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Accommodation in Santa Barbara

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Where to stay in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara Hotels

Dine on freshly caught seafood in oceanfront bars, sip glasses of barrel-aged wine on a tour of exclusive vineyards, and explore impressive museums filled with art and artefacts, soaking up the history and culture of this unique city. Santa Barbara is an exclusive destination, favored by celebrities and the wealthy who hide out in hilltop mansions. Glamorous shop windows on exclusive shopping streets glitter with intricate baubles, and fine-dining restaurants impose dress codes for their a la carte service.

Things to see

At the end of Stearns Wharf, fishermen sit silently on the wooden pier, waiting patiently in the Californian sun for something to nibble their line. Behind them, the waterfront is a hive of activity. Passenger cruise boats dock smoothly between trips along the coast and bright yellow shuttle boats chug tourists between attractions. Cafés and bistros line the promenade, serving freshly caught seafood with a squeeze of acidic lemon, or chilled glasses of locally produced wine. The vast stretch of pale sand at West Beach is relatively untouched, despite the commercial street that runs beside it. Elegant restaurants line the ocean road, and you can relax in their quiet dining rooms and watch kayakers launch their brightly colored craft into the surf. Also overlooking the sparkling waters of the Pacific Ocean, the Santa Barbara Zoo is a sprawling 30 acre animal sanctuary where forest canopies and grass-filled enclosures house wild animals from around the world.

Hotels in Santa Barbara

An iconic tourist destination, there are hotels in Santa Barbara for every type of traveler, and whether you want to spend a lot, or spend a little, you’ll find a warm welcome in one of the many resorts that populate this pretty coastal town. Wealthy boat owners sail their crafts into the protected harbor that sits next to the Maritime Museum, spending their evenings in the lounges and restaurants of the luxury hotels in Santa Barbara. Glitzy and glam, they boast elegant dining rooms and luxury bedrooms with sophisticated technology, as well as impressive views over the glittering ocean. At the other end of the budget range, cozy family-friendly motels offer spacious bedrooms, which often have 2 double beds, and are ideal for families. Many discount hotels still have outdoor swimming pools, and you’ll usually get a complimentary breakfast as well.

Where to stay

The warm climate in Santa Barbara brings tourists in their droves, to descend upon the coast and the pretty Spanish-influenced city streets. Little cafés and tavernas line the ocean front, taking shade beneath lofty palm trees. Tourists cruise the promenade in colorful tricycles on hire from nearby stores, and in the distance, the craggy ridge of the Santa Ynez Mountains dominate the horizon. The neighborhood of Montecito is an affluent independent town that sits on the Santa Barbara outskirts. Sprawling estates hide behind lofty hedgerows, and expensive impenetrable gates, enjoying enviable views over their neighbors.

How to get to Santa Barbara

The Santa Barbara Airport is a small, regional airstrip that serves domestic flights to the city. If you’re coming to Santa Barbara from abroad you’ll need a connecting flight through one of its servicing US airports. Otherwise, you can land in Los Angeles or San Francisco and travel the rest of the way on land. By car, the US Route 101 is easy to follow, while non-drivers can sit back and admire the fabulous scenery flashing by on a railway journey courtesy of Amtrak.

Santa Barbara travel guides

Santa Barbara Travel Guides