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

The coastal city of Santa Barbara on Pacific Coast Highway is one of the drive’s best coastal cities. Santa Barbara has a century of history, vast 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 places 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 Restaurants

Santa Barbara has dozens of great restaurants ranging from seafood to Mexican food. It also features one of my favorite ice cream places in California, McConnells, 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.

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, and the waterfront has a nice walk to Point Fermin. Also, the walk down to One Thousand Steps Beach is not one to miss either.

Point Castillo Walk
One Thousand Steps Beach
Inspiration Point
Seven Falls


One of my favorite hotels in the Santa Barbara area is actually located outside of the city itself. It’s 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 it in the comments so others can find it as well.

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