Everyone loves to explore a new city during a vacation, and sometimes the best way to do that is to do it yourself. A self-guided tour allows you to see the best sights and attractions at your own pace, without having to worry about a tour guide’s directions. These self-guided tours are typically walking tours so you can take your time soaking in the experience. Want to take self-guided tours of Santa Barbara? There are a number to choose from. Here’s everything you need to know, as well as recommendations of our favorite self-guided tours:
Santa Barbara Climate
Santa Barbara has a mild climate, especially for California. Summers are warm and dry without being too hot, winter is rainy but not often snowy, and warmer than most summers throughout the country. If you’re visiting in the winter or spring, you’ll want to check the forecast and make sure you have a rainjacket and rain boots packed. During the summer, you may want to bring a bottle of water, although you’ll also find restaurants and coffee shops along the way where you can stop for refreshments — especially since you’re going at your own pace.
Santa Barbara Walkability
Santa Barbara is perfect for visitors who love to walk. The sidewalks downtown are wide and even, and the beach promenade is one of the best. If you plan to take a long walk, there are seats along the sidewalks where you can rest for a moment, and bicycle racks if you prefer a step faster than simply pedestrian tourism. The neighborhoods are diverse and vibrant, and the outdoor shopping centers have wide arches to offer shade.
Self-Guided Tours in Santa Barbara
So the only question is where then to begin with your walking tour. There are several to choose from, but here are a few of our favorites:
- Santa Barbara Introduction Walk. This two hour walking tour will give you everything you need for a starter of Santa Barbara. You’ll pass City Hall, the Public Library, some of the most popular downtown streets, theaters, and museums such as the Santa Barbara Historical Museum and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. The last stop is the beautiful waterfront.
- Museums Walk in Santa Barbara. When it comes to city tours, one of the first things that comes to mind is hitting the museums. You can explore the best museums in Santa Barbara in 3 hours, hitting eight stops including: The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, Casa de la Guerra, The Santa Barbara Mission Museum, and the Santa Barbara Museum of National History.
- Shopping Tour of Santa Barbara. Don’t forget to take some time for shopping while you’re here. This self-guided tour offers a leisurely opportunity to explore the shops and plazas to be found in Santa Barbara in just an hour. You’ll see Santa Barbara Cigar and Tobacco, Bella Rosa, La Arcada, the famous Paseo Nuevo, and Chocolate Maya.
- Santa Barbara Lagoon Loop Craft Beer Trail. Looking for a good beer walk? You’ll find it in the Lagoon District among all of the local Santa Barbara breweries. You can enjoy a tasting tour as well as seeing the sights, use your smartphone to track the trail, and even get coupons for drinks to cash in later.