Santa Barbara, also known as the American Riviera, is a beautiful beach town nestled on the Central California coast. Luckily, most of the city's main attractions are located within a close radius of one another, so you will be able to get from Point A to Point B with relative ease. Here's our guide for how to get around in Santa Barbara.
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Walking is probably the best way to get around Santa Barbara, as most of the main attractions are located within a 3-mile radius of the downtown area. If you're staying near the waterfront area (where a lot of hotels are), you will be able to walk down State Street to shop or dine, to the Funk Zone, to several beaches, to many delicious restaurants and bars, to the Santa Barbara Pier, and more.
There are lots of places to rent bikes in Santa Barbara. Bikes can be the perfect way to get to places that are just a little too far to walk to. You can download the Santa Barbara bike map for Android or iPhone.
Places to rent bikes:
Open Air Bicycles - on State Street near Arlington Theater
Santa Barbara Bikes To-Go - free delivery to residence, hotel, or Amtrak
Santa Barbara is known for its green transportation, including its electric shuttle that serves the downtown and waterfront area. The shuttle routes are only 50 cents each way. You can find more information here.
Uber is available in Santa Barbara, and you generally won't have to wait long to get one.
If you want to have the freedom of exploring areas beyond Santa Barbara (like Carpinteria, Santa Ynez, or Montecito), there are car rentals available. You can get one downtown (cheaper), at the Santa Barbara airport, or in Los Angeles if you arrive there and want to drive up the coast.
If you aren't taking any day trips, though, you most likely won't need a car rental and you'll end up doing a decent amount of walking from your parking spot, anyways. There are a handful of parking structures that offer the first 75 minutes free, as well as street parking.
The MTD in Santa Barbara operates 25 routes that run all over the city. You can find more information here.