The Best Spots for Santa Barbara Sightseeing

Santa Barbara sightseeing has so much to offer! This city is full of beauty and history, and these are some of the best ways to experience it. We’ve narrowed down the top 6 sightseeing experiences in Santa Barbara for your next trip. Experiences that aren’t the beach–because you already know that’s an important part of any visit to Santa Barbara!

Stearns Wharf

Start your day sightseeing at Stearns Wharf! This is one of the West coast’s oldest piers, dating back to 1872. Now, after renovations in 1982, you’ll find plenty of tourist attractions along the pier and even more scenic views from every angle! From the sea museum to shops and restaurants, Stearns Wharf has plenty to offer.

Old Mission Santa Barbara

If you’re Santa Barbara sightseeing, you can’t leave out Old Mission! The Old Mission Santa Barbara was built in 1776 and is one of Santa Barbara’s oldest historic locations. Tour the beautiful Mission grounds, featuring beautiful gardens, the church, the cemetery and mausoleum, and a nine-room museum full of historic artifacts and art.

Whale watching tour

Set out to sea for an incredible sight! The water off the coast of Santa Barbara is a favorite of migrating whales, so if you’re in Santa Barbara from March – September, you’ll be able to spot either humpback or blue whales. But–you’ll also be able to spot other aquatic wildlife, such as dolphins, seals, and more! You can find more information on whale watching tours here.

Inspiration Point

Inspiration Point is an essential stop for Santa Barbara sightseeing. Here, you can look out over the city, the ocean, and the Channel Islands. But beyond that, it’s one of the best spots in Santa Barbara to watch the sunset. The hike up to Inspiration Point is well worth the reward!

Urban wine trail

Taste your way through Santa Barbara’s finest wineries on the Urban Wine Trail! Located in Downtown Santa Barbara, this self-guided trail lets you experience the local wineries and tasting rooms–and there are plenty of restaurants nearby in case you want to stop for a snack. And if you’re looking to visit the vineyards themselves, you can do that too, even though they’re not on the trail.

Trolley tour

Trolley tours are a wonderful way to see Santa Barbara–full of history and beauty. Hop on a trolley and experience the city on-the-go! Plus, with the open trolley sides, you’ll be able to get great pictures of the scenery! You can catch the 90-minute Santa Barbara Trolley Company tour starting at Stearns Wharf or charter a trolley for your private event.

Where are your favorite spots for Santa Barbara sightseeing?

However you choose to tour the city, Santa Barbara sightseeing has plenty to offer! After a long day of exploring, you’ll need somewhere comfortable and rejuvenating to rest your head. Stay at Marina Beach Motel–just a half block from the beach–and relax in our wonderful rooms with plentiful amenities. Book your stay here.

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