Things to do in Big Sur to Santa Barbara

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  • 1

    Hearst Castle

    67 reviews

    It is an amazing location and monument to great wealth, art and fun. It is certainly worth a visit. There are several tours. Each is interesting. $25 for a 40 minute tour led by a volunteer seems excessive. I hope they offer discounts to college students and retired individuals.

    Popular withHistoryFamiliesLocal
  • 2

    Old Mission Santa Barbara

    49 reviews

    As far as California missions go, this isn't the most impressive, but it's definitely beautiful, interesting, and worth a visit if you're in SB - and $5 isn't much to spend on 30-minute self-guided tour. I especially like going to mass at the mission, particularly midnight mass on Christmas Eve, where you can appreciate the architecture and feel the history. ...

    Popular withHistoryFamiliesLocal
  • 3

    Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

    33 reviews

    The highlight of this park is an overlook of a stunning turquoise bay with a waterfall tumbling down to the sandy beach. Tip: if you are just coming for the beach view, park on the road and save the parking fee. There are also redwood hikes here, but we didn't try them.

    Popular withOutdoorFamiliesBudget
  • 4

    Santa Barbara Zoo

    34 reviews

    Awesome zoo. Great aviary. Bring a picnic and enjoy the wild animals and scenic from your picnic table. Afterwards, walk to the beach.

    Popular withFamiliesOutdoorLocal
  • 5

    Highway 1

    26 reviews

    Highway 1 runs up and down the Pacific Coast in California. The highway is FAMOUS for running along some of the MOST beautiful coastlines in the USA, leading to its designation as an All-American Road. In is a scenic route with numerous attractions along the coast. It serves as a major thoroughfare in the Greater Los Angeles Area, the San ...

    Popular withOutdoorFamiliesBudget
  • 6

    Pfeiffer Beach

    21 reviews

    This place can be quite a challenge to find. It's just south of the actual Big Sur park entrance on Hwy 1. You'll pass right by it if you don't know what to look for. So look for a series of mailboxes on the side of the road on a side road that goes down. That's Sycamore Canyon Road. Follow ...

    Popular withOutdoorGreenBudget
  • 7

    Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

    21 reviews

    camping on the beach... bring a good sleeping bag. it can get chilly on the coast at night. about 2hrs south, the drive is classic CA Pacific Coast Highway and you pass thru Monterey and Carmel on the way. If you have the time, take 17 mile drive.

    Popular withOutdoorGreenFamilies
  • 8

    Elephant Seals at Piedras Blancas

    21 reviews

    Very cool stopping point on Highway 1 in San Simeon. You can see all of the elephant seals from a high vantage point but close enough to take good pictures.

    Popular withFamiliesAdventureOutdoor
  • 9

    Channel Islands National Park

    20 reviews

    This chain of eight islands off the coast of Santa Barbara are especially exciting for their abundance of unique fauna, including foxes, sheep, and buffalos. This is a great stop for those touring California with an interest in the state's wildlife.

    Popular withOutdoorAdventureGreen
  • 10

    Santa Barbara Bowl

    19 reviews

    This is on of my favorite venues. It's a smaller venue, very relaxing under a starry night, but was a bit chilly tonight (end of season).

    Popular withFamiliesLocalDesign
  • 11

    Santa Barbara County Courthouse

    19 reviews

    Since 1850 this site has been the home of local government and a place of civic pride and celebration. Visitors from around the world come to see the courthouse, mural room or grounds; and hundreds get married in the Mural Room or in the Garden every year. The County Board of Supervisors caused the construction of this, now historic courthouse ...

    Popular withHistoryLocalAdventure
  • 12

    State Street Shopping & Dining

    19 reviews

    Beautiful beaches, great shopping, lots of California history, and an all around nice place to Visit.

    Popular withHistoryFamiliesLocal
  • 13

    Montana De Oro State Park

    15 reviews

    These mountains of gold is the crown of scenery and coastal beauty in California's central coast. Several hikes begin from near the historic Pecho Ranch house; getting to the top of any nearby summit rewards hikers with sweeping seascapes of Estero Bay on the windward side, with the verdant undeveloped hills and of ancient volcanoes on the other side.

    Popular withOutdoorFamiliesAdventure
  • 14

    Andrew Molera State Park

    16 reviews

    Beautiful scenery during the hike but the trials were a little lost so we had to turn back :(

    Popular withOutdoorAdventureFamilies
  • 15

    Bixby Creek Bridge

    14 reviews

    Lovely historic and iconic bridge along highway 1. Worthy of a stop and photography but be careful for cars and the cliff.

    Popular withOutdoorBudgetHistory
  • 16


    13 reviews

    This 37-acre property in a residential neighborhood of Santa Barbara matches the eccentricity and whimsy of its founder, Polish-born opera singer and socialite Madame Ganna Walska. Married and divorced six times in her 96 years, Walska’s steadiest love affair was with this botanical garden. She spent more than four decades cultivating an exotic collection that includes more than 170 types ...

    Popular withOutdoorFamiliesHistory
  • 17

    San Luis Obispo County Farmers' Market

    13 reviews

    Farmers Market is one of the biggest events on thursday nights in SLO. People from all over come to enjoy the entertainment, food and produce. Starts at 6 and goes till 9. Come and get your fresh fruits and veg. and take in some great food.

    Popular withLocalStudentsFoodies
  • 18

    Arroyo Burro Beach County Park

    15 reviews

    A local beach with free parking. Only a 15 minute drive from the Hourglass.

    Popular withOutdoorFamiliesBudget
  • 19

    Butterfly Beach

    13 reviews

    A fabulous beach for walking and for taking in sunsets and sunrises. Most of the time the surf isn't spectacular but the views are.

    Popular withFamiliesOutdoorAdventure
  • 20

    Avila Valley Barn

    13 reviews

    Pick up goodies to snack on at the beach, feed the animals, and take some family photos while you're there!

    Popular withFamiliesBudgetOutdoor
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