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How to Spend 2 Days in Santa Barbara

How to Spend 2 Days in Santa Barbara

With two days in Santa Barbara, you’ll have time to learn about the natural and cultural history of the area, immerse yourself in the local art scene, and explore the outdoors. Here’s how.

Day 1: History and Culture

**Morning:**Spend your first morning in Santa Barbara learning about local history with a visit to the Old Mission, celebrated for its beautiful 18th-century colonial architecture and rooms full of historic artifacts. A short walk away the Museum of Natural History houses exhibits focused on the ecological life of Southern California.

**Afternoon:**In the afternoon, head to the trendy Funk Zone neighborhood for lunch at a wine bar or brewery, giving yourself plenty of time to browse the area’s numerous art galleries and boutiques. From here, make your way to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, known for its extensive collection of photography and European art.

**Night:**When night falls, visit Stearns Wharf to sample fresh seafood at one of the many restaurants that look out over the bay. After dinner, it’s worth catching a live theatrical, dance, or operatic performance at The Granada Theatre, a beautifully restored early 20th-century theater and ground zero for cultural life in Santa Barbara.


Day 2: Outdoor Exploration

**Morning:**Explore the great outdoors on your second day. Start with a visit to the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, a sprawling, 78-plus acre conservatory full of lush greenery, not to mention more than five miles of hiking trails that offer shoreline views. Save time by bringing a picnic lunch.

 

**Afternoon:**In the afternoon, go to the beach. Many first-timers make a beeline to the city’s most popular coastal spot, Leadbetter Beach, which is ideal for sunbathing and surfing. Another popular alternative is Shoreline Park, a 15-acre stretch of park and beach with views of the Channel Islands.

**Night:**Watching the sunset from the beach is a lovely way to wrap up your second day in Santa Barbara, but the best views are from right in the middle of the water. Guided kayak tours depart from the Santa Barbara Harbor—just don’t forget to bring your camera for a final shot of the sun dipping into the Pacific Ocean.

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9 Tours and Activities | All Santa Barbara Tours

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Private Santa Barbara Electric Bike Tour

Private Santa Barbara Electric Bike Tour

star-5
113
Explore Santa Barbara by electric bike, covering plenty of ground on a morning or afternoon excursion. Ride your easy-to-use beach cruiser to key landmarks such as State Street and the Santa Barbara Mission as your knowledgeable guide shares the city’s history during this Santa Barbara bike tour. Have your camera ready as you glide along the renowned Pacific coastline. Numbers are limited to five people, ensuring personalized attention and a small-group experience.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$95.00
From
$95.00
Taking safety measures

Downtown Santa Barbara Food Tour

Downtown Santa Barbara Food Tour

star-5
298
Walk right past the crowds on this food tour in Downtown Santa Barbara. Your guide leads the way as you pop into five to six tasting locations and one wine tasting room. Savor dishes and drinks locals have made a staple in their everyday lives, and learn about other places to eat and drink during your stay. If you have any food allergies or aversions or do not drink alcohol, please let us know in advance so we can do our best to accommodate.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$99.00
From
$99.00
Taking safety measures

Santa Barbara Surfing Lesson

Santa Barbara Surfing Lesson

star-5
9
Ride the waves near Santa Barbara like a pro during this introductory surfing lesson. Get the hang of surfing fundamentals like paddling, ‘reading’ waves, catching waves, and standing up as you learn on the world-famous surfing beaches of Southern California. Your knowledgeable instructors, with more than 25 years of experience combined, will teach you all the skills you need.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$102.70
From
$102.70
Taking safety measures

Happy Ghost Walking Tour at Santa Barbara

Happy Ghost Walking Tour at Santa Barbara

star-5
5
Welcome to the city of Friendly Ghosts! A perfect way to end your evening is with a docent-led ghost tour. Our 1 hour and 30-minute walking tours have curated content from first-hand accounts. You'll hear stories from as far back as the Old Spanish Days and from the different cultures that have called Santa Barbara home. This tour is a traditional history and ghost/legend walking tour. Your guide has a diverse background as being once a tour guide on the Queen Mary and now a docent Old Mission Santa Barbara. This tour is organic and enchanted and not script-based. Each tour is unique and filled with imagination and at times encounters with visiting ghosts. Our ghosts do not come to stay...they return (many times during your tour) for a sentimental holiday. Are you ready to see a side of Santa Barbara that most visitors miss?
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$45.00
From
$45.00
Taking safety measures

Event Transportation

Event Transportation

star-4
6
Spend a carefree day sipping your way through the Santa Ynez Valley on a private wine tour four you and up to 9 friends. After pickup from Solvang and surrounding areas, a dedicated guide chauffeurs you to the region’s top wineries on a customized itinerary designed just for your group. Spend as long as you like at each stop and taste the best Santa Ynez varietals, all without the need to appoint a designated driver.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$275.00
per group
From
$275.00
per group

Santa Barbara Funk Zone Food and Photo Tour

Santa Barbara Funk Zone Food and Photo Tour

star-5
71
Indulge your passions for food, photography and fun during this 3-hour, small-group, culinary and picture-taking tour in Santa Barbara. Dig into some tasty food and drink during stops at three different local eateries, a microbrewery, two wineries and a distillery in the city’s artsy Funk Zone. As you snack and imbibe, you’ll get helpful tips to capture high-quality food photography using anything from a smartphone to a high-end digital SLR. This small-group trip, limited to 14 guests, includes a guide and all food and drink.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$125.00
From
$125.00
Taking safety measures

Santa Barbara Wildlife and History Kayaking Tour

Santa Barbara Wildlife and History Kayaking Tour

star-5
4
Explore California’s gorgeous coast on a scenic kayak tour. With a knowledgeable, experienced guide leading the way, bring the whole family and navigate Santa Barbara’s picturesque waterfront. Learn about the region's history and wildlife, admire the rugged coastal mountains, and watch for pelicans and egrets, dolphins and sea lions. You may even see a family of gray whales on its annual migration.
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  • 2 hours
From
$60.00
From
$60.00

Santa Barbara Sunset Kayak Tour

Santa Barbara Sunset Kayak Tour

star-5
10
Paddle into the sunset along the Southern California coast during this beginner-friendly kayaking trip from Santa Barbara. Watch the last rays of the day melt into the Pacific as you travel through the glassy waters of Santa Barbara Harbor. As you move, you’ll pass by the historic wharf and past other boats, keeping your eyes out for marine life. An included lesson in astronomy and ecology from your guide is an added bonus. A guide and all necessary kayaking gear is included.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$102.70
From
$102.70
Taking safety measures

Private 10-hour tour to Santa Barbara & Solvang from Los Angeles - Hotel pick up

Private 10-hour tour to Santa Barbara & Solvang from Los Angeles - Hotel pick up

Even though there is a lot to see in Los Angeles, a excursion out of the city is also highly recommended. Enjoy a visit of Solvang; a city founded by Danish travellers who wanted to establish a Danish community! It gives you a brief view of Denmark and it is a truly incredible location. We will also enjoy a stop and visit to the city of Santa Barbara. This is also a unique coastal city with incredible views and beautiful panoramic views and it has a Mediterranean vibe.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$774.21
Price varies by group size
From
$774.21
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures