Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee while observing SOCIAL DISTANCING!

Santa Barbara Downtown Walk (Self Guided), Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is a beautiful city in California. Popular as a tourist resort, the city has everything you need to enjoy a fabulous holiday – sunny beach, interesting museums, art galleries, numerous lovely shops and an impressive historic architecture. This walking tour will guide you to Santa Barbara’s most popular tourist attractions.
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Santa Barbara Downtown Walk Map

Guide Name: Santa Barbara Downtown Walk
Guide Location: USA » Santa Barbara (See other walking tours in Santa Barbara)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
Author: sabrina
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • First Church of Christ Scientist
  • Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens
  • Trinity Episcopal Church
  • Our Lady of Sorrows Church
  • Arlington Theater
  • Santa Barbara Public Library
  • First United Methodist Church
  • Royal Presidio of Santa Barbara
First Church of Christ Scientist

1) First Church of Christ Scientist

The origins of Christian Science in Santa Barbara date back to 1882 when the Hiller family visited the town for the first time. Two years later they relocated here and established a Christian Science Society. Thus, under the laws of California, the First Church of Christ Scientist was founded. Services were initially held in private residences until 1930 when the current building was erected. Architect Henry Gutterson created this elegant church in a fine blend of Byzantine and Romanesque styles with Spanish Revival decorative finishes. The interior ornamentations feature exposed beamed ceiling and lots of wooden carvings, large stained-glass windows and columns.
Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens

2) Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens (must see)

Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens is a memorial park which consists of one entire city block.

The gardens, formerly the site of Albert Herter's El Mirasol Hotel, were purchased and donated to the city in 1975, and dedicated in 1980.

The real estate and an endowment for its conversion into a park were a gift to the city, from an anonymous donor. The mystery existed for two years until it was revealed to have been given by Alice Keck Park, the daughter of William Myron Keck, the founder of Superior Oil Company. The revelation was not made until after her death, as she wished. The City subsequently named the park in her honor.

These gardens include a man-made pond stocked with turtle and koi, as well as a gazebo and many meandering walkways and paths. All the plants in the garden, some native and some ornamental, are chosen specifically to be tolerant of the low-water nature of the Santa Barbara climate.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Trinity Episcopal Church

3) Trinity Episcopal Church

Another beautiful landmark of the city, Trinity Episcopal Church, was built in 1867. This historic Parish Church is known for its fine musical and colorful mass service traditions. This stunning Gothic church is also beautifully decorated inside and possesses an impressive altar, wood carvings and stained glass designs. It plays an important role in the spiritual life of Santa Barbara, offering the community numerous cultural and religious events including Trinity Backstage Coffeehouse, children's workshop, concerts and many others.
Our Lady of Sorrows Church

4) Our Lady of Sorrows Church

The origins of Our Lady of Sorrows Church date back to the foundation of the city in 1782, when the need to accommodate a large congregation of Spanish soldiers and their families who arrived here to build Presidio Fort. The new Our Lady of Sorrows Church was constructed in 1929. During the massive earthquake in 1925 over 6,000 buildings were destroyed in Santa Barbara, including the previous construction of Our Lady of Sorrows Church. The new building was erected with special care to become more resilient and included several steal beams in its construction, at that time a unique technique brought here by architect Edward A. Eames of San Francisco. The church’s elegant all-white façade and ornate Romanesque bell-tower keep the rich architectural traditions alive to this day.
Arlington Theater

5) Arlington Theater (must see)

The Arlington Theater is the largest movie theater and principal performing arts venue in Santa Barbara. In addition to regular screenings and artists, it is home to many events associated with the annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

The Arlington was built in 1931 on the former site of the Arlington Hotel, which was destroyed following the 1925 earthquake. The current structure was erected in 1930 as a showcase movie house for Fox West Coast Theaters. It was restored and expanded in the mid-1970s by Metropolitan Theaters Corporation. It opened in its current incarnation in 1976.

The interior is elaborately decorated. The ceilings of the lobbies are heavily beamed and painted. The auditorium itself seats 2,000 on the main floor and balcony. It is built to give the theatergoer the impression that he is sitting outside in the plaza of a colonial Spanish town, each wall features houses, staircases, and balconies, not painted on but built out from the walls.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Santa Barbara Public Library

6) Santa Barbara Public Library

The Santa Barbara Public Library is the largest element of the library system which serves Santa Barbara County, containing 365,008 volumes. It circulates 1,585,836 items annually to approximately 225,000 residents.

