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Things to do in Santa Barbara County

Best attractions to visit in Santa Barbara County

1. Stearns Wharf - Santa Barbara County

Stearns Wharf

Stearns Wharf is a popular pier along the Santa Barbara harbor that is currently the longest deep water pier between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The Stearns Wharf was built in 1872 and the opening of the Harbor Restaurant in 1941 marked the end on an era of shipment. While natural disasters have affected the wharf in the past, the renovation work has significantly improved the facilities and activities available at the pier. Today, Stearns Wharf is the most visited landmark in Santa Barbara. One of the best things to do in Stearns Wharf is take a speed boat ride in the waters of the Pacific Ocean. Various boat rentals, jet skis, and cruises are conveniently available from the pier. Scuba diving clubs and crews are also catered to from the harbor. A seafood lunch at the Harbor Restaurant is one of the recommended things to do in Stearns Wharf, especially if you love salmon. Various gift, souvenir, and novelty shops around the pier give it the right coastal ambience. Various pubs and hotels have emerged near the Stearns Wharf as well, and improved rail and road network gives you easy access!

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2. Santa Barbara County Courthouse - Santa Barbara County

Santa Barbara County Courthouse

The Santa Barbara County Courthouse is situated at 1100 Anacapa Street, in downtown Santa Barbara, California. The Spanish Colonial Revival style building was outlined by William Mooser III and finished in 1929. Modeler Charles Willard Moore called it the "most amazing Spanish Colonial Revival structure at any point manufactured," and the prime case of Santa Barbara's reception of Spanish Colonial as its city style. The building supplanted a littler Greek Revival courthouse worked at a similar area in 1872–88 and severely harmed in a seismic tremor on June 29, 1925.

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3. Mission Santa Barbara - Santa Barbara County

Mission Santa Barbara

Mission Santa Barbara is a Spanish mission near the coastline in Santa Barbara that was founded in December 1786. Mission Santa Barbara is a United States National Historic Site and a significant landmark in the State of California. The Mission Santa Barbara is situated between the shores of the Pacific and the Santa Ynez Mountains, offering beautiful views of the surroundings. Taking a tour of the chapel is definitely one of the popular things to do in Mission Santa Barbara. It is well preserved and serves as a parish church with a museum, place of worship, gift shop, retreat house, and Franciscan Friar. The chapel and the mission reflect American colonial architecture and are known for their preservation. The Mission Santa Barbara also has a designated park and cemetery for Chumash Indian burials. A picnic in the Mission Park is one of the most popular things to do in Mission Santa Barbara. The rose garden offers spectacular views of the mission and the Pacific with pleasant warm weather and gentle breeze. Overall, a trip to the Mission Santa Barbara is not only refreshing and different, but it is enlightening as well.

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4. Santa Barbara Downtown - Santa Barbara County

Santa Barbara Downtown

The City of Santa Barbara is lovely and interesting. Carrillo Street and State Street are the fundamental lanes. State Street is for the most part considered to run "north and south," and has no direct exit ramp from the 101 Freeway in the downtown region. Cultivate Street and Carrillo Street exit ramps regard take with a specific end goal to touch base at the City focus. East and west road numbers have their starting point at State Street. The two north/south arranged lanes on either side of State Street (Chapala Street and Anacapa Street) are one-way and help the stream move in the downtown range. State Street is a two-way road that is awesome for touring and "people-viewing," however with its numerous stoplights and mid-piece passerby intersections, it is not suggested for fast driving.

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5. Santa Barbara Zoo - Santa Barbara County

Santa Barbara Zoo

If you are making a list of things to do in California, it is highly recommended that you add visiting the Santa Barbara Zoo to it. The place is spread over 30 acres and is built on a place that was known as the Child Estate. The zoo is home to more than 500 animals and is famous for its giraffe because it has a crooked neck. There are so many things to do in the Santa Barbara Zoo that include visiting the animals, as the zoo is home to more than 500 of them. Other attraction include enjoying a ride at the narrow gauge Zoo Train that measures up to two feet. The main exhibitions in the zoo include the Cats of Africa that features the cats and African lions. The California trails exhibits bald eagles; California condors, Channel Island fox, and desert tortoises, whereas the African Veldt exhibits the East African crowned cranes, Masai giraffes, slender-tailed meerkats, and the Sulcata tortoises. Some of the other exhibits that you should visit include The Crawford Family Penguin House and the Elephant Walk. Make sure you visit the Santa Barbara Zoo when in California.

