Top-5 Best Rated Tourist Attractions to Visit Santa Barbara, CA 2021

Santa Barbara, CA is located between the steep hills of the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. It’s a popular tourist and resort destination with perfect climate and Spanish culture. People from all around the world find lots of things to do in Santa Barbara with it’s frequent festivals, outdoor events, and delicious restaurants and dining.

  1. Old Mission Santa Barbara

Mission Santa Barbara is a Spanish mission in Santa Barbara, California. It was founded by Padre Fermín Lasuén for the Franciscan order on December 4, 1786, the feast day of Saint Barbara, as the tenth mission for the religious conversion of the indigenous local Chumash-Barbareño tribe of Native American people.

2. Stearns Wharf Santa Barbara

Stearns Wharf is located in the harbor in Santa Barbara, California, United States. When completed In 1872, it became the longest deep-water Wharf between San Pedro and San Francisco. Named for its builder, local lumberman John P. Stearns, the wharf served the passenger and freight shipping needs of California’s South Coast for over a quarter century. People love Visiting Santa Barbara to enjoy Stearns Wharf!

3. Santa Barbara Beaches

When you visit Santa Barbara you will have many beautiful beaches to choose. Wanting to go swimming, surfing, catch a sunset, entertain, or just chill? There are lots of beautiful Santa Barbara beaches to experience. You’ll find lots of amazing options when it comes to visiting and enjoying this scenic stretch of California coastline.

4. Santa Barbara Museum Of Art

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art is an art museum located in downtown Santa Barbara, California. Founded in 1941, it is home to both permanent and special collections, the former of which includes Asian, American, and European art that spans 4,000 years from ancient to modern. The Museum’s permanent collection of the arts of Asia, Europe, and the Americas includes paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, photographs, ceramics, glass, jades, bronzes, lacquer, and textiles. The broad areas in which SBMA holds a significant number of works of exceptional quality include international antiquities from China, India, Greece, Rome, Egypt, and the Near East and 19th-, 20th-, and 21st-century art from Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Particular strengths of the collection are 19th- and 20th-century American and European art, contemporary American painting, photography, and the arts of Asia, especially China.

5. Santa Barbara Public Market

The Santa Barbara Public Market may be a local favorite, but its inspiration was international. Owner and founder, Marge Cafarelli, has always loved the Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid- a market filled with both great food options and hungry, happy people. So when an old grocery store site in the middle of downtown became available, she pounced on this rare chance at urban infill and began developing the Alma del Pueblo project, which consists of 37 LEED Platinum residential condos as well as three commercial spaces. Wanting a crown jewel for the project, she took the opportunity to emulate the public markets you can find in the great cities of Europe and the US, which allow visitors to shop for their groceries while also having small bites available if you just can’t wait to get home.

Construction began in 2012, and the LEED Gold Public Market opened in April of 2014- replacing an old Vons building, parking lot, and a more faint memory of the Arlington Hotel whose 1800s architecture was destroyed in the 1925 earthquake.  

From the ground up, literally, the Public Market has always been a gathering place for families and the community. Marge recalls parents bringing their children during construction to watch the excavators and cranes transform this corner lot of West Victoria Street and Chapala Street. 

The initial concept of the Santa Barbara Public Market at the time of opening was modeled on European markets and their emulators, like the Ferry Building in San Francisco where Marge visited daily to shop for fresh groceries.