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Things to do in

Santa Barbara

Our most recommended things to do in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara: Catamaran Sunset Cruise

1. Santa Barbara: Catamaran Sunset Cruise

Unwind with a relaxing early evening sunset cruise on the Santa Barbara Harbor. Admire the beauty of the scenery as you sail along the coast in a catamaran, then enjoy the romantic atmosphere as the sun sets over the water. Board the Double Dolphin catamaran at the meeting point and set off from Santa Barbara Harbor. Keep your eyes peeled for seals, otters, birds, and other coastal wildlife. Sit back and relax alongside friends or family, and put your feet up after a day of work or sightseeing. Marvel at the sunset views before returning to your original starting point.

Santa Barbara: Catamaran Coastal Cruise

2. Santa Barbara: Catamaran Coastal Cruise

Experience the beauty of Santa Barbara on this coastal catamaran cruise. Sail along the coast and breathe in the salt air, with the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Channel Islands surrounding you as the backdrop. Try to spot local marine and aerial life and relax in the sun with friends and family. Bask in the afternoon sun as you sail the Santa Barbara coastline on a catamaran. Climb aboard and set off, with the Santa Ynez Mountains calling in the distance. Over a dozen beaches and stunning villas line the ocean-carved coastline, making the best view of Santa Barbara, from the ocean. Enjoy a unique experience with family and friends, spotting California sea lions, otters, seals, dolphins, and many coastal birds. Lear, about local life and why this city is a popular place to visit year-round.

Santa Barbara: Santa Ynez Wine Country Shuttle

3. Santa Barbara: Santa Ynez Wine Country Shuttle

Explore some of the best wineries in the famous Santa Ynez Valley. Enjoy a tasting, glass, or bottle of wine with a pairing of various food options at each winery.Learn from discussions of local history and gain insights into the Santa Ynez wine region along the way with your knowledgeable guides. Sample Itinerary: 9:30 - 10:45 AM – pickup at hotel 11:15 AM – winery tasting 12:15 PM – winery tasting 1:15 - 2:15 PM – lunch at a winery 2:30 PM – winery tasting 4 - 4:30 PM – drop-off at your hotel

From Santa Barbara: All-Inclusive Wine Tasting Tour & Lunch

4. From Santa Barbara: All-Inclusive Wine Tasting Tour & Lunch

Enjoy a memorable day exploring California's famous wine culture and take off on a fun-filled, cultural tour of some of California's finest wineries, each with a character as rich and individual as the wines they produce. Leave your Santa Barbara-area hotel at 10:00 AM aboard a spacious custom shuttle. Throughout the day, stop at 4 different wineries to get an insider's look into wine-making and wine-tasting while sampling a full selection of wines at each of the various wineries. Pause during the day for a delicious picnic lunch in a scenic winery setting catered by one of Santa Barbara's top lunch restaurants. Santa Barbara Wine Country offers more than 120 wineries, and this tour supplier is one of the few companies that does not limit tours to a small portion of these. Instead, your day is flexible and takes into account your preferences in wine and scenery, as well as any special events or offerings at the wineries. In addition to the exciting tour, you will receive your own Value Passport that will enable you to get great discounts on a variety of top-quality wines that you may wish to purchase.

Santa Barbara: Electric Bike City Tour

5. Santa Barbara: Electric Bike City Tour

Discover the best bike routes, historical landmarks, and viewpoints of Santa Barbara on an electric bike with an expert guide. Choose between a customizable private tour or a shared group tour where a route is decided by your guide. Start with an easy stroll along the scenic Cabrillo bike path and quickly venture into the artsy area of Santa Barbara. Check out the delicious wine and dine culture of this area. Let your tour guide show you the must-see historic buildings in the heart of downtown. As you bike through downtown, enjoy a safe and spacious bike ride up and down the energetic State Street Promenade allocated for bike and pedestrian traffic only. After downtown, your guide might have a few secret gems that he or she will show you before heading back along the waterfront. The finale of this tour will take you through the bike path that winds through the Santa Barbara Harbor and along the boardwalk back to the bike shop.

Santa Barbara: Whale Watching Catamaran Cruise with Bar

6. Santa Barbara: Whale Watching Catamaran Cruise with Bar

Set sail for a unique whale-watching experience in Santa Barbara. Enjoy a relaxing boat trip where you can get up close with some of the largest creatures on the planet, including Pacific grey whales, bottlenose dolphins, and California sea lions. Treat yourself to a drink from the onboard bar. Meet your guide at the harbor and climb aboard a 50' catamaran for an intimate Santa Barbara whale watching experience. Once you're settled on board, set sail to start your adventure. Every season brings something special with it and different animals to spot off the Californian coast. In winter, explore near the coast. Discover the Santa Barbara Channel, home to over 30 species of whales and dolphins. Common sightings include Pacific gray whales, common dolphins, California sea lions, and harbor seals. If you're lucky, spot orcas, blue whales, humpback whales, and pilot whales. In mid-February, spot some of the 28,000 pacific gray whales journeying through the channel on their migration north between Baja California and Alaska. See mothers and calves just a hundred yards offshore. From July through September, discover blue and humpback whales feeding on krill.