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6. Santa Barbara Presidio - Santa Barbara County

Santa Barbara Presidio

One of the things to do in California involves visiting the Santa Barbara Presidio, which is a former military installation that is located in Santa Barbara. The history of the place dates back to 1782, when the presidio was actually built by Spain in order to defend the second military district in California. The place is a major tourist attraction and consists of a beautiful museum and an archaeological site that is a part of the El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park. There are so many things to do in Santa Barbara Presidio. You can get started by visiting the El Cuartel that is the second oldest building in California, the first one being the chapel at the Father Serra's Church. The Santa Barbara Presidio has great historic importance and was made a part of the California Historical Landmark in 1958 and the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1973. The buildings of the Presidio are arranged in quadrangle and the outer wall has two cannons that surround the structure. If you are fond of history and old buildings, make sure you visit the Santa Barbara Presidio when in California.

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7. Lotusland - Santa Barbara County

Lotusland

Visiting Lotusland should on the top of your list of things to do in California. The place is spread over 37 acres and is a non-profit botanical garden that beautiful landscapes. The place is located in Santa Barbara in California and offers walking tours to people who make an advance reservation. Lotusland is open for people from Wednesday till Saturday, from mid February till mid November. The things to do in Lotusland involve visiting the beautiful estate gardens that consist of the Bromeliads gardens, Orchards collections, The Blue Garden, euphorbias gardens, The Butterfly gardens, The Cactus Garden, and The Cacti. Some of the other gardens that you should definitely explore include The Japanese Garden, The Cycad Garden, The Parterre Garden, The Fern gardens, The Succulent gardens, The Tropical gardens, The Topiary Garden, and The Water Garden. Lotusland is a beautiful place with gardens of exceptional designs and creativity that deeply explores the art of horticulture. The place also consists of different plant collections, outdoor rooms, landscape elements, and outdoor rooms that must be checked out. Make sure you visit the Lotusland, whenever you are in California; you will surely love the place.

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8. Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara County

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is located in the Mission Canyon area of Santa Barbara that houses more than 1,000 species of indigenous, rare, and endangered plants. The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden consists of 78 acres of gardens with the central meadow as its focal point. The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden was founded in 1926 and provides a natural setting to showcase the native plants of California. The Mission Creek flows through the garden and a rock dam is also situated within its premise that was built in 1806. One of the most popular things to do Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is engaging in physical activities for casual walking to jogging and even hiking. The garden offers a majestic environment that will make you feel young and peaceful. A visit of the redwoods exhibition is amongst the popular things to do in Santa Barbara Botanic Garden where you can easily wind up spending hours without feeling bored or out of place. Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is a popular picnic spot especially during the early winter mornings. The garden has a gift shop and coffee and designated pathways for the disabled as well.

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9. Santa Barbara Zoo - Santa Barbara County

Santa Barbara Zoo

The Santa Barbara Zoo is located near the coast in Santa Barbara and is widely considered as the best small zoo in the United States. Despite being based on 30 acres of land, the Santa Barbara Zoo effectively replicates the natural setting for more than 600 animals of 160 different species. The zoo opened its gates in August 1963 and has various exhibits and attractions that make it a popular destination in California. Exploring all the exhibits is one of the best things to do in Santa Barbara Zoo as you will be able to do so within a few hours. The Cats of Africa exhibits is one of the most popular ones that is built on hillside an features African lions and black footed cats. The California Trails exhibit lets you explore the native wildlife of California from the Channel Island fox to California condors and bald eagles. Spending time at the Elephant Walk and Crawford Family Penguin House are definitely the top things to do in Santa Barbara Zoo. The Santa Barbara Zoo has a gift shop, convenience store for snacks, and a cafeteria, making it a complete family friendly zoo!

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10. Santa Barbara Presidio - Santa Barbara County

Santa Barbara Presidio

The Santa Barbara Presidio, also known as the Royal Presidio of Santa Barabara and El Presidio Real de Santa Barbara is a historic landmark in the city of Santa Barbara in California. The presidio was built in 1782 by the Spanis and as of today it serves as a popular museum, tourist destination, and archeological site. The Santa Barbara Presidio contains an adobe structure known as El Cuartel which is the second oldest preserved building in all of California. One of the popular things to do in Santa Barbara Presidio is take a guided tour of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail. It will give you a comprehensive understanding of the history and cultural significance of the presidio and other nearby historical landmarks in Santa Barbara. The Santa Barbara Presidio features Spanish colonial architecture as it served as the military headquarters of the Spanish from the late 1700s to the 1800s. A visit to the designated park is definitely one of the fun things to do in Santa Barbara Presidio as the park has been continuously preserved for more than decade. The Santa Barbara Presidio in short represents the rich history and culture of California.

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