Don't be afraid to explore the side streets of downtown Santa Barbara, that's where you will find some of the best stores and restaurants. It's no surprise that so many people get married in Santa Barbara. This California beach town is a lovers' paradise.
Fresh ocean breezes, swaying palms, sunny skies and glorious sunsets are par for the course here. Regular folks tie the knot in Santa Barbara every weekend. And so do celebrities. Drew Barrymore got married here, so did Laurence Olivier and Fergie not to each other, of course. Even Kim Kardashian celebrated her nuptials in Santa Barbara But, wait, dear reader! We may be putting the cart before the horse.
Looking to rub elbows with the rich? these 15 metro areas have the highest concentrations of households with at least a million dollars in liquid assets.
Not everyone who visits Santa Barbara is getting hitched. Are you planning a romantic trip to Santa Barbara? A weekend with your special someone, perhaps, but without the fanfare of a wedding? If you're looking for a place to make out in Santa Barbara, this is the list for you. Whether you prefer a little al fresco smooch or carefully coordinated magic moment, this list of the 10 best romantic attractions in Santa Barbara will steer you in the right direction.
Lock lips in a helicoptersteal a caress in the clock tower A giant skeleton of a blue whale greets you at the entrance to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, letting you know that you have arrived at a magical place dedicated to the wonders of nature.
Occupying eleven acres in historic Mission Canyon, the Museum of Natural History boasts a beautiful campus, complete with Spanish-style grounds and buildings. Exhibits include a mineral and gem gallery, Chumash Indian culture center, and the much admired dioramas in the Mammal Hall among many others. It is also home to the area's only planetarium.
For a natural history experience with a seaside twist, visit their associate site on the wharf, the Sea Center. Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because : Because leaning is always a turn on, right? But seriously, this museum has a stunning outdoor space that is perfect for romantic walks.
If you're looking for a romantic wine country experience, Rusack Vineyards is the perfect place for a picnic with a view. Being on the smaller side for a vineyard situated on just 48 acresRusack crafts their wines using both estate grapes and locally sourced varietals from some of the best vineyards in the area.
Visit their website for detailed tasting and crafting notes, including the origin of the grapes and fermenting process. This beautiful, rose-bordered winery has a large outdoor picnic area, but you should call ahead to reserve space if you're bringing a larger party. They also have cheese and crackers for sale in the tasting room - ready to assist you in setting up an impromptu feast!
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Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because : Wine lovers will enjoy both the varietals and the views here. Geneva's expert tip : Rusack Vineyards is best known for their red wines, especially Pinot Noir and Syrah. Do you love food? Is your sweetheart a wine enthusiast? Are you that couple who always has their cameras at hand on trips and during meals?
If you answered "yes" to any of those questions - and especially if you answered "yes" to all of these questions - this is one Santa Barbara date activity you shouldn't miss. These fun tours take you to some of the area's best food and wine destinations and give you camera tips and tricks along the way.
Tour Santa Barbara's artsy Funk Zone, eating and drinking while you see the sights.
Or head downtown to try amazing local wines. Or take their new Solvang tour to indulge in dreamy baked goods. The guides are lovely and the walking pace is perfect for strolling hand-in-hand. Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because : Take a food tour for a super fun date that lets you sample the food and beverages at several places! Geneva's expert tip : Follow them on Facebook or Instagram for local tips and occasional surprise discounts!
Put on your best duds and catch a show at the Granada Theatre, Santa Barbara's most splendid and impressive performing arts venue.
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Originally built inthe theater underwent a dramatic restoration about a decade ago and, boy, is it gorgeous! A vibrant mural decorates the arch over the stage, seats have been refreshed with improved sightlines, and the original chandelier sparkles once again in its place of honor. Nationally recognized ballet troupes perform here regularly, as well as famous comedians, legendary musicians and inspiring lecturers.
Visit their website for a list of upcoming shows and holiday events.
Located near many of Santa Barbara's best restaurants and cocktail bars, so plan on dinner and a show! Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because : Dinner and a show is a classic date night move, and no theater in Santa Barbara is more beautiful! Geneva's expert tip : Pop into the cozy cocktail bar right next door for a festive cocktail before or after the show.
Cuddle with your cutie while watching the sun set over the Pacific. Butterfly Beach looks west, unlike most of Santa Barbara's south-facing beaches. That makes it one of the few Californian beaches where you can watch the sunset instead of the sunrise.
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This beautiful sandy beach is perfect for romantic strolls. Bring a bottle of champagne and take a seat on the rock wall that lines the upper part of the beach, offering a comfortable vantage point with stunning views even on not-so-sunny days. The legendary Four Seasons Resort the Biltmore Santa Barbara is just across the street, with a great restaurant, bar and spa that will definitely impress your ificant other. High tide? Snag a seat on the beach wall.
Geneva's expert tip : If you really want to impress your sweetie, duck into the swanky Biltmore hotel bar across the street for an elegant cocktail. Be a prince or princess and take your date on a sunset hike to a castle!
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Built inthis rich man's "castle" was destroyed by a fire inleaving only crumbling stone ruins with a clear view of the hills, town and sea. This scenic spot is ideal for snapping romantic photos. The drive is a little long and winding, but the hike is short, less than a mile roundtrip, so you won't break out in a sweat before you get the perfect shot.
Plan on a minute drive from downtown and a 10 minute or so hike.
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Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because : Every lover should have a surprise romantic destination in their back pocket. This one is free and doesn't require reservations. Geneva's expert tip : Check the sunrise or sunset times to make sure you get the most dramatic photos.
Whether you want to get hitched, steal a kiss or enjoy a picnic, the Santa Barbara County Courthouse is the place to do it. Considered one of the most beautiful government buildings in America, there are three sights you absolutely cannot miss while you're here: the sunken gardens, the Mural Room and the El Mirador clock tower. The gardens are emerald green, very photogenic and open to the public all year long.
The Mural Room, a popular site for weddings, is the jewel of the Courthouse, showcasing a romanticized version of Santa Barbara's history over 6, square feet of wall space. Not to be outdone, the clock tower allows for a breathtaking degree view of the city.
And don't worry Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because : Lush, tropical gardens surround the Courthouse, ideal for an afternoon picnic or some al fresco sketching. Geneva's expert tip : Climb or ride to the top of the courthouse clock tower for a degree view of Santa Barbara. Self-driven wine tour? Anyone can do that. How about a horseback wine tour?
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Now that's the stuff that lifelong memories are made of! If you're looking for a Central Coast vineyard experience that is unforgettable, this is it. Hit the dusty trail with your honey and saddle up for a private ride with Vino Vaqueros to experience some of the most beautiful ranches and vineyards in the region. Enjoy an afternoon on horseback accompanied by a knowledgeable guide. After the ride, sample two local wines and then enjoy the glass of your choice.
Offered seven days a week, this is the perfect adventure for riding enthusiasts of any age and skill level. Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because : Enjoy an afternoon of horseback riding and wine drinking that will top pretty much any romantic outing you've seen in a sappy movie. Geneva's expert tip : Wear sensible, close-toed shoes. As it turns out, horse trails and stilettos don't mix! Take to the high seas with your sweetheart. Santa Barbara is a great place to go whale watching, and the Condor Express is one of the best-loved tours around.
For over 30 years, the Condor Express crew has been setting out to sea in search of Gray Whales, Humpbacks, Orcas and more. During whale watching season, there are as many as three trips daily.