The American Riviera is one of the most visited areas in Southern California. Partially because of its scenic beauty, but also because of its many famous landmarks and attractions. With its nearly ten million visitors per year, tourism gives annually more than a billion dollars in revenue for the city. Home to the most gorgeous vineyards, picturesque beaches, great shopping and fantastic dining, it is no wonder why it has become such as beloved area for many in SoCal. Stroll along the main street, State Street, for great shopping, followed by a trip to some of the region’s most lavish vineyards. With more than 300 days of sun and tons of activities, SB is the ultimate getaway destination for locals and visitors alike. Having served the Riviera of the West for more than twenty years with luxury transportation, we transfer clients daily to the many landmarks and attractions found in the county. Here are the most visited by out-of-towners using our LAX limousine services or locally in the area.
5. Great Museums
Home to Southern California’s largest per capita number of galleries and museums, getting cultured is easy on the American Riviera. In fact, we have often clients booking an airport sedan to head straight to the great gallery openings and similar. Among the most popular are the S.B. Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Art, Presidio, as well as the Art, Design & Architecture Museum. Popular galleries include Atkinson Art Gallery Gallery 113, UCSB’s Women’s Center Art Gallery, Peregrine Galleries, Wall-Space Gallery, Sullivan Goss Gallery as well as the Easton Gallery. At the Museum of Natural History visitors can learn about the native Chumash people, and many come to the Ty Warner Sea Center to learn more about the underwater life of the Santa Barbara Channel. The Museum of Art might be most famous for its ancient sculptures as well as American-, Latin-, and Asian arts. Clients love the surf history at the Maritime Museum, and the 90-minute Land and Sea Tours are popular for families giving you the chance of observing whales, sharks, sea lions, eagles, and more. To learn more about the city’s distinct history, check out the Historical Museum to see exhibits of everything from the city’s long gone past, including furniture, clothing, and more. For a great introduction in city history and architecture, check out the Red Tile Walking Tour! Many history lovers visit the El Presidio, founded in 1782, and the El Paseo & Casa De La Guerra, which was established between 1819-1826. Make sure to stay up to date to attend the monthly festivals and parades. For instance, some of the highlights during the winter includes the Parade of Lights, Festival of Art, the Avocado Festival, the International Film Festival and the International Orchid Show. For summer-time, check out April’s El Presidio Days, the Harbor Festival, Summer Solstice Celebration, Jazz Festival, French Festival, as well as the Old Spanish Days.
4. Stearns Wharf & Beaches
Stearns Wharf might be the city’s most iconic landmark. Along with the beaches and waterfront, the pier has long been one of the most popular SB limo service destinations for us. Stearns Wharf is located at the end of State Street along he seaside, and dates back to 1872. The wharf is home to various stores, restaurants, and even a winetasting venue that so many of our Santa Barbara wine tours clients love. The nearby beaches such as East Beach are popular hangout spots for sunbathing, beach volleyball, swimming, and similar beaching activities. Stretching for 2,250 feet out in the ocean, Stearns Wharf is one of the longest deep-water bridges in the State of California. It is home to various shops, restaurants, and even a museum with its own shark pool and much more. A beloved activity for families is a visit to the Warner Sea Center, run by the Museum of Natural History, while many dating couples prefer winetasting at the Deep Sea Tasting Room on Stearns. What’s more iconic for the city than rollerskating down the waterfront at West Beach Park? While parking and finding a parking space can be a hassle, arriving by a limo service can make the day go more smoothly and more enjoyable. The East Beach by Stearns Wharf is a popular – and sometimes crowded – beach. For a more scenic and less crowdy beach, visit Butterfly- or Arroyo Burro Beaches. Across the street from the Four Seasons Resort the Biltmore is where Butterfly Beach is located, consistently rated as one of the most beautiful beaches in the county. Arroyo Burro (Hendry’s Beach) is surrounded by forested nature, and is a great spot for a nighttime hike with someone special. Others include Mesa Lane Steps, One Thousand Steps Beach, Hammonds Beach, and Shoreline Park Beach.
