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Santa Barbara County

Sample a slice of California coastal paradise

Santa Barbara County captivates visitors with lush vineyards on rolling hills, rugged Pacific shores that stretch for miles and laid-back towns dotted with gourmet restaurants. Located 90 miles north of Los Angeles, this alluring region basks in a Mediterranean climate and achieves the perfect blend of nature and civilization.

Santa Barbara

Renowned as “the American Riviera,” Santa Barbara is the quintessential coastal California town. With the Santa Ynez Mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, Santa Barbara’s picturesque scenery and historic legacy make it an in-demand SoCal destination. The coastal gem is synonymous with sunbaked Spanish tile roofs, upscale neighborhoods and trendy shopping districts. Start your adventure at Stearns Wharf, home to restaurants, boutiques, galleries and charter companies. Then explore the restaurants, shopping districts, museums and open spaces that make this town so special.

A pier stretching into the Pacific Ocean.

Where Natural and History Mingle

Spanning 18 miles along central California’s coastline from Pismo State Beach to Point Sal are the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes. This is the biggest intact coastal dune ecosystem on the planet and it was where much of Cecil B. DeMille’s  “Ten Commandments” (1923) was filmed. Stroll through the dunes to gaze at towering sand peaks, secluded beaches and shimmering lakes.

Just 18 miles to the east, Santa Barbara County’s own Danish community thrives. Boasting Danish-styled architecture, a horse-drawn street car, and mom-and-pop restaurants, the charming village of Solvang transports visitors to old-world Europe. Sate your sweet tooth on authentic Danish pastries at renowned bakeries. If you’re in town during the second week of September, check out Solvang’s Danish Days, a three-day festival filled with parades, folk dancers and live music.

About 30 miles to the south, La Purísma Mission State Historic Park preserves California’s Spanish-colonial past. Founded in 1787, this complex boasts a church, blacksmith workshop and several homes.

Rolling hills carpeted with vineyards.

Escape to Wine Country

A good glass of vino is never too far away, thanks to the six American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) of Santa Maria Valley, Santa Ynez Valley, Sta. Rita Hills, Ballard Canyon, Los Olivos District and Happy Canyon. Nestled along the Pacific Ocean, Santa Barbara’s wine country basks in the perfect climate for producing cool-climate wines like pinot noir, chardonnay, syrah and sauvignon blanc. With nine wine-tasting routes and a variety of tours to choose from, it’s easy for wine aficionados to explore.

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Santa Barbara



California Tourism