The Faulkner Art Gallery, and Faulkner East and West Galleries, are also located within the library building.

The library building was designed in 1924 by the architect Carleton Winslow in the Italianate style.
Sight description based on wikipedia
First United Methodist Church

7) First United Methodist Church

The first Methodist presence in the city dates back to 1854 when the first Protestant reverend Adam Bland visited the city. The population of Santa Barbara at that time was predominantly Spanish Catholic, and despite the initial anger toward the heretic preachers, the Methodists found their followers and the first church was built here in 1869, followed by the construction of the second in 1889. The beautiful church complex situated on East Anapamu Street was dedicated in 1927 after the Reverend Samuel Hughes raised funds to re-build all churches in town that were severely damaged during the 1925 earthquakes. It was designed and built by contractor and church member Charles Urton in Spanish-Renaissance architectural style. Today it has one the most beautiful stained-glass designs in Santa Barbara and welcomes young and old to visit its liturgical services.
Royal Presidio of Santa Barbara

8) Royal Presidio of Santa Barbara (must see)

El Presidio Real de Santa Bárbara, also known as the Royal Presidio of Santa Barbara, is a former military installation in Santa Barbara. The presidio was built by Spain in 1782, with the mission of defending the Second Military District in California. In modern times, the Presidio serves as a significant tourist attraction, museum and an active archaeological site as part of El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park. The park contains an original adobe structure called El Cuartel, which is the second oldest surviving building in California. The Presidio was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

Only two portions of the original presidio quadrangle survive to this day: the Cañedo Adobe, and the remnants of a two-room soldiers quarters, called El Cuartel. The site’s operator reconstructed the rest of the site, with the most recent construction—two rooms in the northwest corner of the site—finished in May 2006. The reconstruction is ongoing, with the construction of two more rooms in the northwest corner beginning in December 2007.

The site of the Presidio was chosen by Felipe de Neve, the first governor of Las Californias. Construction began on April 21. By the next year, a temporary facility had been completed. The Presidio was built as a fortress, and therefore included a strong outer wall with an open parade ground on all sides affording clear visibility. Several devastating earthquakes in the early 19th century destroyed much of the structure. In 1963, the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation was founded, with the primary mission of restoring the Presidio.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Santa Barbara, California

Create Your Own Walk in Santa Barbara

Create Your Own Walk in Santa Barbara

Creating your own self-guided walk in Santa Barbara is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Museums Walk

Museums Walk

Santa Barbara has a variety of interesting museums, most of them situated in the downtown area of the city and in the harbor, the most important of which is Santa Barbara's Old Mission and Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Discover the astonishing Spanish heritage of America and the beauty and richness of local nature through this Museums self-guided walking tour.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.1 Km or 4.4 Miles
Santa Barbara Art Galleries

Santa Barbara Art Galleries

Santa Barbara is a poplar tourist destination in California. This lively city has a number of art galleries hosting exciting art collections. Most of the galleries highlight the visual creativity of local artists. The following walking tour will help you discover the most visited art galleries in Santa Barbara.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.9 Km or 0.6 Miles
Santa Barbara Shopping Tour

Santa Barbara Shopping Tour

Santa Barbara has plenty of world class retail shops and diverse local crafts shops for pleasing the most meticulous consumers. Wonderful outdoor paseos, shadowed plazas and long-brick sidewalks make shopping in Santa Barbara the most enjoyable way to spend your free time. Take this tour to discover the best venues for shopping in Santa Barbara.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 Km or 0.9 Miles
Santa Barbara Introduction Walk

Santa Barbara Introduction Walk

Nowadays widely regarded as a posh location favored by the rich and famous, Santa Barbara is a beautiful coastal town and a popular weekend spot in Southern California. Other than its beaches and warm climate, the city is also famous for its red-tile roofed stucco architecture, reflecting Spanish colonial heritage, and a plethora of cultural attractions. Follow this orientation walk and discover...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 Km or 2.4 Miles