemporary at Hotel Californian’s signature restaurant, featuring exquisite Mediterranean-influenced cuisine with an emphasis on Santa Barbara-sourced, hyper-seasonal ingredients. Blackbird offers a sleek, yet approachable and wholly unpretentious atmosphere with a pulse on contemporary Santa Barbara.