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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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Free Cancellation:Get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance on most experiences.See Details

8 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
142
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
312
Eat delicious lunch food, drink great drinks and learn about downtown Santa Barbara on this 3.5ish-hour walking tour. Indulge your palate for a few hours with sipping, sampling, and savoring. You will enjoy food from 5-6+ local eateries, 1-2 wine tastings or 1 wine tasting plus another alcoholic beverage (depends on the day, it could be wine, beer or a cocktail). Go where locals like to go. This fun, informative and local walking lunch tour is sure to pleasantly fill you up and entertain the whole family. Great for a daytime activity and awesome way to learn about other places to eat and drink on your visit! TOURS CAN EASILY BE MADE PRIVATE - please email, call or text us for more information regarding private experiences.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$115.00
From
$115.00
Taking safety measures

Santa Barbara Surfing Lesson

Santa Barbara Surfing Lesson

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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

Exclusive Ghost Walking Tour at Santa Barbara

Exclusive Ghost Walking Tour at Santa Barbara

star-5
8
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
$55.00
From
$55.00
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

Authentic Funk Zone Tour

Authentic Funk Zone Tour

star-5
1
This authentic walking tour of the Funk Zone allows you to step into our hippest neighborhood with a local guide, to explore our hidden gem tasting rooms, as well as Santa Barbara's rich history which includes winemaking and art. This 2.5 hour tour includes: (2) Wine tastings at local winery tasting rooms that capture the spirit of this eclectic part of Santa Barbara (1) Gourmet Ice Cream tasting....made from scratch in Santa Barbara at our most famous ice cream shop and creamery -Fascinating historical insights about the artsy Funk Zone (full of murals and galleries), as well as our waterfront, wharf, the Channel Islands, and Santa Barbara's unique architecture *Tour meeting point is the Santa Barbara Amtrak Station 209 State Street, parking lot side of the ticket office.
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  • 3 hours
From
$125.00
From
$125.00

Santa Barbara Sunset Kayak Tour

Santa Barbara Sunset Kayak Tour

star-5
11
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
$770.40
Price varies by group size
From
$770.40
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures