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Located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, Santa Barbara is on the edge of the Los Padres National Forest at the base of the Santa Ynez Mountains. This beautiful coastal town has a population of just under 100,000, and it is the second-most populous city in the county. As a resort and tourist town, the economy thrives on making guests feel at home and happy, so expect to be wowed everywhere you go.
Santa Barbara has a warm climate with an average high of 70 and an average low of 54, making outdoor activities very popular. In fact, the weather was rated number one in the United States by the U.S. News & World Report in 2018. With all the warm weather and sunny skies, the beaches in Santa Barbara are major attractions year-round. Some of the most popular include Leadbetter Beach, East Beach, and Arroyo Burro Beach, which are all great places to surf, swim, and just hang out and enjoy the sun.
If you would rather stay on dry land, take a hike at one of the local parks like Rattlesnake Canyon, Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park, or Skofield Park. You can also enjoy the gardens of Santa Barbara Botanic Garden or the Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens. Be sure to grab your camera and sunscreen out of your bags before dropping them off at a Bounce location.
When you are visiting a city like Santa Barbara, you don’t want to be bogged down by your bags. They are a literal drag when it comes to sightseeing and enjoying the amazing attractions here. Have you ever tried to pull your luggage through the sand at the beach? Or, maybe you call Santa Barbara home. Are you a local who needs to store your gym gear between a workout and a dinner date? Leave your belongings at a Bounce location in the city for safekeeping. Bounce partners with local businesses to watch your luggage while you enjoy the sights.
Top Things to Do
The city is full of fun things to do while you are in town on holiday, or on a date. Besides the beaches and parks, you can also enjoy a boat ride, let the experts show you around on a bus tour, or take a trip through wine country. If you like animals, visit the Santa Barbara Zoo on Ninos Drive. It may be small, but it is impressive with hundreds of animals, a train, and live shows. You can even feed the giraffes. Santa Barbara also has a plethora of restaurants, museums, and awesome places to shop.
Santa Barbara has over two dozen museums and galleries to explore and enjoy. Several art, history, and science museums await, as well as some more unique choices. Whether you want to learn about flora and fauna, culture, or artisans of Santa Barbara or just want to have fun, you can find a museum that will fit the bill. Make sure you leave your bags, shopping parcels, or whatever else is bogging you down with a Bounce affiliate first, so you don’t have to drag them around.
Moxi Museum: The Moxi Museum is an interactive science center for everyone from two to 102. Build your own mini race car and race it on a track, play with gravity, and learn more about technology. Divided into different areas such as light, sound, media, and natural forces, you can find over 17,000 square feet of fun and information. You can also take part in games, storytime, and workshops. Located on State Street just off of US-101, this museum is fun for everyone.
Santa Barbara Historical Museum: Located on East De La Guerra Street, about five blocks northwest of US-101, this historical museum is one of the oldest cultural buildings in Santa Barbara. They have rotating exhibits featuring historical artifacts to modern events as well as permanent collections dating back to the first humans in Santa Barbara. The Chumash, who settled in the area 10,000 years ago, were hunter-gatherers who left a plethora of items behind to help us learn their story.
Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History: Interested in nature? Learn all about flora and fauna in and around Santa Barbara at this expansive museum. On Puesta del Sol just off of CA-192, you’ll find the museum as well as a planetarium, butterfly garden, and observatory. Different sections of the museum include pygmy mammoths in the earth and marine sciences area, stunning gemstones in the gem and mineral area, and space exploration at the space sciences area. With over 3.5 million specimens to see, you will really need your camera for this one.
Whether you are looking for something specific or just want some retail therapy, Santa Barbara has it all. The malls, boutiques, and department stores are well-known all around California, and you can find shops tucked between bars and eateries in the oddest places. Here are a few of Bounce’s recommendations.
State Street: The whole street has a variety of eclectic stores, markets, and kiosks to browse through. You can use the street as a sort of yellow brick road to find the best places for anything and everything. The Funk Zone is an area along State Street between the coast and US-101, where you’ll find surf shops, wineries, and galleries between graffiti murals and converted warehouses. Paseo Neuvo, an open-air mall, has gift shops, eateries, bars, and name brands like Victoria’s Secret, Sephora, and Nordstrom. There is even an arcade, two plazas, and a turtle fountain on this unique street.
La Cumbre Plaza: Located between the ocean and the mountains, you can find a plaza full of premier shops and boutiques. On South Hope Avenue just south of State Street, this is Santa Barbara’s most posh and fancy shopping and dining plaza. They have over 30 stores from Macy’s to Yves Delorme and more than a dozen eateries from Panera Bread to Islands Fine Burgers & Drinks.
Camino Real Marketplace: For a more unique type of shopping, head to Goleta by the Santa Barbara Airport on Market Place Drive. They have everything from tiny shops to large retail stores. They even have a cinema so you can catch a movie if you have time. Some of the stores here include Pier 1 Imports, Costco, Home Depot, Ulta Beauty, Tilly’s, and Best Buy.
Whatever you are in the mood for, you can probably find it in Santa Barbara. Being a tourist town, the city has a plethora of eateries from fine dining to fast food. But you can eat at McDonald's anywhere. Try something new and different while you are in town.
Bibi Ji: Located on State Street, this Indian restaurant is excellent for those who like to try a bit of everything. The menu is full of different tastes, from street food to fancy plates of designer Indian cuisine. Local wines are also chilled and ready to serve with your meal. Butter chicken, coconut curry with halibut, and chicken tikka are just a few of the choices you'll find here. Neon lights and contemporary music make the experience even better.
Brophy Brothers: If you like seafood, Brophy Brothers Clam Bar and Restaurant is the place to go in Santa Barbara. Located on Harbor Way right on the waterfront, Brophy Brothers is well-known for its incredible view and delicious oysters. The seafood is fresh and locally caught, and the atmosphere is casual and trendy. Try their Bloody Mary, which is supposed to be legendary.
Arigato Sushi: If you haven’t tried sushi, Arigato Sushi is the place to start. You can find it on State Street between East Victoria Street and West Anapamu Street in a small shop in a strip mall. Besides the over 50 types of sushi, you can also enjoy edamame, potstickers, crab tempura, garlic beef, and octopus sunomono. Wash it down with saki, beer, or even champagne.
Where is the best places to stay and eat while in Santa Barbara?
The most popular restaurants to visit are Paseo Nuevo Mall, Brophy Bros., and Santa Barbara Shellfish Company. Additionally, the highest ranked hotels within Santa Barbara are Harbor View Inn, Inn At East Beach, and Hotel Milo Santa Barbara. When traveling on a budget, the best hostels in Santa Barbara are IHSP Santa Barbara.
Where are the best parks and nature attractions in Santa Barbara?
Santa Barbara offers several scenic parks including Shoreline Park, Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens, and El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park.
Where can I store my luggage in Santa Barbara?
We've partnered with local Santa Barbara businesses around the city who offer a dedicated storage room or a designated area that's off limits for customers.
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