Discover Santa Barbara’s Hidden Gems
Santa Barbara California is an easy-breezy beach town with a charming, laid-back vibe. Visitors flock here year-round to soak up the sunshine and take in the natural beauty. Mild weather makes this thriving community ideal for those seeking low-stress property management. If you’re lucky enough to score one of these vacation rentals, you can explore the city like a local.
There are so many things to do in this historic beachside enclave, but some of the city’s best attractions are well-kept secrets. Here are some of Santa Barbara’s hidden gems, which also happen to be some of our favorite things to do!
Imagine a lush botanical garden brimming with dozens of varieties of exotic plants and flowers. This private garden is a favorite attraction of ours due in part to the sheer variety of natural setting to explore. There are 18 different gardens, including a butterfly garden, Japanese garden, tropical garden and more spread across a 37 acre estate. Be sure to plan ahead, as this naturalist’s dreamland is accessible by reservation only.
LOCATION: Ganna Walska Lotusland, 695 Ashley Rd, Santa Barbara, CA
MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART
Many visit the Santa Barbara Art Museum, but few explore its lesser known cousin. The minimalist space was founded in 1976 by the local arts community. It gives visitors an authentic taste for the area as a majority of the exhibits are crafted by local artists. The Santa Barbara Poetry Series finds a home here every season.
LOCATON: Paseo Nuevo (upstairs), 653 Paseo Nuevo, Santa Barbara, CA
THE SHOP CAFÈ
This city has a plethora of brunch options to choose from. This place is a locals favorite and never gets overrun by tourists. There’s delicious food and great service, but the true highlight of this place is the outdoor terrace. Dine al fresco and enjoy the breathtaking view of the Santa Ynez Mountains.
LOCATION: 730 N. Milpas, Santa Barbara, CA
Are you a hiking enthusiast like we are? Interested in exploring some secluded ruins high in the hills? Then Knapp’s Castle is right up your alley. Built in 1916, this extravagant mansion burned down years later leaving behind enigmatic ruins. It’s a majestic backdrop for your next Facebook profile picture.
LOCATION: Trailhead is located on East Camino Cielo, Santa Barbara, CA