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Santa Barbara Attractions and Surroundings

Situated along the coastline, just two hours north of Los Angeles and a world away from the busy metropolis, Santa Barbara, California is truly idyllic. Known as “The American Riviera”, the dramatic combination of oceans, mountains and beaches makes Santa Barbara a breathtaking destination.

Santa Barbara offers many cultural attractions and historical sites for visitors of all ages. Downtown is a mix of historic adobes and outdoor courtyards whose Mediterranean architecture is rich in reminders of Santa Barbara’s colorful past. More than 50 museums and galleries join world-class performing arts, dance, opera and symphony performances.

Santa Barbara’s weather is suitable for just about every outdoor activity nearly all year long. Spectacular scenery and diverse topography, and more than 100 miles of breathtaking coastline draw sightseers and adventurers of all kinds. The county is also a renowned golf destination with a large selection of top-notch courses.

Just a short drive to the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley reveals more than 60 charming wineries and 20,000 acres of planted vineyards. Even before the ‘Sideways’ phenomenon, wine touring and tasting destinations were abundant. The Santa Ynez Valley has been recognized as one of the world’s premium wine-producing regions for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir varietals.

Unique local shops and boutiques mingle with fine department stores to make Santa Barbara a shopper’s paradise. Most of the city’s shopping is clustered in convenient pedestrian-friendly open-air malls and palm-lined paseos. Quaint shops offer antiques, gifts, furnishings, clothing, home and garden items, travel supplies, handmade crafts, and much more.

Downtown Santa Barbara, and the neighboring Funk Zone, provide visitors with a taste of Santa Barbara’s budding food scene. Local restaurants serve farm to table cuisine with produce plucked from the nearly daily local Farmers’ Markets in the area. Numerous wine tasting rooms along the Urban Wine Trail offer travelers introduction to the County’s bountiful viniculture in an easy to walk to location.