Car free Santa Barbara: one of the many things I love about living here is you can walk everywhere. Apparently, I am not alone. Santa Barbara has been designated a Gold-Level Community by Walk Friendly Communities.
A short walk from the waterfront up State Street under Highway 101 leads you to a vibrant shopping district, filled with irresistible shops, casual sidewalk cafes, and superb restaurants. Then there’s the famous Santa Barbara Mission located approximately 2.5 miles from Stearns Wharf. It is a known as the “Queen of the Missions.” Be sure to check out the docent and self-led tours of this famous landmark including the chapel, cemetery and gardens.
Just a block from State Street is the Santa Barbara Courthouse. A National historic landmark built in Spanish-Moorish design in 1929, the Courthouse is surrounded by beautiful sunken gardens and offers stunning panoramic views from the four-story clock tower.
Located at the end of State Street where it meets Cabrillo Boulevard you’ll find Stearns Wharf. Built in 1872, it’s the longest, oldest working wooden wharf in California. The Wharf is home to several fine restaurants, shops, and the Sea Center, a hands-on discovery center for learning about the marine environment. Walk out on the wooden planks and enjoy stops at the many restaurants, gift shops, ice-cream parlor, wine tasting room, and stunning views of the coastline and Pacific. Take a boat ride around the harbor; go parasailing or ocean-fishing.
Favorite Self-guided Walking Tours
- Red Tile Walking Tour of downtown Santa Barbara provides an easy way to learn about the area and take a nice walk while enjoying the usually perfect weather.
- Twelve Santa Barbara Paseos is your ticket to check out the hidden walkways in downtown. Charming pedestrian walkways, called paseos, snake through Santa Barbara and are often overlooked by visitors. Dating back to Spanish California days, they were expanded when the downtown was rebuilt after an earthquake in 1925.
- Harbor/Shoreline Walking Tour is a scenic recreational walk along the waterfront from the Harbor to Shoreline Park, about 5.8 miles round trip. Add a stroll on the Stearns Wharf pier or through the Harbor to the breakwater. For a longer walk, continue through a quiet residential neighborhood to the Douglas Family Preserve, a scenic public open space overlooking Arroyo Burro Beach.
- Butterfly Beach/Coast Village Road in Montecito is a lovely five mile walk from the easternmost stop of the Waterfront Electric Shuttle to Coast Village Road. Many beautiful trees can be seen along this route, as well as beach and ocean views, the world-famous Four Seasons Biltmore Hotel, large homes, Montecito Village, and a little known pedestrian underpass.
- Santa Barbara’s Urban Wine Trail invites visitors and locals alike to taste some of the finest wines produced in Santa Barbara County, all within blocks of downtown and the beach. Created by a group of like-minded wineries, the Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail offers both novices and aficionados the opportunity to learn about and taste wines of many different varieties and styles crafted from Santa Barbara County’s best vineyards.
Want even more? Check out more Car Free Santa Barbara ideas, put on your walking shoes and get ready for fun.
Imagine all the walking you’d do if you lived here? Who knows, your new luxury home in Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara’s upscale communities might be found among my personal listings. Simply take a look at my comprehensive website then call me at 805.886.9378 or email me at Cristal@montecito-estate.com. I am happy to show you the amazing properties available in walk friendly Santa Barbara.