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Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara, California

Founded in the 18th century as the 10th Franciscan mission in California, Santa Barbara’s heritage is one of its biggest draws. Zoning laws keep the city preserved in time as the adobe look in its architecture is maintained – even as new constructions spring up around town. There’s also a wonderfully welcoming fragrance in the city, a mixture of oranges, jasmine and blossoming flowers.

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Santa Barbara, California

The One Thing You Don't Want To Miss

Santa Barbara takes pride in its roots as a Franciscan mission. This makes a visit to Old Mission a must see. Its iconic architecture, with red-tiled roofs and the only twin bell towers in the state, herald a bygone era of Franciscan architecture, and have earned this landmark the nickname “Queen of the Missions.” Artifacts of other state missions are also housed here.

Other Fun Things To Do

  • Surf’s up at the free Santa Barbara Surf Museum. Watch surf films and learn about the history of this sport through the ages.
  • Explore the natural world with the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. Exhibits include a pygmy mammoth skeleton, an extinct dwarf-sized elephant indigenous to North America, and a 72-foot blue whale skeleton.
  • Meander through the Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail downtown. Savor the best wines of varying styles from local vineyards while getting some shopping done at the same time.

Get A Taste Of Local Flavor

The most popular spot to go for the best in local food is the Funk Zone, the hip downtown area where you can also hop on the Urban Wine Trail. Seafood is big here, and favorite local dishes are as wide ranging as creamy lobster bisques to authentic Mexican fish tacos. Like other California cities, Santa Barbara is well-known for its unique wines. Don’t leave the port without picking up a couple of bottles to remember your trip by.

Shopping For Bargains

Without a doubt, the best place to go is Downtown Santa Barbara. Everything from eco-friendly shops to indie boutiques line the quaint streets here. Another picturesque shopping destination is La Arcada. Gently cascading fountains, tiled walkways and bustling bistros make this a fanciful location to do your shopping, and take in the beautiful views of Santa Barbara.

Local Currency

The official currency of the United States is the U.S. Dollar (USD).

Weather in Santa Barbara, California

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    Before You Visit

    Learn more about this port city with these tourist information guides.

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