How to Get Around Santa Barbara – From the Waterfront to Wine Country
With wine country, a bustling urban epicenter and beachside scenery for days, your method(s) for getting around Santa Barbara should very much match the vibe of your itinerary. In The American Riviera, getting around town and its often mountain-clad outskirts can be as fun as the destination itself.
The options here span the quintessentially Californian option of a bike (and e-bikes, too), an intricate bus system, a major train line and, yes, you’ll need a trusted shuttle after hitting all those wineries. Beyond the car, here are the transportation options to help you weave your way through Santa Barbara.
Stroll State Street, the Funk Zone (and, well, everywhere)
With pleasant year-round temps and a breathtaking view at every turn – seaside cliff, architectural masterpiece, towering mountain, you name it – this is a town to explore on foot. State Street and the waterside paths along Shoreline Drive and Cabrillo Boulevard are beaming with pedestrian friendliness and accessible options. In order to make State Street a better place to stroll during the pandemic, a ten-block pedestrian walkway between Sola and Gutierrez Streets took form. For now, the colorful hodgepodge of outdoor dining areas and walking areas isn’t going anywhere, but keep an eye on local political headlines for any changes.
If you’re just getting acclimated to the city, Free Walking Tour Santa Barbara offers a 90-minute Funk Zone tour and a two-hour waterfront experience. Though it’s totally free as the name suggests, tips are very much appreciated. In 2022, the company will launch an Old Town tour focused on the 400 to 600 blocks of State Street and the Brinkerhoff Victorian District.
Bike to Santa Barbara Mission
Okay, you can easily get to the Santa Barbara Mission by numerous modes of transport. But, if you’d like to rent a bike and pack as much Santa Barbara magic as possible into one low-stress trip, make it from Stearns Wharf to the Mission. Wheel Fun Rentals remains the go-to for tourists and has three shops downtown, including one at 24 E. Mason Street – just two blocks from Stearns Wharf. …..