Free Things to Do in Santa Barbara

As one of the most budget-friendly motels in Santa Barbara, California, here at the Inn at East Beach we know what you really want: a fantastic Santa Barbara vacation without dropping a lot of dough!

Fortunately there are dozens, if not hundreds, of fun and absolutely free things to do in Santa Barbara. We’ve handpicked some of our favorites below:

Visit Santa Barbara Beach / East Beach

When staying at a top Santa Barbara beach hotel, you know you can’t skip the beach! We’re located just one block from beautiful East Beach, which any expert will tell you is the beach in Santa Barbara. Amenities include a beach house, volleyball courts, biking/rollerblading paths and a play area for children.

Visit the Santa Barbara Museum of Art

Explore the many and varied galleries of one of the top art museums on the West Coast. The impressive collection spans over 4,000 years from the sculpture of ancient China to the mysteries of modern art. The Santa Barbara Museum of Art offers free admission on Sundays (donation suggested).

Take the Red Tile Walking Tour

The Red Tile Walking Tour is a self-guided tour of historic downtown Santa Barbara. Drop by the Santa Barbara Visitor Center & Courthouse and pick up your map to 17 of the most iconic Santa Barbara historic attractions.

See the Wildlife at Andree Park Bird Refuge

The wetlands just across from East Beach provide a safe haven for hundreds of species of coastal birds, many of which you will see during a self-guided walking tour of the Andree Park Bird Refuge. Located next to Santa Barbara Zoo in walking distance of our Santa Barbara, CA hotel.

People Watch and More at Stearns Wharf

Historic Stearns Wharf is one of the most popular Santa Barbara attractions. Take in the sights of Santa Barbara Harbor as you browse the one-of-a-kind boutiques and happen across some of the wildest personalities in Santa Barbara.

Window Shop on State Street / Downtown Santa Barbara

State Street is the epicenter of activity in historic downtown Santa Barbara. Beginning at Stearns Wharf on the coast, State Street offers several blocks of fine shopping, dining and entertainment, plus daily events – many of them free!

Hike Up to Gaviota Peak

This challenging hiking trail (6-7 miles total) rewards you with a stunning view of Santa Barbara and the ocean from Gaviota Peak, one of the highest nearby points. If you want something easier, follow the mile-long path from the trailhead to a refreshing hot spring. The Gaviota Peak trailhead is located 30-40 minutes from our hotel in Santa Barbara, California.

Explore the Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail

The Urban Wine Trail is a collection of 15 Santa Barbara wineries, all located within blocks of each other near downtown Santa Barbara. Select wineries may offer free tastings with wine purchase, or otherwise offer inexpensive wine tasting programs. It’s a great way to get an overview of the Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez wine country.

Take the Little Ones to Kidsworld at Alameda Park

Kidsworld at Alameda Park is the playground you dreamed of when you were a kid. The massive jungle gym and playground is a daily hotspot for families with little ones. Alameda Park is located less than 3 miles from our Santa Barbara motel.

Browse the Santa Barbara Arts & Crafts Show

Every Sunday of the year, dozens of Santa Barbara County’s finest artists and artisans set up along the beachfront literally steps from The Inn at East Beach for the Santa Barbara Arts & Crafts Show. No county fair-style junk here. Every item for sale is an original piece by the artist displaying it.

As you can see, there’s no shortage of free things to do in Santa Barbara. You can save on your stay too by choosing The Inn at East Beach, the most popular choice in budget-friendly Santa Barbara hotels and motels. Book now for our Best Internet Rate Guarantee.

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