The late 18th-century Old Mission Santa Barbara gave more than just its name to the city. You can see its lush courtyard, tiled roof and shaded arches reflected in buildings all over Santa Barbara. But the mission is a beautiful, historical destination on its own, with a solemn cemetery, chapel and an exhibition about its construction and life within its walls.
When it comes to deciding the best things to do in Santa Barbara, the conversation begins with the beaches. How could it not? The so-called American Riviera is a haven for seaside lovers, with miles of sandy coastline ready to be enjoyed. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that everything revolves around the sea and the sand here, as Santa Barbara has plenty to offer visitors of all persuasions.
With the Santa Ynez mountains providing a magnificently dramatic backdrop to it all, Santa Barbara excels in plenty of ways. The restaurants are as excellent as the hotels are charming, while the city’s most historic landmarks double up as beauty spots that live long in the memory. Energetic travelers will enjoy picturesque hiking trails while a different kind of energy exists in the city’s thrilling nightlife. What are you waiting for? Santa Barbara is ready for you.