Keeping with our 20th Anniversary Celebration, here are 20 Things We Love About Santa Barbara! We spent our Winter Retreat re-familiarizing ourselves with this charming neighborhood, and all the cool landmarks & activities it has to offer! Check it out:
1. Santa Barbara Zoo: There are over 500 animals in this 30-acre zoo filled with colorful gardens. The animals spend most of their time in outdoor enclosures that are designed to resemble their natural habitats. The zoo also offers some great event spaces for casual picnics, teambuilding adventures and upscale after hours functions.
2. El Presidio State Historic Park: This park is filled with the rich culture of Santa Barbara. Founded in 1782, taking a stroll through the whitewashed buildings is a great way to see the history and culture of Santa Barbara.
3. Santa Barbara County Courthouse: The Courthouse opened in 1929, and is still being used today. This amazing series of buildings with Spanish architecture style encompass a square block there is also a sunken garden, palm groves, and rare plants. This is a must see when visiting Santa Barbara!
4. Santa Barbara Maritime Museum:Located right on the water in the Santa Barbara Harbor, the Maritime Museum is the perfect place to learn about the rich maritime history present in Santa Barbara.
5. Santa Barbara Museum of Art: Looking to for a great art museum to visit? Look no further than the Santa Barbara Museum of Art! This highly-regarded encyclopedic museum was opened in 1941 but it feels like a place that’s been around much longer in order to have acquired such a large collection of antiquities from Egypt, Greece, Rome, and Asia.
6. Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens: This hidden treasure features 65 acres of native trees, shrubs, wildflowers, and cacti. With 5.5 miles of easy-to-walk nature trails, the gardens are perfect for both group tours, educational classes and event space.
7. Stearns Wharf: Stearns Wharf is arguably the most beautiful wharf on the California coast. Here you will find many shops filled with souvenirs and some great places to sample the local seafood.
8. Museum of Natural History:Prehistoric fossils from the region are just a few of the interesting things to see. This is the place to learn about local history, geology and anthropology.
9. The Canary Hotel:This adorable boutique hotel features hand-painted tiles, elegant wrought iron and postcard-perfect views from a rooftop pool deck. Located within walking distance to all the downtown shops and restaurants, The Canary blends R&R and hustle & bustle perfectly!
10. Santa Ynez Wine Valley: A tour of the wineries in the Santa Ynez Valley and adjoining Santa Rita Hills has become a popular attraction for tourists coming to Santa Barbara. The vineyards here are producing some wonderful Rhone varietals (Syrah and Viognier), and also Pinot Noir, Cabs and Merlots.
11. Cabrillo Bikeway: This three-mile paved road by the beach is used daily by hundreds of runners and bikers. A bike ride along the Cabrillo bikeway is the perfect way to see all the beauty of Santa Barbara.
12. Seven Falls:Ideal in the spring, the falls and the hike to the falls offers much for the visitor. The hike is about 2 or 3 miles round trip with an elevation gain of about 800 ft. This is a great way to take in the beautiful scenery of Santa Barbara.
13. Chumash Painted Cave: Not too far outside of Santa Barbara rests a sandstone cave filled with pictographs created by the Chumash Indians. Drawn with mineral pigments, they are believed to have been religious and date from a couple hundred years back to nearly a thousand years ago. This park allows visitors to see the pictographs first-hand and up-close.
14. Chase Palm Park: This long, narrow park sits waterfront with and the walking/riding path is lined with California’s popular palm trees. Walking and bicycle riding is ideal on this path but on the weekends there are arts and crafts festivals to browse through.
15. State Street: Santa Barbara’s main street is lined with popular shops and restaurants. Join the locals for a stroll down the street and some leisurely shopping at Paseo Nuevo.
16. Polo Matches:Trade in the normal baseball game and visit the Polo Fields in Santa Barbara! Polo season runs from April through October, and anyone can watch.
17. First Thursdays: On the first Thursday evening of each month from 5-8PM, downtown Santa Barbara becomes filled with cultural activities. Art galleries open their doors, as do museums and other venues. There are wine tastings, impromptu performances, open artists’ studios and crafts to buy.
18. The Douglas Family Preserve:This is a wild grassy park on a bluff over Arroyo Burro Beach. Locals stroll the beach and the pathways through the preserve—with their dogs. This is one of those rare places where dogs are allowed off-leash. You can even hike to the preserve from Stearns Wharf.
19. Red Tile Tour:This self-guided walking tour can be downloaded from several sites, including the Santa Barbara Visitors Bureau. The tour covers an easily walk-able, fairly compact area of downtown’s “Old Town,” containing some of the most beautiful of the city’s historical landmarks, starting at the Courthouse and zig-zagging along a rectangle from State Street across Anacapa to Santa Barbara Street, and from Ortega Street to Anapamu Street.
20. Old Mission: The Santa Barbara Mission is the only California mission that has remained in continuous operation by Franciscans friars. This mission has survived earthquakes and countless remodels but it still holds its character and charm. You can stroll the grounds, including the rose garden, visit the museum and the cemetery, and spend time in the magnificent church, which is actively in use.
If you are interested in planning tours, teambuilding events, dine-arounds, or offsite functions in Santa Barbara, call us at 888-EVENT-88 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!