"Welcome to Paradise," is a fitting expression for those visiting the coastal city of Santa Barbara. Called the American Riviera, Santa Barbara is a place where food, art, history, fashion, wine and sunshine mix to create a delightful and unique experience for the visitor. Charming Spanish and Moorish style buildings graced by brilliantly-colored bougainvillea, palm-lined beaches, a warm Mediterranean climate, charming sidewalk cafés and a pristine seaside setting are some of the aesthetic reasons for visiting Santa Barbara.
The "Queen of the Missions," Santa Barbara's Old Mission can be traced back to the 1700's when the mission was built to bring Christianity to the Chumash Indians. The Old Mission is now a California Historical Landmark and is one of the most popular attractions in the area.
Just outside of Santa Barbara, lies the Santa Ynez Valley which is home to numerous world-renowned wineries. The scenic beauty of the dramatic mountains, lush valleys and oak trees is only surpassed by the rich flavors of the wines produced in the area.
More about Santa Barbara, California Points of Interest
Santa Barbara Mission
Founded by Catholic settlers in 1786, the commanding presence and graceful lines of this majestic mission leave no doubt why she is called "Queen of the Missions."
Featuring the ideal Mediterranean climate for growing grapes, the fertile Santa Ynez Valley is home to California's most accomplished wineries which have produced award-winning wines since the 1970s.
Santa Barbara Courthouse
Considered the most beautiful government building in America, this impressive Spanish-Moorish style landmark completed in 1929 occupies a square block in downtown Santa Barbara.
The heart of Santa Barbara, this bustling, vibrant district lined with one-of-a-kind boutiques, restaurants and cafes is popular with locals and tourists alike.
This quaint Danish-themed town founded in 1911 replicates Copenhagen with its windmills, cobblestone streets, half-timbered walls, thatched roofs and restaurants featuring Danish cuisine.
Nestled among the verdant, rolling hills of Santa Barbara's wine country, this charming village-like town is renowned for its art galleries, wine tasting shops and craft boutiques.
Pause to take in the grandeur (and a photograph!) of the landmark Moreton Bay Fig Tree, the oldest fig tree in America planted in 1870 and spanning 160 feet.
Whale watching is a popular pastime as is horseback or bicycle riding along the beautiful landscape; as well as kayaking or exploring the many eateries, breweries and vineyards located throughout the region.
Special Child Pricing Available! Children age 12 and younger, savings up to 50%.
Santa Barbara by Trolley
1.5 hours | Santa Barbara | SBA-200
Santa Barbara Mission
Santa Barbara Courthouse
Acquaint yourself with Santa Barbara during this 1.5 hour, fully narrated tour aboard an open-air nostalgic trolley. Take in views of Stearn's Wharf which offers colorful shopping, dining and an aquarium. Pause at the landmark Moreton Bay Fig Tree, spanning 160 feet. Travel up bustling State Street lined with one-of-a-kind boutiques, restaurants and cafes. Marvel at the palatial Spanish-Moorish style Santa Barbara Courthouse, called the most beautiful government building in America. Take in the white-washed adobe brick buildings of the Presidio military fortress erected by the Spanish to protect the mission and settlers against attack. See the Lobero Theater, one of California's oldest theaters and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Enjoy a photo stop at the majestic Santa Barbara mission known as the "Queen of the Missions." Enjoy the beautifully restored Victorian houses along Brinkerhoff Avenue on your way back to your Princess ship.
Montecito has long been one of the favorite retreats of Hollywood stars and now it's your turn to experience its glamorous lifestyle. Take in the scenery from Stearns Wharf, the most visited attraction in Santa Barbara. Next, enjoy the picturesque drive down the coast passing the 23-acre $80 million estate of the late Hugghette Clark, set to become a museum in 2016. You'll glide along Coast Village road, a mini Rodeo Drive passing the famous Montecito Inn, built by Hollywood royalty, Charlie Chaplin and Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, and Drew Barrymore's house. See Our Lady of Mount Carmel church built in 1859. But landmarks aren't the only thing you are here for! After your fully narrated driving tour, you'll have a brief stop to explore the upscale boutiques and cafes, often frequented by many local celebrities. Make sure you have your camera handy; you might just catch a glimpse of your favorite star!
Discover the beauty, culture and history of the Danish-themed town of Solvang during a three-and-a-half-hour excursion. After boarding your comfortable coach travel through picture postcard scenery of verdant hillsides and acres of sun-soaked vineyards. Upon arrival, you'll have two hours to explore on your own. Browse through one or more of the 150 one-of-a-kind shops, stroll past beguiling buildings built in "bindingsværk," a half-timbered construction style that dates back to Denmark's 16th century. Take in the sights like the replica of Copenhagen's famous Little Mermaid statute. Visit the Hans Christian Andersen Museum, which displays original letters and photographs, a model of Andersen's childhood home and early editions of his work. Or enjoy a taste of Denmark with a helping of aebleskiver, a light and airy pastry. At the completion of your tour, reboard the coach for the scenic ride back to your ship.
For some of the best whale watching opportunities in the world, look no further than the waters off your port city of Santa Barbara. Step aboard a state-of-the-art, high speed catamaran for a whale-watching expedition. Watch from within the luxurious, teak-paneled cabin equipped with large tinted windows perfect for optimal wildlife viewing. Or take your place on a viewing platform on the bow or top deck, basking in the sun and brisk sea breeze. And of course keep a keen eye out for magnificent whales (California Grey, Blue, Humpback and even Orcas) that spout and breach in the glistening waters of this migratory corridor of the Pacific Ocean.
