Four Fun Places to Visit in Santa Barbara
By Laura Mizrahi
Santa Barbara is one of the most luxurious and well-known communities not only in California but in the world as well. There are so many things to see and do in Santa Barbara that it can be overwhelming, however. There is no possible way to see even half of what Santa Barbara has to offer in one visit, but if you organize your trip properly, you could get a chance of seeing most of its biggest attractions. Let's take a look at a few fun places you could visit on your next trip there.
Santa Barbara Mission
This unique Franciscan community is called the "Queen of Missions" by many people, and you'll understand why the minute you get there. You'll instantly be taken aback by the beautiful Spanish colonial infrastructure that is said to have influenced much of the architecture in Southern California. A lot of people say that there's something truly magical about this place, and it is one of the most serene spots in the city. You can either go for a self-guided tour or go for one of the multiple organized tours scheduled throughout the week. It's important to note that this is a real mission and not just a facade, so you can also spend a day volunteering or attend one of the many services given by the Franciscan brothers there.
The County Courthouse
This is another attraction that should be on any architecture lover’s list. The courthouse was built in 1929 right after the region suffered a disastrous earthquake and to this day it remains one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. A visit to the courthouse is a must not only because of how breath-taking it is, but because of the beautiful views of the city you can get from the clock tower.
The courthouse takes up a whole city block and is a beautiful representation of Spanish-Revival architecture. Pay special attention to the hand painting on the ceiling, the beautiful, tiled corridors, and the wrought iron chandeliers. Make sure to stop by the Mural Room which beautifully tells the story of Santa Barbara and its inhabitants.
Santa Barbara is also home to many casinos, but since you probably won't have time to visit too many of them, we suggest you check out Chumash Casino. It is one of the most well-established casinos in the area with a wide selection of games and tons of great entertainment options. The casino is located on the Santa Ynez Indian Reservation which is a few miles away from the Santa Ynez Airport. The venue has welcomed iconic performers such as ZZ Top, Fleetwood Mac, Kenny Rogers, and Kiss just to name a few.
If you want to have fun with the family, then you can always stay at the luxurious Chumash Casino hotel and enjoy some of the family-friendly activities the resort has to offer. And, if you need to satisfy your gambling itch, then you can always get your bonus code for the Caesars online casino and get tons of action from your hotel room.
If you want to see some of the most beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean you’ll find anywhere in the world, we suggest you check out Stearns Wharf. It is located in the downtown area right at the end of State Street and offers great views of the pier, harbor, and the Santa Ynez mountains.
The place is full of history and was built in 1872. At the time, the pier was the longest deep-water pier in the country. Now, the area is full of nice specialty shops and is also where the Sea Centre is located, which is part of the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum.
Stearns Wharf is a perfect place to go either with the family or after a romantic dinner. The pier is beautiful and while it is quite touristy during the day, it is much quieter in the evenings and will allow you to share an intimate moment.
If you have the kids with you, we suggest that you take the Lil' Toot water taxi from Santa Barbara to Stearns Wharf. You can get some ice cream once you touch down and enjoy the multiple kid-friendly attractions you'll find there. You can even catch some fish from the pier, and there's a bait shop you can visit that has everything you need. If fishing is not your speed, then you could always rent a few bikes and hop on the nearby Cabrillo Bike Path which is one of the nicest ones in the county.
These are all places that you need to visit once you get to Santa Barbara. They will give you a good idea of what the city and its people are all about while allowing you to soak in some of its natural beauty.