When you plan a family trip to Santa Barbara, California, the fun starts immediately. You start to research nearby attractions, then choose the perfect spot to stay. Before long, you're dreaming of downtown beaches and Spanish-style architecture. Where do you want to start?
On a trip to Santa Barbara, it's normal to center your experience around a beach. One family-favorite is Ledbetter Beach. Located between Santa Barbara Harbor and Shoreline Park, it's not far from the downtown attractions of the city. Many of the top resorts, including the Four Seasons, are a short drive away. Families love this spot for it's unbeatable view of the harbor. If this is one of the places you want to go in Santa Barbara, you're in luck. Both parking and admission are free. As long as you're in the area, stop by Shoreline Park too. It has slides for the kids and more great views of the water. Don't forget to check out the bike paths if you want to peddle alongside the ocean.
Between trips to the beach and walks in the park, take a trip to some of the city's museums. The Natural History Museum focuses on all sorts of wildlife and regularly hosts new exhibits. Be sure to check for seasonal events that might be scheduled during your family trip. In Santa Barbara, there's no better place to take in the history of the area. Getting there is easy if you choose to stay at one of the resorts. Driving from the Four Seasons usually takes less than fifteen minutes, less if you come right from the beach.
If you want to see more adventurous animals, head to the zoo. This is the best place to go in Santa Barbara for botanical gardens and big cats. With more than 30 acres of gardens, the park actually overlooks the ocean. If these are your favorite attractions, you'll need to know exactly where to stay in Santa Barbara. The resorts on the east side of the city are all nearby.
Still looking for places to go in Santa Barbara? No problem! After a few days exploring the beaches, the zoo and the museum, you will want to check out the UCSB Family Vacation Center. This place offers so many activities! You can plan your whole trip to Santa Barbara around the events inside. It has a reputation for family-friendly entertainment, offering workshops and classes on everything from hiking to tennis. Best of all, they offer vacation packages that include food, lodging and events. Adults indulge with wine-tasting events and horseback riding or relax by the side of the pool. There is a wide variety of Santa Barbara vacation ideas here, so start planning early.
After you choose the perfect destinations, it's easy to figure out where to stay and the best places to eat in Santa Barbara. Hotels and resorts are all within driving distance of the city's attractions. Use the trip planner feature in MiniTime so you won't miss any of the kid-friendly places to go in Santa Barbara. Whether it's one of the downtown beaches or the natural history museum, there is something for everyone in the family.