Santa Barbara Scenic Drive
Santa Barbara Scenic Drive
4.5

Top ways to experience Santa Barbara Scenic Drive and nearby attractions

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.


4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles328 reviews
Excellent
212
Very good
81
Average
27
Poor
6
Terrible
2

Denny W
Santa Barbara, CA79 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
Santa Barbara is a picturesque small city built in a valley that goes from the mountains to the ocean. The historic Mission looks down over the city to the Pier at the base of the primary road, State Street. Wonderful restaurants and charming hotels with a beautiful downtown shopping area.
Written 5 January 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.

Mort7777
Clive, IA41 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2018 • Solo
I wrote a previous review of the Scenic Tour, It is a very popular review of one of the most beautiful urban drives. But recently Santa Barbara and specifically Montecito has experienced a very serious natural disaster, which has taken lives and left this amazing place in a state not recommended for tourists. With respect for the land and the residents here, I am respectfully posting this review to inform would be visitors to consider another activity if traveling to the area. The residents of Montecito need time to heal and much of the recommended drive is not currently navigable. Consider staying in Santa Barbara proper or driving out to the Santa Ynez Valley for sight seeing and of course wine tasting, paragliding, sail plane rides. Or coastal activities such as whale watching and beach combing. The residents will thank you and you will get the most out of your visit to this magical place.
Written 5 February 2018
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.

KKGSB
Santa Barbara, CA125 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2014 • Solo
I notice that some reviewers seem to have had a difficult time finding the scenic view. (Actually, Santa Barbara is full of them, but to my mind, driving along the ocean is at the top of the list.)

Coming from the south on Hwy. 101, exit at Cabrillo. Turn left and go under the railroad tracks. You will drive by the Santa Barbara Cemetery on your left. If you have time, this is worth a visit for the views and tombstones of interesting people who are buried there. Otherwise, continue driving on Cabrillo. You will notice the gates to the Hugette Clark estate on your left (the book "Empty Mansions"). On your right is the Bird Refuge and the Santa Barbara Zoo.( If you look quickly, you may see a giraffe or two!) Looking to your left you will see beautiful beaches, the ocean, and the channel islands off-shore. There are several public parking lots, as well as parking on the street. It's not hard to find at all!

You can continue driving past East Beach and Sterns Wharf, past State Street to Ledbetter Beach, or when you reach State Street, you can turn right and continue into town.

If you are coming to Santa Barbara on the 101 from the north, there are several ways to get to the ocean. You can exit on Carrillo and just follow the road as it changes to Meigs and then Shoreline, or you can exit on Castillo and follow the street until it runs into Cabrillo at the ocean.

Santa Barbara beaches are easily accessible, clean, and as I mentioned, there is parking either on the street or in lots. Enjoy your visit!
Written 9 March 2014
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.

Barb D
Frisco, TX156 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2015 • Couples
We found this to be a wonderful way to see some of the scenic views of Santa Barbara and the beautiful neighborhoods. Allow at least an hour and a half for this unless you don't plan to stop. We actually spent about 2 hours doing it. We stopped at several beaches for the views (Hendry Beach was very interesting) and at the Mission. Before going, stop at the Visitor's Center across from West Beach and get a printed copy of the drive. It was very helpful in figuring out the many turns. There are signs along the way marking the scenic drive, but sometimes they don't show up at important turns.
Written 3 February 2015
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.

Tanulele
Mumbai, India12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2014 • Friends
If you love driving , this scenic drive from LA to SFO is a must . Take the 10hr route , you wont regret it !

Renting a car from LA airport is the easiest and seamless.

Do get your self a GPS + Spend a little more on a nice sturdy SUV , which is surely a pleasure on a long drive.

As we landed we drove out in our rented car and stopped for breakfast at - Ihop ! ( yummmiiieeeee is the word.)

We then started our drive to SFO.. via Santa Barbara .. Santa Barbara is lovely town you must drive through.. we planned to stay there but dint get any hotel rooms available of our choice.

We then drove further down to - Pismo beach ! now thats what we were looking for . Stayed a night in Pismo.

Next day started our drive into SFO.

We were just 2 girls sharing the drive. Plus left hand drive for the first time. It was an experience of a lifetime and highly recommended !

At times it was confusing which is the route to take.. as there were 2 highways running parallel.
(Route 1, parts of it is combined with highway 101)

.. but always found our way back on the Scenic route 1.
Written 6 September 2014
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.

Richard G
Boynton Beach, FL16 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2016
My wife and I had read a number of positive reviews of this self-guided tour so stopped by the Tourist Office to pick up directions. As ususal, she was the navigator, and except for one confusing turn near the end, we managed to stay on course! It was wll worth the effort, and along the way we were led to a great public beach just north of Santa Barbara and stopped for an hour. What more could one want: a scenic cove just steps away, clean bathrooms, a lovely cafe and free parking? Then we continuted up into the mountains, and down again with incredible views. This is a chance to taken an hour or so to see more of this beautiful region.
Written 1 October 2016
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.

stanleyjs
Scotland190 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2016
On our way from Pismo Beach to Santa Barbara we headed for Solvang, a lovely little Danish town, then onto the 154 which takes you to Santa Barbara. The drive is through the wine country and hills, much better than taking the 101
Written 22 September 2016
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.

rollngstone
Milwaukee, WI1,359 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2016 • Couples
"SB Scenic drive" is kind of an understatement --- it's hard to find drives around SB that AREN'T scenic. Our tourist map had the scenic drive marked, but from what I can tell -- there are several different versions of the SB Scenic Drive.

Enjoy your cruising around town / and above it. If there are locals who need to get where they're going, get out of their way.

While you're up in the Riviera area, seek out Franceschi Park for some amazing views. This park includes urban ruins - a rundown house with a fascinating history (google it). There are some picnic tables / you'll have a hard time finding a better view for a picnic.
Written 11 April 2016
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.

UncleBob
Cardiff, UK128 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2015 • Family
This was a pleasant drive through some very nice areas of Santa Barbara. Unfortunately, one is forced to stop at the Santa Barbara Visitors center to get typed directions, and a folding map. All enjoyed the short trip (1-2 hours, depending on length of stops).
Written 26 December 2015
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.

Vickie T
Papillion, NE12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2014 • Couples
Traveling along the coast and going to Santa Ynez Valley and Los Olivos was beautiful. Solvang is a great little Danish town with lots of curt shops and wonderful pastries. Wish we could have tasted them all.
Written 4 September 2014
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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