We all know that Santa Barbara is a beautiful place to visit, but did you know that it’s also a great place to visit alone? If you need a place to relax and enjoy- here are seven fun things to do in Santa Barbara when you’re flying solo.
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Is Santa Barbara worth visiting?
Santa Barbara is a beautiful coastal city in Southern California that is definitely worth visiting. The weather is great year-round, and there are plenty of things to do, whether you’re interested in exploring the outdoors or checking out the vibrant arts and culture scene.
Santa Barbara is also home to some of the best beaches in the state, as well as a renowned food and wine scene. In short, there’s something for everyone in Santa Barbara, making it one of the most enjoyable and diverse cities in California.
Awesome Tours to Book:
7 Fun Things to do in Santa Barbara Alone
1. Visit the Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Founded in 1941, located on State Street in downtown Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art has been collecting art for over 70 years. It now houses a collection of over 27,000 pieces of American art.
Originally the Santa Barbara Post Office building, the museum was renovated and opened in 1961. In addition to being a fine arts museum, the Santa Barbara Museum is also home to the Ridley-Tree Education Center.
The museum offers educational programs for children and adults throughout the year. Programs include lectures, performances, and workshops.
2. Walk around Stearns Wharf
The historic wharf dates back over 150 years and is 2,300 ft. long. Take a boat tour around the harbor, or go whale watching or fishing off Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbra.
Take Lil’ Toot for a fun narrated boat ride to Santa Barbara harbor and back. There are rides available every day and they run every half hour.
Visit the Santa Barbara Shellfish Co., where you’ll find delicious seafood dishes, including clam chowder and fresh fish tacos.
3. Visit the Santa Barbara Zoo
The Santa Barbara Zoo offers visitors a unique experience unlike any other zoo in California. Located on 30 acres of beautiful botanical gardens, the zoo features exhibits filled with over 500 animals representing 146 different species. Visitors are able to see animals up close, learn about animal behavior, and interact with them through hands-on experiences.
4. Lay out on one of Santa Barbara’s Beaches
Santa Barbara’s beaches are some of the most popular spots in southern California. With miles of shoreline, beautiful sunsets, and stunning views of the Channel Islands, there’s no shortage of reasons why people choose to spend their days here. But it doesn’t hurt that the area boasts some of the best beaches in the state. Here are five of our favorite places to relax.
We recommend this popular experience HERE.
5. Visit Mission Santa Barbara
Mission Santa Barbara is one of the city’s most famous landmarks. It was called the “Queen of the missions” because of its gracefulness and beautiful setting. After the disastrous earthquake of 1925, the town of Santa Barbara was rebuilt using the Spanish colonial revival style.
Most people visit the church, and visitors usually spend an hour or so wandering around on their own, but there are some guided tours available on certain days.
6. Go to the Santa Barbara Public Market
Santa Barbara Public Market recently opened up its doors to the public. Located in downtown Santa Barbara, it features over 40 vendors selling everything from gourmet coffee to gluten-free baked goods, cheese, wine, beer, and much more. This unique market offers visitors something different than what they might find in Los Angeles or San Francisco.
Public Market hours are Monday – Wednesday 11 am to 9 pm and Thursday – Friday 11am to 10pm and Saturday 12pm to 8pm.
7. Take a trolley tour
This 90-minute tour is guided by a professional guide and departs from the Santa Barbara Visiter Center daily at 10 a.m., noon, and 2 p.m.. The tour includes many landmarks in Santa Barbara including the Santa Barbara Courthouse, the mission, Stearns Wharf, and East Beach.. Trolley tours are easy to book online.
We recommend booking this best-selling tour HERE.
Ghost Hunt in Solvang
Immerse yourself in the haunted history of Solvang with The Haunt, the village’s premier ghost tour. Guided by an experienced storyteller and ghost hunter, as featured on Ghost Adventures with Zak Bagans, the hands-on tour offers a unique blend of authentic paranormal investigation and captivating storytelling, making it an unforgettable adventure into Solvang’s haunted past. Tours often sell out, and advance reservations are recommended.
If you’re looking for things to do in Santa Barbara alone, these seven options should be enough to get you started. We hope this list helps you plan your next trip and have fun while you’re there.