3. Historic Mission
The 1820 Mission is one of the city’s most popular tourist spots. Nicknamed the Queen of Mansions, the Mission is a U.S. National Historic Landmark (NHL) and particularly popular among people on a sight seeing tour of the area. One of the city’s icons, it is one of few missions found in California and is the only mission to only have been operated by the Franciscan Order. Many come here to see its beautiful gardens and courtyards, learn about the Chumash Indians that once occupied the land, and see famous paintings and artifacts from time long gone. Being the state’s largest mission, it may not be any surprise that it’s a hugely popular landmark to visit for locals and visitors as well. The affordable 90-minute trolley ride is an awesome way of checking out the city, and can stops by the Mission in Old Town. Already established in 1786, it is one the oldest buildings in the state. One of the most famous landmarks include the Old Mission Bell which is hanging way high in the big mission tower overlooking the city with views as far as the Channel Islands. A sight seeing tour of Santa Barbara is never complete without a visit to the historic city Mission. For people that prefer an older historic getaway, make sure to pay a visit to the thousand-year-old pictographs at the Chumash Painted Cave!
2. Vineyard Tastings
With hundreds of thousands of visitors per year, the county’s vineyards should be on anyone’s bucket list in Southern California. Santa Barbara wine tours to the Santa Maria- and Santa Ynez Valleys have never been more accessible. Less crowded than the more famous vineyards of Northern California, these vineyards are just as scenic with just as many great varietals of wines. While the Santa Ynez Valley might be the most scenic wine country we serve, we also offer Temecula Valley- and Malibu Canyons vineyard trips. For the S.B. back country, the most visited vineyards include for example Sunstone-, Bridlewood, and Firestone Wineries. Others include Fess Parker-, Zaca Mesa-, Koehler-, Rideau-, and Foxen Wineries. The vineyards are a beloved destination for many. It’s not rarely we have customers ordering an airport sedan or limousine in order to visit the quaint small-town of Los Olivos. Here clients come to enjoy great tastings, explore the small town by foot, and enjoy the gorgeous natural beauty of the valley. Many renting limos for us bring their own lunch for picnicking at for instance Sunstone Winery and its beautiful vineyards, while Firestone Winery also offers food along with its wines. Kalyra Winery is recognized for their world famous dessert wines, and definitely a great choice to add after a winery offering dinner. The Gainey Vineyard also offers pasta and some other food with their varietals of wines, a great spot of matching wines and food by taste. While the Brander vineyard in Los Olivos is mostly known for their Sauvignon Blanc, while Sunstone is said to have the world’s greatest Merlot. While many wineries in the city are simple tasting venues, many of the wineries of the Santa Ynez- and Santa Maria Valleys are picturesque old facilities surrounded by rolling green hills and gorgeous vineyards. Make sure to ask our wine concierge about the different wineries in order to customize the perfect best Santa Barbara wine tour. Having offered them for more than twenty years, you can rely on us to receive the best of services available in the SoCal area.
You can learn more about our exclusive wine-tasting tours by clicking here.
1. State Street
Maybe not surprisingly, but the city’s main street, State Street, is also the most-visited place in town. Here you’ll find anything and everything. Whether you want to experience the great nightlife, restaurants or endless shopping possibilities, State Street is a great place to begin your exploration of the city. While many clients wait till dark and rents a party bus for a night on town, State Street has much to offer during daytime as well. Maybe particularly for shopping. Among the most visited stores include Diani- and Diani Shoes, Yellowstone Clothing, the Territory Ahead, as well as upscale Wendy Foster. For a unique and authentic S.B. shopper’s experience, head to the Game Seeker, Lewis & Clark, Prana, Magellan’s in Loreto Plaza, or the SB Outfitters. The best shopping malls on State Street are found around El Paseo at the 800 block of Downtown, La Arcada Court (1114 State Street), Paseo Nuevo (651 State St.), as well as Victoria Court at the 1200 block of State Street. The SOho Nightclub is a popular party destination for nighttime clients, and is located upstairs as the Victoria Court, which is a two-story building with stores, diners, cafes, and more. Downtown’s El Paseo was California’s first mall, built in the 20’s, and includes various diners, pubs, antique shops, jewelry shops, as two tasting-rooms often visited on our wine tours. The city’s unique red-tile architecture, great shopping and nightlife, as well as its interesting centuries-long history are all best experienced on State Street: the gateway to the American Riviera. Begin your touring of the town with destination State Street, and discover your favorite SB hangout spot!
Didn’t find an activity that caught your attention? Rent a sailboat at the Sailing Center, or visit the famous city zoo! Many also love the sunset dining cruises as well as whale-observing trips offered by the Condor Express. From clients touring the vineyards to clients in need of an airport LAX limousine – we offer all types of transportation in the Southern California region. Whether you need a chauffeured vehicle for your bachelor party, wedding, night on town, corporate meeting or anything else, we can offer you a timely service along with our exclusive price match guarantee. Check out our reviews and call us to book your transfer! We offer SoCal’s largest fleet of luxurious vehicles, including limos, sedans, party bus vehicles, SUV’s, and more.