California Highlights Express: 3-Day Tour from Los Angeles

7. California Highlights Express: 3-Day Tour from Los Angeles

This 3-day tour includes highlights of the Golden State, such as Santa Barbara, Solvang, the famous Pacific Coast Highway, Carmel, San Francisco, and Yosemite National Park. Day 1: Monday Departing north, travel along the spectacular and scenic California Coast to Santa Barbara. Visit a Spanish Mission and learn how these religious outposts were key in the development of the entire region. Continue to Solvang, a quaint Danish community, and browse the local shops. Your trip continues along Highway 1 through Big Sur to charming Carmel, home to actor Clint Eastwood. Enjoy some free time to stroll through town before heading on to Silicon Valley for overnight. Overnight: Santa Clara – La Quinta Inn & Suites Day 2: Tuesday See for yourself why San Francisco is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Start your day at the Fisherman’s Wharf with a cruise on the world famous San Francisco Bay, under the Golden Gate Bridge and around the notorious Alcatraz Island. Visit Pier 39 for a leisurely lunch and a peek at the sea lions before an afternoon tour that takes in all the city’s famous landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Union Square, Chinatown, and the magnificent Nob Hill neighborhood, home to the rich and famous. The tour ends with a night view of the city from the Bay Bridge. Overnight: Modesto – Best Western Palm Court Inn (In Winter: Monterey/Holiday Inn hotel) Day 3: Wednesday Today’s route goes through farmlands of the Joaquin Valley to Yosemite National Park. This 1,200 square mile wonderland of forests, lakes, and waterfalls is located in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Stop at El Capitan, Bridal-Veil Falls, and the Half Dome before walking to the Yosemite Visitor Center to reach the highest waterfalls in North America, the 730-meter-high Yosemite Falls. In the winter, depart south to route no 1, for a visit to the world famous Hearst Castle, built by the newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst. Tour the famous house filled with antiques and see why the castle served as a playground for the rich and famous for the first half of the 20th century.

Santa Barbara: Wine Country Tour

8. Santa Barbara: Wine Country Tour

Your group will be picked up by an air-conditioned van in the morning. Travel then to the first winery in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley. Once there, begin wine tastings and sometimes are offered barrel room tours. On the weekdays, lunch will be served in the shade at a favorite winery or park. Your guide will pick up a delicious lunch sourced from local, fresh ingredients. Cold beverages will be provided. Visit 3 local favorite wineries in the area. Each has its unique vintages and award-winning selections. The winery staff will offer insight into specific blends and selections to our guests.

Ventura: 1.5-Hour Private Beginner's Surf Lesson

9. Ventura: 1.5-Hour Private Beginner's Surf Lesson

Learn to surf at Mondos Beach with a private 1.5-hour beginner's surf lesson. Take advantage of the more gentle waves and generous space at Mondos Beach as you pick up the techniques and etiquette of surfing. Meet your instructor at the surf van located on Mondos Beach and get suited up in a wetsuit. Grab a longboard and walk to the sand for beach instructions. You'll be briefed on water and surf safety, etiquette, and proper technique before jumping into the ocean to catch some waves. Follow your instructor as they coach and push you into waves to give you an experience that will last a lifetime. Enjoy the gentle long breaking waves of Mondo Beach lending itself to longer rides for you. Your lesson is private so you or your group can have their own instructor and a more personalized experience.

Santa Barbara: 1.5-Hour Harbor Kayak Tour

10. Santa Barbara: 1.5-Hour Harbor Kayak Tour

Launch from the sand of Santa Barbara’s West Beach and follow your guide along Santa Barbara’s famous surf spot, the Sandspit. Admire panoramic views of the Waterfront, Santa Ynez Mountains, the Channel Islands, the Riviera, Stearns Wharf, and more. Paddle through the calm waters of Santa Barbara's harbor and enjoy views of sailboats, yachts, and fishing vessels. Learn valuable insight from your guide into the local landscape, topography, wildlife, and history of the harbor, as well as the best places to enjoy a fresh-caught meal.

Other Sightseeing Options in Santa Barbara

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What people are saying about Santa Barbara

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 74 reviews

Christina was great! it ended up just being my bf and me but we had such a good time. we got to have a more one on one experience and take our time. and the places we stopped were not on our radar and the food and drinks we tried were definitely not things we would've ordered on our own. but we loved it all! we even took leftovers back to our hotel. we got some great photos and an awesome mini tour of the city.

A great opportunity to see most of the west coast in a limited span of time. The itinerary covers several of the must-visit sites, the hotels were not the best quality but justifies the price paid for, the tour bus was new and comfortable, the tour guides are knowledgeable and helpful. We have done extensive research before going to this trip and this tour combo is so far the best there is.

Great crew! Unobtrusive, communicative, imparting knowledge about dolphins and other sea creatures. Small bar with alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks on board. Lots of dolphins seen right off the boat. The overall experience is a clear recommendation! Good value for money!

We found the tour very good. Tray, our guide, was great!! :) Unfortunately, the time went very quickly. Were only on the road with three other boats, a total of 5 participants, great :) Sea lions, saw great boats, it's worth it!! :)

Beautiful and relaxing! Staff were wonderful…did everything to make sure we were comfortable and had everything we needed.