Santa Barbara
History & Heritage

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Our most recommended Santa Barbara History & Heritage

California Highlights Express: 3-Day Tour from Los Angeles

1. California Highlights Express: 3-Day Tour from Los Angeles

This 3-day tour includes highlights of the Golden State, such as Santa Barbara, Solvang, the famous Pacific Coast Highway, Carmel, San Francisco, and Yosemite National Park. Day 1: Monday Departing north, travel along the spectacular and scenic California Coast to Santa Barbara. Visit a Spanish Mission and learn how these religious outposts were key in the development of the entire region. Continue to Solvang, a quaint Danish community, and browse the local shops. Your trip continues along Highway 1 through Big Sur to charming Carmel, home to actor Clint Eastwood. Enjoy some free time to stroll through town before heading on to Silicon Valley for overnight. Overnight: Santa Clara – La Quinta Inn & Suites Day 2: Tuesday See for yourself why San Francisco is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Start your day at the Fisherman’s Wharf with a cruise on the world famous San Francisco Bay, under the Golden Gate Bridge and around the notorious Alcatraz Island. Visit Pier 39 for a leisurely lunch and a peek at the sea lions before an afternoon tour that takes in all the city’s famous landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Union Square, Chinatown, and the magnificent Nob Hill neighborhood, home to the rich and famous. The tour ends with a night view of the city from the Bay Bridge. Overnight: Modesto – Best Western Palm Court Inn (In Winter: Monterey/Holiday Inn hotel) Day 3: Wednesday Today’s route goes through farmlands of the Joaquin Valley to Yosemite National Park. This 1,200 square mile wonderland of forests, lakes, and waterfalls is located in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Stop at El Capitan, Bridal-Veil Falls, and the Half Dome before walking to the Yosemite Visitor Center to reach the highest waterfalls in North America, the 730-meter-high Yosemite Falls. In the winter, depart south to route no 1, for a visit to the world famous Hearst Castle, built by the newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst. Tour the famous house filled with antiques and see why the castle served as a playground for the rich and famous for the first half of the 20th century.

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Santa Barbara: Electric Bike City Tour

2. Santa Barbara: Electric Bike City Tour

Discover the best bike routes, historical landmarks, and viewpoints of Santa Barbara on an electric bike with an expert guide. Choose between a customizable private tour or a shared group tour where a route is decided by your guide. Start with an easy stroll along the scenic Cabrillo bike path and quickly venture into the artsy area of Santa Barbara. Check out the delicious wine and dine culture of this area. Let your tour guide show you the must-see historic buildings in the heart of downtown. As you bike through downtown, enjoy a safe and spacious bike ride up and down the energetic State Street Promenade allocated for bike and pedestrian traffic only. After downtown, your guide might have a few secret gems that he or she will show you before heading back along the waterfront. The finale of this tour will take you through the bike path that winds through the Santa Barbara Harbor and along the boardwalk back to the bike shop.

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From Los Angeles: 7-Day Golden Experience Tour