A relaxing few hours of paddling along the Santa Barbara waterfront, past beaches, sea lions and kelp beds makes this half-day tour a real find. See the American Riviera® from a unique perspective. You'll "put-in" at Sea Landing after a comprehensive kayak lesson. Paddle through the harbor and around Stearns Wharf, the oldest working wharf in California. You'll note working fishing boats off-loading their catch, pleasure boats out for a day sail circled by pelicans and seagulls. Along the way, your guide will offer insight in to the history of the region as well as local marine ecology ending back at the harbor. People love this paddle because of the relaxed pace and incredible marine life as well as the town views. Returning to Sea Landing, you can opt to take the shuttle back to your ship or remain in town for independent shopping and exploring.
For some of the best whale watching opportunities in the world, look no further than the waters off your port city of Santa Barbara. Step aboard a state-of-the-art, high speed catamaran for a full-day, guided whale-watching expedition. Watch from within the luxurious, teak-paneled cabin equipped with large tinted windows perfect for optimal wildlife viewing. Or take your place on a viewing platform on the bow or top deck, basking in the sun and brisk sea breeze. Cruise along the breathtaking Channel Islands, a small archipelago islands teeming with wildlife including cormorants, gulls, pelicans, sea lions, harbor seals and dolphins. Time or weather-permitting, visit the Painted Cave, one of the largest and deepest sea caves in the world. And of course keep a keen eye out for magnificent whales (California Gray, Blue, Humpback and even Orcas) that spout and breach in the glistening waters of this migratory corridor of the Pacific Ocean.
This half-day walking tour takes you from ship to beach to Santa Barbara's popular Funk Zone. It combines mini photo lessons with food, wine, beer and spirits providing fabulous photos, a full belly and a smile on your face. Great for all fitness levels and photo skills, it lets you explore a storied part of downtown with its fascinating sub-culture of artisan shops, hip restaurants, nook wine tasting rooms and award-winning microbreweries housed in aged warehouses and forgotten scuba shops, transforming the zone into an understated array of hidden hot spots along California's Central Coast. Walking back to the tour shop, say farewell to your guide and either set out on your own for a few relaxing hours of independent exploring and shopping or catch the shuttle for the convenient transfer back to the ship. You'll return with new knowledge, a host of stunning pictures, and a full belly too!
Bon Appetit Recommended: Santa Barbara & Los Olivos: California's Riviera, Food and Wine
6.5 hours | Santa Barbara | SBA-255
Santa Barbara Mission
Santa Barbara Courthouse
Dreamy Santa Barbara, welcomes you to the heart of California's Riviera on this full-day adventure that treats you to its culinary delights and takes in its historic and cultural sights. Begin at the Santa Barbara Mission with its grand façade, a celebration of more than 200 years of cultural history.Continue on foot to admire the classic Spanish architecture of the Santa Barbara Courthouse, then head to a wonderful Mexican lunch at Corazón Cocina prepared by Chef Ramon Velasquez, famed for his street-style tacos. Satiated, board your motorcoach and travel up the sunny coastline to the Santa Ynez Valley, the area's wine-producing region. Head into the hills to charming Los Olivos, where you'll enjoy a wine tasting paired with a homemade cupcake. Relax on your scenic drive back to port.
Downtown Santa Barbara offers myriad attractions and historical sites for visitors of all ages to explore. Pedaling the Cabrillo Beach Boulevard Bike Trail lets you experience its magic one stunning view at a time. The coastline sparkles in the California sun as you glide between the sea and the town under towering palm trees imported from Mexico. See Stearns Wharf where they say Salt Water Taffy was invented. Watch the skateboarders do their tricks at Skater's Point and watch for wildlife in the rich wetlands around the marina area. Look for giraffes when you pass the back of the Santa Barbara Zoo and enjoy the scenic stretch between Leadbetter Beach and the Andree Clark Bird Refuge near Montecito. Your bike ride ends at Arroyo Burro Beach where you can stretch your legs on the beach or relax in the shade before being transported back to Sea Landing, completing your tour.
Revel in the Santa Ynez Valley's charming beauty during this full-day, guided excursion via tour motorcoach to a quaint Danish-themed town and to area wineries for wine-tasting. Traverse winding roads into the Santa Ynez Valley nestled amidst lush mountain landscapes. Visit two of the valley's established wineries. In Solvang, enjoy free time to explore along winding sidewalks lined with boutiques shops and restaurants. During your exploration, look for the windmill, a replica of Copenhagen's Little Mermaid statue and a bust of famed Danish fable writer Hans Christian Anderson! Shop for imported European wares. Since lunch is your responsibility, take your pick from one of many gourment restaurants where you can sample authentic Danish fare!
Indulge your inner wine connoisseur during this lovely, full-day, guided tour of Santa Barbara County's remarkable wineries. Travel in a comfortable motorcoach along winding roads through the lush mountains into the fertile Santa Ynez Valley, home to some of the most accomplished winemakers in California. Visit four exceptional wineries in charming locales. Learn about the process of winemaking in a fun and informative environment. Whether you are a budding wine connoisseur or aspiring sommelier, your expert guide will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Sample fine wines at each winery (you must be 21 of course!) and indulge in a wine country picnic. Have your cameras at the ready throughout the day as there will be many photo opportunities.
A full-day bike tour of the wine country along 15 miles of moderate paved roadway. Your efforts are rewarded with tastings of world-class Santa Barbara County wines. The ride takes you through tranquil Ballard Canyon, Santa Barbara County's newest American Viticultural Area and passes expansive vineyards, equestrian ranches and grazing bison and Texas Longhorns. You'll stop in Solvang, the Danish capital of California, and visit the picturesque town of Los Olivos for wine and olive oil tasting. At the conclusion of the tour, you'll enjoy a rustic Italian-inspired lunch of artisan sandwiches, salad, Farmer's market fruits and nuts, Pellegrino and Italian Sodas, and Amaretti cookies. With round-trip van transport, this tour has it all.