Santa Barbara is often deemed a playground of the rich, but this doesn’t mean that this part of California doesn’t offer enough free attractions and activities for visitors of different ages. Here are some ways to enjoy it in style without breaking the bank, according to 10Best.com.
Old Mission Santa Barbara
This structure, founded in 1786 by a Franciscan friar and with its architectural details reworked until the 1830s, is called the “Queen of the Missions” for its sheer beauty. It’s the 10th of the 21 missions built in the state, and it boasts twin bell towers and outstanding city views.
This popular hiking destination provides a scenic view of Santa Barbara coupled with an intimate look at the Pacific Ocean and the Channel Islands beyond. Start on Tunnel Road and venture into a 3.5-mile hike taking about one to two hours.
Santa Claus Beach
A favorite among locals, this beach is among Santa Barbara’s well-kept secrets, with its soft white sand, mild waves for a range of watersports, and array of shops and restaurants.
Carriage and Western Art Museum of Santa Barbara
Founded in 1972, this free museum is steps away from West Beach and features carriage-related art, including historical pieces. It’s open on weekdays for free and unguided tours.
Opened in 2000, this skate park is open to guests of all ages. It’s right on the beach, too!
Coronado Butterfly Preserve
From late October to early March, monarch butterflies migrate here to spend the winter, hanging in clumps and clusters from eucalyptus tree branches. It’s free to the public, and it showcases rich wildlife, trails, and open areas for gatherings.