What to do in Santa Barbara: Santa Barbara Tours

We are often asked what visitors should do when they come to Santa Barbara. Since we are a tour company, we tend to do the tour thing. So, we made a list of some of our favorite Santa Barbara tours. Please note the list is ever growing.

Guided Walking Tours

Any and all the tours by Taste Santa Barbara Food Tours we offer a handful of tour options. Public facing tours, where anyone can sign up and then our private and customizable experiences. We offer these for both large and small groups.

Taste has been in the business for 10 years and we really enjoying our time creating new experiences and updating and leading experiences we have been offering. You get to fit a lot into one tour – food, walking, history, architecture & fun. We offer the OG tour, The OriginalTaco Tour, Mini Tours, and private tours. Take a look and choose your tours and come along with us.

We love John and the other guides who offer historical Free Walking Tours – They are great at painting a picture of what Santa Barbara used to be and welcoming in present day SB. The tours are super fun and informative! They offer tours in a few different parts of town too and private experiences!

Santa Barbara Ghost Tours are unique and interesting. They offer a few different tour experiences, some that include wine. I find them especially lovely during the summer, when the weather is warm, but winter is fun too!

Another great food tour is Eat This Shoot That.Tara and her team offer walking food, drink and taking pictures of all the things. Offering both tours in The Funk Zone and Solvang!

Lotus Land offers both self guided, docent led and large group (15+) tours – I’ve done them all and they are beautiful. Docent and self guided tours. Larger group tour info you can find here. There are also enhanced tour packages available.

Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens offers one hour docent led tours of the botanical gardens.

Santa Barbara Museum of Art offers group gallery tours.

Architecture is your thing

SB Courthouse!

You won’t be disappointed with the Docent led tours at The Courthouse. They are jam packed with history and fun.

The Jeff Shelton Self Guided Architecture tour is fun. You can download the map and follow it. The tour does not give much info about the buildings, but it is a nice walk and Jeff’s style is cool

Architecture Walking Tours of Santa Barbara by the Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara. Tours are offered on Saturdays and Sundays.

You may have heard the wild & interesting and mysterious story of Huguette Clark & the Bellosguardo house or maybe not. Anyway, she was a woman who was in a hospital in Manhattan and had a mansion in Santa Barbara (right above the beach, across from the bird refuge and zoo). In the meantime, little did some know, this mansion was owned by the Clark family and kept in pristine condition. They say there was an entire staff keep it going, yet, it hadn’t been visited in something like a century. A book was written, a foundation was made and now Bellosguardo offers very exclusive and small tours. Sign up to get on the tour email waitlist, right now.

Self Guided Tours

The SB Mission – often a popular place to visit. They offer self guided tours.

The Jeff Shelton Self Guided Architecture tour is fun. You can download the map and follow it. The tour does not give much info abou the buildings, but it is a nice walk and Jeff’s style is cool

Non Walking Tours

Get outside and do the things – The SB Adventure Co is your company. They also have a sister wine tour company called Santa Barbara Wine Country Tours. There are soooo many wine tour companies in the valley – We are gonna save other wine tour companies for it’s own post.

Join SB Trolly Tours for one of their 90 minute city tours.

My newest and most favorite water tour is Sandala Experiences – offering sound healing and and music on the boat. Exclusive Unitasting tours (I mean most of the Uni in the world comes from SB) – There are many experiences to explore with Sandala.

Alpaca Tours at Cazelle Alpaca farm. I love animal tours. The Alpacas are so cute and funny and you get to see all different types of other animals. The views are insane. Consider doing the add on and bringing lunch and enjoying the view.

With all that being said, tours are not the only thing to do, but SB has a plethora of great tours to choose from (and some not so great). If you have any questions about anything please feel free to reach out! We love to talk about all the Santa Barbara things.


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