Area Guide to Santa Barbara, California
Whether you want a relaxing vacation with beachfront walks and romantic dinners or an active vacation filled with nature hikes and scenic bicycle rides, Santa Barbara is a destination with many things to do. Simpson House Inn is only a five-minute walk from the historic downtown district that is filled with boutiques, art galleries, wineries, cozy cafes and elegant restaurants.
Call us to learn more about local attractions that are sure to delight you during your stay at Simpson House Inn.
Attractions on the Water
With a beautiful oceanfront location, Santa Barbara hosts a wonderful array of watersports and waterfront activities. Whether you picnic on a quiet beach; watch the activity at Stearns Wharf; or depart Santa Barbara on a whale watching tour, you’ll enjoy fresh air and scenic water views. The friendly innkeeper of Simpson House Inn will be happy to help you plan a waterfront outing.
Museums and Cultural Attractions
Santa Barbara has a rich cultural history that is evident in the galleries of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, exhibitions of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, the stage of Arlington Theatre and weekly art festivals. In addition to these attractions, the Santa Barbara Zoo will delight children and adults of all ages and the extensive gardens of the Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens will provide a beautiful backdrop for quiet meditations.
From walking or cycling the quaint neighborhoods of Santa Barbara to hiking challenging nature trails, there are plenty of ways to get out and enjoy the great outdoors in Santa Barbara. Whether you browse the shops of the historic district or visit one of the many local parks, natural beauty abounds.
Santa Barbara International Film Festival – January through early February
UCSB Graduation Weekend
Cheer on your graduate from University of California Santa Barbara – June
Old Spanish Days – August
Santa Ynez Wine Valley
Located in the foothills of the Santa Ynez mountains, Santa Barbara is in the heart of the Central Coast Wine Country. With 58 wineries and nearly 20,000 acres of vineyards that span 50-miles of the countryside, Santa Barbara is the perfect destination for wine enthusiasts of all kinds. Not far from the many tasting rooms and vineyards, you’ll find five-star accommodations at the historic Simpson House Inn. Not only is our boutique hotel in prime wine country, but it also serves a sampling of local wines with evening wine & hors d’ouevres. Call us at (805) 963-7067 to plan a wine tour during your stay at Simpson House Inn.
The Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara
Sample the finest wines made in Santa Barbara on the unique> Urban Wine Trail. This tour visits the 11 wineries found in downtown Santa Barbara and offers a good time for everyone from wine novices to aficionados. Not only will you enjoy many wonderful wines, but you’ll also get a first-class tour of the downtown area.
Local Tasting Rooms and Wineries
From local wineries in downtown Santa Barbara to the Santa Ynez wine trail, Simpson House Inn welcomes you to the Central Coast Wine Country with five-diamond accommodations. Call the concierge of Simpson House Inn at (805) 963-7067 to schedule Santa Ynez wine tours during your stay at Simpson House Inn. We will be happy to direct you to local wineries throughout Santa Barbara County.
For more information contact:
Santa Barbara County Vinter Association
While you’ll want to set aside plenty of time to relax at the gardens of the Simpson House Inn, our friendly staff is happy to suggest full itineraries that will help you see all the sites of Santa Barbara. From hiking and surfing to a night at the opera, everyone will be entertained during your Santa Barbara vacation. Call us at (805) 963-7067 to plan a guided tour with our innkeeper.
Start your Santa Barbara vacation with a relaxing beverage on the veranda of Simpson House Inn. Our afternoon refreshments provide the perfect opportunity to rest up from your journey.
After afternoon refreshments, we suggest a walking tour of Alice Keck Park Gardens. Located across the street from Simpson House Inn, this botanical park offers peaceful spots for quiet reflection next to streams, shade trees, a romantic gazebo and a koi pond.
Be sure to join us for a buffet of Mediterranean-inspired hors d’oeuvres buffet from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Many of Santa Barbara’s finest restaurants are within walking distance to Simpson House Inn. We have a book of current menus from local restaurants that helps you make the right decision. Your innkeeper will help you make the right decision and will make your reservation.
Start your day with a gourmet breakfast served at the Simpson House Inn. This will help you keep up your energy for the Red Tile Walking Tour of historic downtown Santa Barbara. Along the route, you’ll pass Spanish-style architecture, manicured lawns, the Spanish Presidio and a unique shopping area that is styled with red, tiled roofs and white-washed walls. This route also passes local historical and art museums. If you prefer to get out in nature, we suggest a hike on Rattlesnake Trail that winds its way through the hills, forests and canyons of Santa Barbara. This is a moderate hike that starts at an elevation of 110 feet.
After you’ve worked up an appetite, enjoy a relaxing lunch at one of the many charming cafes on State Street. After lunch, take a stroll down to Stearns Wharf, where you can enjoy a beachfront walk or rent bicycles, skates or a four-wheeled Pedalina with a colorful surrey top. The waterfront is also home to the Sea Center, which is operated by the Natural History Museum and the weekly Arts and Crafts exhibit every Sunday.
Watch the sun go down on your second day in Santa Barbara while you relax on an afternoon or sunset cruise. With beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez mountains, a sunset cruise is the ultimate romantic experience in Santa Barbara.
After another gourmet breakfast at Simpson House Inn, start your day with a peaceful walk through the Santa Barbara Mission and Rose Garden. From here, you’ll stop to smell the roses and discover views of the city and the Pacific Ocean. This mission administered by the Franciscans and includes a stone church and twin bell tours.
No trip to Santa Barbara is complete without getting out on the waters of Santa Barbara Channel. The Santa Barbara Sailing Center is the ideal place to embark on a whale watch or set sail on a romantic dinner cruise.
If you prefer, we suggest visiting the Natural History Museum in the morning followed by a picnic lunch at Butterfly Beach. Our innkeeper will happily provide beach chairs or towels. We can also direct you to our favorite suppliers of gourmet lunch goodies. Once you have your lunch packed, head to Butterfly Beach, which is a quiet, local beach. Just ask our concierge for directions.
Depart for an all-day trip to Santa Barbara wineries after breakfast at Simpson House Inn. If you prefer fresh air to local wines, a day of cycling around Santa Barbara is the perfect way to spend your day. Whether you like casual rides around town or intense mountain biking on back-country trails, our concierge will direct you to favored rental places, maps and trails.
After your delectable dinner in Santa Barbara, catch the latest show at Center Stage Theater. This cozy theater hosts a variety of shows and is located in Paseo Nuevo, the cultural center of Santa Barbara.
Work up an appetite for breakfast at the Simpson House Inn with an early-morning walking tour of historic Santa Barbara residences. This 45-minute walk will take you around the noted residential streets surrounding Simpson House Inn.
Whether you like to explore quaint boutiques or hit the links, this is the morning to do what you like. From national retailers to independent boutiques, the shopping districts of Paseo Nuevo, El Paseo and La Arcada Court are treasure troves of world-class stores. If you prefer a morning of golfing on scenic courses, our concierge will help you reserve a prime tee time.
After a morning of shopping or golfing, go for a scenic drive along the coastline.