3. From Los Angeles: 7-Day Golden Experience Tour

Day 1: Los Angeles - Santa Barbara - 17 Mile Drive/Carmel or Solvang/San Francisco Depart north from Los Angeles up the spectacular California coast to the first stop in Santa Barbara. Visit a Spanish mission and learn how these religious outposts were key in the development of the entire region. Summer:Head north to the world-famous 17 mile drive (part of route #1), where you will get to see the spectacular California coast line up-close. After your visit, head to the town of Carmel, home to the actor Clint Eastwood. Enjoy some free time to stroll through the town before heading onto Silicon Valley for an overnight. Overnight: SpringHill Suites by Marriott Oakland Airport Winter:Continue to Solvang, a quaint Danish community to browse in the local shops. Enjoy the Danish-style architecture while browse in the local shops and restaurants. After our lunch break, we head north through Silicon Valley before departing to reach our hotel for overnight. Overnight: SpringHill Suites by Marriott Oakland Airport    Day 2: San Francisco - Bay Cruise - Golden Gate Bridge - Chinatown Today, understand why San Francisco is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Start your tour at the Fisherman’s Wharf with a cruise in the world-famous bay under the Golden Gate Bridge and around the notorious Alcatraz Island. Return to Pier 39 for a leisurely lunch before an afternoon tour that will take in all the city’s famous landmarks including the Golden Gate Bridge, Union Square, Chinatown and Nob Hill. Your tour will end with a night view of the city from the Bay Bridge. Overnight: Modesto – Best Western Palm Court Inn.   Day 3: Modesto - Yosemite Summer Route: Head east through the farmlands of the Joaquin Valley to Yosemite National Park. This 1,200 square mile wonderland of forests, lakes and waterfalls is located in the Sierra Nevada. Stop at El Capitan, Bridal-Veil Falls and Half Dome to continue for a walk from the Yosemite Visitor Center to reach one of the highest waterfalls in North America (730 meters) Yosemite Falls. Winter Route: Start the day with a tour of Monterrey to include the wharf and Cannery Row. After your tour, depart to the south for a visit to the world-famous Hearst Castle. Built by the newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst, tour the famous house filled with antiques and see why the castle served as a playground for the rich and famous for the first half of the 20th-century. In the evening, drive south towards Las Vegas. Overnight at the Comfort Suites Stevenson Ranch. Day 4: Stevenson Ranch - Las Vegas Today’s route is east through the dessert and Death Valley to arrive at the gambling capital of the world: Las Vegas. Stop for lunch at the outlet mall in Barstow, which is filled with all the famous brand names like, Levi’s, Nike, Reebok, Timberland, Ralph Lauren and more. In the evening, take a tour of the strip to see some of the truly amazing hotels and fantasies that are built in the middle of the desert such as Caesar’s Palace, Luxor, Mirage, Paris, Venetian, Bellagio, New York New York, Treasure Island and more. Finish off the evening at one of the many shows or try your hand at one of the many casinos - who knows, maybe lady luck will be smiling on you tonight. Overnight: Linq Hotel. Day 5: Las Vegas - Grand Canyon - Lake Powell  Start the day traveling southeast through the desert and through the Navajo Indian Reservation before you come to the South Bank of one of the seven wonders of the world - the Grand Canyon. Tour along the south bank and learn how throughout the years the Colorado River carved its way down to the sea and created the wonderland for geologists. After lunch, continue along the canyon east stopping at some of the many Indian market places to browse the handmade arts and crafts. Overnight – Quality Inn View of Lake Powell.   Day 6: Antelope Canyon - Bryce Canyon After breakfast, depart for the Lower Antelope Canyon and visit the spectacular dunes created by the wind, water, and sand. Then head west to Bryce Canyon home to the most amazing natural sculptures of the world. This tour will take you to see amazing rock and sand sculptures honed to perfection over thousands of years of rain, wind, and sunshine. Experience the unique changing of the colors during the sunset from one of the vista points in the park (may change due to changing sunset times).  After the visit, head towards the town of Kanab. Overnight: Days Inn. On certain departures, the tour will continue to Cedar City for an overnight at the Comfort Inn, Cedar City.  Day 7: Zion Park - Las Vegas After breakfast, head into Zion Park. This park got its name from the Mormons that settled in the area. They gave it this name after claiming that visiting the park is like a religious experience, the majesty of the mountains and silence of the wilderness make you feel like you have been transported to another place. Tour the park and enjoy a short walking trail along the Virgin River that runs through the park, before leaving this amazing area for an early evening arrival in Las Vegas. Option for a late night return to Los Angeles.  

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5-Day Wild West Tour From Los Angeles

