daily californian logo


Apply to The Daily Californian!

A local’s guide to Santa Barbara

article image



We're an independent student-run newspaper, and need your support to maintain our coverage.

JANUARY 25, 2023

Located just 90 miles north of Los Angeles is Santa Barbara, a beautiful beach town with plenty of activities and adventures. The weather stays in the 70s pretty much all year round, making it a perfect place for a getaway.


There are plenty of hiking trails in Santa Barbara and each and every one has beautiful views. The classic Santa Barbara hike is Inspiration Point. At the top, you can see all of Santa Barbara, the Pacific Ocean, Santa Cruz Island and the beautiful mountains behind you. It takes about an hour to get to the top and isn’t very challenging. Tangerine Falls is another great hike. This one is a bit more challenging and sometimes requires climbing over rocks and boulders, which I think adds to the adventure! Sometimes, if there’s enough water, there will be a creek running and a natural swimming pool at the top of the hike. After breaking a sweat, it’s so fun to swim around in.

Lookout points

If you’re not a hiker but still want the view, don’t fret! There’s plenty of scenic views you can catch by car. Lizard’s Mouth is a little bit of a drive up the mountain but the view is worth it! Douglas Family Preserve is directly above the ocean, so you can barely see the dry sand below.


There’s an abundance of high quality coffee shops in Santa Barbara and they’re all picture perfect. My favorites include: Handlebar Coffee Roasters, Dart Coffee Co., Lighthouse Café and Dune Coffee Roasters.


Downtown Santa Barbara has so many stores for all types of shoppers. Paseo Nuevo is the main mall and its outdoors. This is a plus because you get to enjoy the Santa Barbara sun and nearby ocean breeze while shopping. The surrounding streets (mainly State Street) are full of cute boutiques, vintage stores and high end shops. 

The Funk Zone

For those who are over 21, The Funk Zone is the perfect place to go wine tasting or check out a few breweries. They also have a variety of restaurants, boutiques, art galleries and coffee! My favorite place to eat there is Mony’s Mexican Food. Dart coffee is also a must try. It’s such a cute coffee shop with delicious drinks. I love their matcha sunrise drink that has matcha with freshly squeezed lemonade; it’s so refreshing! 


My favorite beach in Santa Barbara is Arroyo Burro Beach. It’s the perfect place to watch the sunset and it’s even dog friendly! There are palm trees lining the entrance to the beach, and you can stroll next to the big cliffs on a long walk with your pup!


In Santa Barbara, there is no shortage of delicious food all around. La Super-Rica Taqueria is nothing fancy, but it has fresh and very delicious Mexican food. You can see them making the tortillas in the kitchen as you order your food at the counter. If you’re looking for something more fancy, Bettina is located in a cute area of Montecito and has amazing pizzas. They switch up their menu depending on the season and use fresh ingredients. They also have a Michelin star! Brophy Bros. is another Santa Barbara favorite. It’s located right on the harbor, and if you get to sit outside, you have a nice view of the boats. 

Farmers’ market 

The farmers’ market is in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara is open on Saturday’s from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. In this market, there’s around 50 sellers, which means you can spend ages looking at the fresh produce, beautiful flowers, breads, nuts, honeys and more!


Neighboring Santa Barbara is Goleta, which also has plenty to offer! Goleta has the Ritz-Carlton Bacara, UC Santa Barbara, beautiful bluffs to walk parallel to the beach and so much more! 

By this point, you’re likely itching to explore Santa Barbara. Plan a trip here for just a weekend or for the upcoming spring break if you want to explore for several days.

Contact Natalie Grover at 


JANUARY 25, 2023