El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park

El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park

El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park
4
State ParksPoints of Interest & Landmarks
10:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Monday
10:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Tuesday
10:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Wednesday
10:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Thursday
10:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Friday
10:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Saturday
10:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Sunday
10:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Top ways to experience El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles143 reviews
Excellent
51
Very good
55
Average
28
Poor
8
Terrible
1

retireeVancouver
Vancouver, Canada1,836 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
Although I enjoyed many parts of the El Presidio like seeing how the Spanish built those onsite adobe buildings and looking at the painted interior decor of its historic church, the best part was reading the many information boards inside the rooms of the Northeast section on Santa Barbara Street, across the street from the church, about various aspects of life on this Spanish fort. These boards answered questions about the residents' furnishings and foods/kitchen, agriculture, religion, trade, transportation and storage, music, and clothing. Displayed, were some artifacts found on the site like plates, cutlery, buttons, beads to support the written information. I was amazed at the long "shopping list" of supplies that the Captain ordered for his colony. Written on an information board the width of the room (about 12 feet in width), the list of items was organized under headings like The Chapel, The Officers, The Pharmacy, Kitchen supplies. These items were to be shipped to the colony and arrived perhaps 5 months later. In the Visitors' Center where one payed the entrance fee ($4 for seniors), there were books to buy on that time period. I thumbed through a book about the Chumach Indians noting the photographs of their low domed homes. Other photos on the wall showed how the fort had changed over time. Most interesting to me was a map showing how the surveyors in the 1850's had applied a grid street system over the fort which cut up its parade ground into the sections seen today. WC are in one of the buildings inside the compound. We stayed 1 1/2 hours - a very worthwhile visit.
Written 14 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Oliver S
New York City, NY11,417 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022
To begin with, there is no parking. Then, there is not much of anything else, either. They have the real estate and in real estate, it’s all location location, location, right?! But, really, don’t go out of the way to visit, it’s only a location. Don’t even waste your time walking around, just see the movie, that’s enough. They want to catch monkeys with popcorn, i.e. there is nothing there but some muddy walls & foundations, the signage is minimal, nobody around to talk to or ask questions, exhibits at an absolute minimum. Admission is nominal, but even that is not worth it.
Written 5 December 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Christina V
Santa Barbara, CA5 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021
Here at EL Presidio de Santa Barbara you can travel back into the 18th century and visit the Spanish fort. Parts of the historic building have been restored for which you can enter and learn about the history that took place on this location. You can read about anything from the Spanish Colonial days to the impact of WWII japanese residents. It takes about 20-30 minutes to walk through and it is across the street from some delicious coffee shops. With only a $5 admission fee its a good place to stop by in Santa Barbara and learn about some Santa Barbara history.
Written 19 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SB_Walking_Tours
Santa Barbara, CA36 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021
The Presidio is a must see in Santa Barbara! It is a unique piece of California history, as only 4 presidios were ever built by the Spanish in the entire state. While this one is mostly a reconstruction, there actually is an original 2-room piece from 1782, and the reconstructed parts were done using traditional methods, so they provide great insight into the Spanish period of California. You really get a sense of how rough and simple life was back then, evidenced by the hand-built furniture and blankets. The chapel, with its Native-style wall paintings, is also impressive. Many of the rooms are free to enter and you can wander around at your own pace. The best part is how cool these mud-walled rooms are during the hot summer months!
Written 29 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

izymassage E
Phoenix, AZ492 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2020
always enjoy exploring historical sites, especially the older ones knowing all those who have walked it thru the ages. Things are pretty well marked, but some not open due to virus when I was there. Second oldest bldg I believe still standing in Cali there. Food and drink options in the same area were fun as well.
Written 25 September 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ItchyFeet
Camarillo, CA7,749 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Couples
A great place to see history of California and the town of Santa Barbara. The 1st home in CA was in this Presidio. Great place to walk around, soak up culture and history and then Est across the street at a local Mexican restaurant.
Written 2 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stuart C
Rayleigh, UK2,981 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019 • Family
Great value as my two daughters got student discount. Staff very helpful and you get a guide leaflet which really helps explain the buildings their purpose and history. Most of the buildings have been reconstructed but you get a real feel for what the Presidio would have been like when the area was ruled by the Spanish. I particularly like the kitchen, chapel and the garden with chickens. Your entry fee also allows entry to some other nearby historic houses.
Written 11 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CaliforniaLen
California172 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2019
We were glad we took the informative self-guided tour and learned about the presidios that provided the military support for the missions in early California. Very easily reached from State Street that runs through the center of town.
Written 30 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

IntoTheDeepBlue
Yorba Linda, CA268 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2019 • Family
We visited the El Presidio Historic State Park on a Sunday in early September.

The Presidio provides a fascinating look at the history of the Spanish settlement of Santa Barbara. The self tour takes you through a combination of original and reconstructed buildings, including archeological finds and an explanation of ongoing reconstruction and conservation efforts.

This site houses the oldest standing residence in California, which also happens to be the second oldest building still standing in California.

On our visit, the Presidio was hosting an exhibition about Japantown, the historic Japanese settlement in Santa Barbara. This also was a very interesting look at a part of Santa Barbara history that isn’t often explored.

If you are a history buff, or enjoy archaeology, The Presidio is a great place to visit.

Our group consisted of seven people, including three kids ages 11, 14 and 17. The kids weren’t bored at all. There’s plenty to keep them interested.

We got through the self tour in about an hour. It was easy walking, with plenty of places to sit down if we needed a break.

The fee for the main grounds and self-tour is $5 for adults. Children 16 and under visit free. There is a senior discount.

All in all, it’s a good way to spend an hour, and learn a little bit about Santa Barbara’s history.
Written 16 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Griselda CT
Los Angeles, CA77 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2019 • Couples
Another place for history lovers. Got to see how the spanish army lived upon settling at this spot. Small quarters for soldier and the family, with a small garden. My favorite part of the whole area is the kitchen. A lot of spanish, native, and mexican artifacts.
Written 22 May 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos) - Tripadvisor

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