4. 5-Day Wild West Tour From Los Angeles

Experience the Wild West at its best on your 5-day tour that includes visits to Santa Barbara, Solvang, and San Francisco in California. Your journey continues on to Fabulous Las Vegas before returning to Los Angeles. Day 1 Monday Departing north, travel along the spectacular and scenic California Coast to Santa Barbara. Spend some time in Santa Barbara and then visit a Spanish Mission. Learn how these religious outposts were key in the development of the entire region. Continue to Solvang, a quaint Danish community, and browse in the local shops. Your trip continues along Highway 1 through Big Sur to charming Carmel, home to actor Clint Eastwood. Enjoy some free time to stroll through town before heading on to Silicon Valley for overnight. Overnight: SpringHill Suites by Marriott Oakland Airport Day 2 Tuesday See for yourself why San Francisco is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Start your day at the Fisherman’s Wharf with a cruise on the world famous San Francisco Bay, under the Golden Gate Bridge, and around the notorious Alcatraz Island. Visit Pier 39 for a leisurely lunch and a peek at the sea lions before an afternoon tour that takes in all the city’s famous landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Union Square, Chinatown, and the magnificent Nob Hill neighborhood, home to the rich and famous. Our tour ends with a night view of the city from the Bay Bridge. Overnight: Monterrey - Holiday Inn Hotel Day 3 Wednesday Today’s route goes through the farmlands of the Joaquin Valley to Yosemite National Park. This 1,200 square mile wonderland of forests, lakes, and waterfalls is located in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Stop at El Capitan, Bridal-Veil Falls, Half Dome, and continue for a walk from the Yosemite Visitor Center to reach the highest waterfalls in North America: the 730 meters Yosemite Falls. In the winter depart south to route no 1, for a visit to the world famous Hearst Castle, built by the newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst. Tour the famous house filled with antiques and see why the castle served as a playground for the rich and famous for the first half of the 20th century. In the evening, drive south towards Las Vegas. Overnight: Comfort Suites Stevenson Ranch Day 4 Thursday Today’s route is east through the desert and Death Valley to arrive in the "Entertainment Capital of the World", Las Vegas. On the way to Las Vegas, you will stop for lunch at the outlet mall in Barstow, which is filled with famous brand name stores like Levi’s, Nike, Reebok, Timberland, and more. In the evening, take a tour of the Las Vegas Strip to see some of the truly amazing hotels and fantasies that are built in the middle of the desert, such as Caesar’s Palace, Mirage, Luxor, Paris, Mandalay Bay, New York New York, Treasure Island and more. Finish off the evening at one of the many shows or try your hand at one of the many casinos. Overnight: Harrah's Hotel Day Day 5 Friday Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before leaving Las Vegas on your way to Hoover Dam, one of the great engineering marvels of the modern world. Learn how this man-made phenomenon was built and its impact on the area. After your visit head west, with a stop at the state line for one last chance to win big on the slot machines, before returning to Los Angeles.

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From Los Angeles: Driving Tour Between L.A. & Santa Maria

5. From Los Angeles: Driving Tour Between L.A. & Santa Maria

Explore the stretch of Pacific Coast Highway between L.A. and Santa Monica on a self-guided driving tour. Start anywhere along the route and enjoy a scenic drive along the California coast. Let your audio guide transform your scenic drive into a sight-seeing, fact-finding, trivia-answering, family-friendly adventure. Pass through and learn about some of the cities and small towns nestled along the coast. See the famous Marina Del Rey, catch glimpse of the Channel Islands, and pass by the Vandenberg Space Force Base. Find out about parks, historical sites, tourist attractions, recreation areas, and more from your audioguide. Explore Tuna Canyon and Topanga State Park, Nicholas Canyon Beach, and the Chumash village of Wishtoyo. Admire Boney Peak at the Point Mugu State Park and look for the endangered California Condors in Ventura County. Check out other sights along the way, including the Getty Villa Museum, Port Hueneme, Santa Ynez Mountains and Painted Caves Historical Park, Goleta, and Nojoqui Falls.

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Santa Barbara Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure

6. Santa Barbara Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure

Looking for a way to turn Santa Barbara into a giant game board?   Urban Adventure Quest has created an interactive scavenger hunt that combines the fun of the Amazing Race with a three-hour sightseeing tour of Santa Barbara.  Guided from any smart phone, groups make their way among well-known and overlooked gems of the city, solving clues and completing challenges while learning local history Your amazing scavenger hunt adventure will start at the famous Sterns Whart and take you from beautiful ocean views to the downtown art, architecture and historic sites of the city. Your scavenger hunt route will show you the hidden historic gems of Santa Barbara and uncover the city's secrets. So enjoy one of the most beautiful seaside towns without a flight to the Mediterranean. Play the game, see the sights, and experience Santa Barbara in a whole new way.

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Santa Barbara: 1.5-Hour Harbor Kayak Tour

7. Santa Barbara: 1.5-Hour Harbor Kayak Tour

Launch from the sand of Santa Barbara’s West Beach and follow your guide along Santa Barbara’s famous surf spot, the Sandspit. Admire panoramic views of the Waterfront, Santa Ynez Mountains, the Channel Islands, the Riviera, Stearns Wharf, and more. Paddle through the calm waters of Santa Barbara's harbor and enjoy views of sailboats, yachts, and fishing vessels. Learn valuable insight from your guide into the local landscape, topography, wildlife, and history of the harbor, as well as the best places to enjoy a fresh-caught meal.

