Santa Barbara Guide: Restaurants, Historical Sites & Hiking in this Famous Coastal Town

The coastal city of Santa Barbara on Highway 101 in Southern California is one of the drives best coastal cities. The town has centuries of history, large mountain ranges for hiking and some of the freshest seafood around. I have been many times, and it is still a spot that I go back to often to revisit some of my favorite spots and explore new ones. Below are many of my favorite adventures, check them out and let me know your favorites in the comments.


Santa Barbara has dozens and dozens of great restaurants ranging from seafood to Mexican. It also features one of my favorite ice cream places in California, McConnels with multiple locations around the city. No matter what food you enjoy, you can find it in Santa Barbara.

Cold Springs Tavern

McConnell's Ice Cream

Los Agaves

Santa Barbara Shellfish Co.


Tupelo Junction Cafe (Closed)

Historic & Fun Spots to Explore

Since the city has such a long history, dating back to its time as the home of the Chumash Indians and its status as a mission city on El Camino Real, there are lots of unique places of historical interest to see. I recommend visiting the mission and El Presidio for sure, but exploring the Maritime history is also a lot of fun.

Mission Santa Barbara

Chumash Painted Cave State Park

Maritime Museum

El Presidio State Park


I haven't got a chance to hike in the area as much as I would like, but what I have done has been fantastic. The mountains are full of trails, including one of the most popular to the ruins of the historic Knapp's Castle. Also, the waterfront has a nice walk to Point Fermin, and the the walk down to One Thousand Steps Beach is not one to miss either.

Knapps Castle

One Thousand Steps Beach

Point Castillo Walk


One of my favorite hotels in the Santa Barbara area is actually located outside of the city itself. Its about 10 - 15 minutes away but it is a fantastic home away from home with all sorts of vintage cool.

Kimpton Goodland

Now it is your turn, what did I leave off this list that you love exploring in Santa Barbara? Be sure to leave in in the comments to others can find it as well.

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About JoshMc

Thanks for checking out the blog, I am happy to be sharing my adventures with you! You can get to know me by reading my about me, which includes a video and additional information on the site, myself and my full disclosure. Also, follow along on Twitter here or read all of my posts on this blog here.