The Most Romantic Places in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is bathed in beauty. The cool, ocean breeze tempers the warm, sunswept vineyards, effortlessly crafting the romance of the American Riviera. With over 100 miles of pristine water sparkling in a stream of endless sunlight, Santa Barbara provides the ideal backdrop for a romantic escape.

Whether you’re planning a proposal or enamored with a new love, Santa Barbara has countless opportunities to engage your senses and indulge in moments of sheer perfection.


Just because the sun is up doesn’t mean that you can’t feel the love. Stretching out on the beach with a blanket or dipping your toes in the ocean is a brilliant way to start your morning, especially if you’re looking for a leisurely start to your day. On the weekends you can find excellent brunch spots to enjoy a mimosa or some deliciously fluffy waffles.

Santa Barbara County Courthouse Clock Tower

Built-in 1929, the Santa Barbara Clock Tower is more than a stunning piece of architecture. One of the most beautiful public buildings in the nation, the Santa Barbara County Courthouse is known for its flawlessly trimmed lawns accented by beautiful flowers and palm trees. Take the elevator up to the Clock Tower for a 360-degree view of the Santa Ynez Mountains, the shoreline, Channel Islands and the Santa Barbara adobes. Oh, and it’s an excellent place to steal a kiss, too.

Coronado Butterfly Preserve 

The magically wondrous Coronado Butterfly Preserve will make you feel as though you’ve stepped into a fairy tale. From late October through early March, monarch butterflies migrate to Santa Barbara to spend the winter. They hang in delicate clumps and clusters from the braches of the eucalyptus trees, sunning themselves from the early morning until the evening. There’s nothing better than something so inherently natural (and beautiful)!

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden 

If you’re looking for a maze of beauty, fragrant flowers and native California plants, look no further than the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. Wander aimlessly through endless gardens, forests, and over a babbling brook to find perfection in the simplicity of nature.

Pacific Kayak Tours

There’s no better way to enjoy the sunset than by viewing it uninterrupted by scenery, bobbing atop the ocean’s swells. Oftentimes, curious dolphins will find their way alongside the kayakers to accompany them for a portion of their paddle.

Pick Your Own Wine Tour 

We’d love to recommend the most romantic winery, but there’s no way you can go wrong with any of Santa Barbara’s fantastic wine tours. Feel the effortless ease brought about by fine wines and picturesque views, and enjoy learning about Santa Barbara’s bustling viticulture.


As soon as the sun sets, Santa Barbara transforms into a picturesque landscape dotted with streetlamps and bistros. Whether you’re looking for somewhere secluded to steal a romantic moment or a 5-star restaurant to enjoy a candlelit dinner, Santa Barbara has it all.

Stearn’s Wharf

Take a walk to the end of Stearn’s Wharf in the evening, and you’ll immediately understand why people find Santa Barbara so intoxicating. Dotted with lights, the surrounding mountains provide a dazzling backdrop to the endless ocean. There are also a few restaurants located on the wharf, should you feel like having dinner on the ocean.

Toma Restaurant & Bar

 Voted “Santa Barbara’s Most Romantic Waterfront Restaurant,” Toma is the ideal place to spend an intimate hour or two. White tablecloths, Italian food, and an endless supply of wine should be all you need to have an unforgettably romantic dinner.

Thousand Steps Beach

A fitting destination for any time of the day, Thousand Step Beach is hidden just off of Mesa lane. Take the 241 wooden steps down to the beach and you’ll be able to walk hand-in-hand for miles, whether it’s in the gleaming sun or with a ceiling of stars.

Arlington Theater

No matter when you plan your stay, the Arlington Theater is sure to be host to notable comedians, musicians, and newly released movies. The theater itself mimics an outdoor courtyard, which allows you to truly experience some of Santa Barbara’s famed Spanish Revival architecture. Buy your tickets online to lock down the best seats in the house!