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Santa Barbara: Private Half-Day City Architecture Tour

8. Santa Barbara: Private Half-Day City Architecture Tour

Explore Santa Barbara’s most iconic buildings, each with its own unique story steeped in tradition. Learn about the evolution of the city as you're comfortably driven from one stop to the next, including the County Courthouse, the Old Mission, and the Royal Presidio of Santa Barbara. Start your tour at the train station or from your Santa Barbara hotel. Say hello to your driver-guide and buckle in for a half-day exploration. Find out for yourself why the city is often branded as the American Riviera. With white stucco buildings, red-tile clay roofs and Spanish street names, the Spanish influence is evident throughout the city. Visit the Santa Barbara County Courthouse and the 18th-century Old Mission, Santa Barbara’s iconic landmarks, that appear to have been transplanted directly from Spain. Next, visit El Presidio Real de Santa Bárbara a former military installation also known as the Royal Presidio of Santa Barbara founded and built by Spain in 1782. Learn about the Spanish influence that goes way back to 1602 when adventurer Sebastián Vizcaíno landed here after surviving a huge storm on the eve of Saint Barbara’s feast day, giving it its name.

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Santa Barbara: Private Kayaking Tour

9. Santa Barbara: Private Kayaking Tour

Experience Santa Barbara from the beautiful waters of the town's historic harbor. Enjoy California's beach life on your private tour, where the waters are calm each morning and invite even the beginners to hop into a kayak and explore the pristine waters. Your guide will give you all the safety and training you need for this experience and also introduce you to the area’s native wildlife – from the obvious avian friends to the mysterious and beloved humpback whales, which migrate through the area twice a year. Discover the serenity the ocean invites, and learn Santa Barbara's fascinating history, which can be tracked back almost 13,000 years. Paddle under the California's oldest working pier, which was constructed in the mid-19th century, and look for starfish and oysters that have made their homes on the pier. Eventually, make your way back to the boat launch, where your tour ends.

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Santa Barbara: Wine, Chocolate and History Walking Tour

10. Santa Barbara: Wine, Chocolate and History Walking Tour

Find out about the wines, chocolates, and historical highlights of Santa Barbara on a guided walking tour. Sample 2 of the region's excellent wines as well as 2 chocolates, including artisanal handmade local chocolates or bakery delights. From the meeting point, set off on your walk with your guide. Enjoy an in-depth historical tour of Santa Barbara as you stroll through downtown. Engage in some sightseeing as you pass Santa Barbara County Courthouse, La Arcada, State Street, and more. During your tour, discover two boutique wineries and taste 2 wines. Get insider information on the area's wine industry and its renowned wines. Also, savor tastings of 2 local chocolates to satisfy your taste buds further.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Santa Barbara

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What people are saying about Santa Barbara

Overall rating

4.1 / 5

based on 26 reviews

Took a day trip from LA to SB with a friend and we had the best time kayaking! We booked a private tour and the two of us took a great tour around the harbor with our awesome guide, Paige. She was really fun and energetic as well as knowledgeable about the local flora and fauna and history of Santa Barbara. Spending a few hours on the water learning about the city and seeing the beautiful sights was a great way to spend the day. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone looking for a unique way to experience Santa Barbara.

Tour guide Melissa was great! My friend and I took a girls trip to Santa Barbara and had a great time walking around the city, drinking local wines, and tasting a few delicious local chocolates. We even got a bonus olive oil and vinegar tasting! Melissa told us some history about some notable places in downtown which was cool to learn about too. She’s very personable and gives a great tour. I would definitely recommend if you’re looking for a fun way to explore SB!

I really enjoyed this tour. Tour guide, Melissa, is very informative and has a friendly and fun demeanor. There was more informative historical information than had been mentioned on the description, which added to the overall satisfaction of this tour. The wine/chocolate venues were top notch. The olive oil visit was also an added treat. My friends and I had a great visit in Santa Barbara on this tour.

Best Bike tour! It was private, geared to our needs, fun, safe, our tour guide was off the hook!! So kind, and super attentive to us having a great time!! Will do it all over again!! Thank you for a beautiful birthday biking ‍♀️ celebration

Jacob was very helpful as a tour guide and the hotel was excellent