Destination guide

Beachside fun at Santa Barbara vacation home rentals

Mornings in the American Riviera are for sunbathing or surfing in the sandy beaches, afternoons are for kicking back with a glass (or five) of bubbly, and nights are for enjoying some jazz at the historic Lobero Theatre—established in 1873, it's California's oldest theater. Santa Barbara vacation rentals are a great base for getting to know this SoCal sweetheart. There's much to ground to cover, from the specialty boutiques of historic State Street to the street art and converted warehouses of hip Funk Zone, so slap on the suntan and let's get this holiday started.

Things to do

Sightseeing near Santa Barbara vacation rentals

If you have kids in tow, the interactive art, science, and technology exhibits at Moxi Museum will keep tantrums at bay, and the rooftop glass ceiling makes for a unique Instagram-worthy family shoe-fie. Mission Santa Barbara, nicknamed the Queen of the Missions, holds court on a hill just north of the downtown area. There are historic gardens, a museum, a cemetery, and a 19th-century stone church with a twin-bell tower. You don't have to wander far from your Santa Barbara vacation rental to sample this wine country's best, as there are dozens of tasting rooms in town.


Activities near Santa Barbara vacation homes

No matter what kind of seaside shenanigans you're seeking, there's a Santa Barbara beach that's sure to hit the spot. Family-friendly East Beach has a ton of beach volleyball courts, while Leadbetter Beach is best for surfing and stand-up paddle-boarding. At the latter, head up to Shoreline Park for great views over the surf scene and of The Channel Islands. Stay until dusk for the gorgeous sunset views at Butterfly Beach, or take your pupper to flat Arroyo Burro Beach, also called Hendry's Beach, for a sandy game of fetch.


Local weather for your stay in Santa Barbara vacation homes

Santa Barbara has a mild climate year-round, with an annual average temperature of 62 degrees. Summer highs reach the mid-70s from July to October, while temps from December to March max out at about 66 degrees. Regardless of your trip dates, bring a sweater for chilly early mornings and late evenings. Santa Barbara vacation rentals are likely to be cheapest in the winter, but be ready for some wet days from December to March. The rest of the year pretty much guarantees abundant sunshine—although summer days also promise massive crowds.

Natural features

Park life in Santa Barbara: Walks and whale-watching

Santa Barbara locals might argue that the best place to commune with nature in Southern California is at the beach, but there are parks and preserves, too, if you want to stay on land. The oceanfront Douglas Family Preserve has scenic walking and hiking trails, as well as lookout points for dolphin- and whale-watching. The family dog can come, too, as there are canine-friendly areas in the preserve. Turtles and koi in the artificial pond at the Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens will delight animal-loving tots, and the block-sized park has winding paths nestled amidst lush greenery.

How to get there

Traveling to and around Santa Barbara

Fly into Santa Barbara, CA (SBA-Santa Barbara Municipal), the closest airport, located 7.8 mi (12.6 km) from the city center. If you're unable to find a flight that fits your schedule, you could also fly into Santa Ynez, CA (SQA), which is 25 mi (40.3 km) away.

If you prefer train travel, the main station is Santa Barbara Station.

Family friendly

Kid-friendly activities near Santa Barbara vacation rentals

Kids will love the range of attractions in Santa Barbara. Vacation homes are available near places like Santa Barbara Zoo, a quaint zoo with hundreds of animals in naturalistic habitats, and the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center, an aquatic exploration center with live shark touch pools, a tidepool tank, and sea specimens. Kids will also enjoy the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, a science museum with natural wonders like dinosaurs and a planetarium.

Good for couples

Romantic retreat near Santa Barbara vacation homes

If you’re looking for a romantic retreat, nothing beats Santa Barbara. Vacation rentals can be found near idyllic locations like Butterfly Beach, a scenic beach with wildflowers that draw beautiful butterflies to the area, and Lotusland, a botanical garden with thousands of rare plants and flowers. You could also visit the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, an enchanting garden with miles of pathways, an authentic Japanese tea garden, and a redwood grove.

How many vacation rentals are available around Santa Barbara, CA?

Our 2019 property listings offer a large selection of 948 vacation rentals around Santa Barbara. From 529 house rentals to 21 villa rentals, find a unique house rental for you to enjoy a memorable holiday or a weekend with your family and friends.

What is the best area to stay when traveling to Santa Barbara?

Whether you're traveling with family or friends, here are the areas with the largest selection of vacation rentals for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in Santa Barbara:

  • Santa Barbara Beach: 151 vacation rentals
  • The Mesa: 508 vacation rentals
  • Downtown: 206 vacation rentals
  • Mission Canyon: 152 vacation rentals
  • Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail: 230 vacation rentals

For other neighborhoods, please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

What are the popular point of interests near where I can stay when traveling to Santa Barbara?

Vrbo offers a large selection of vacation rentals near lovely places in Santa Barbara. From Vrbo travelers, the top most popular points of interest to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend are:

  • Arroyo Burro Beach: 803 vacation rentals
  • Santa Barbara Station: 822 vacation rentals
  • Outdoors Santa Barbara Visitor Center: 827 vacation rentals
  • Santa Barbara Bowl: 810 vacation rentals
  • Santa Barbara County Courthouse: 807 vacation rentals

But there are many other points of interest around Santa Barbara listed on Vrbo where you can find your place to stay. Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available near the point of interest of your choice.

Can I rent Houses in Santa Barbara?

Yes, of course. Vrbo has 529 Houses in Santa Barbara. Our other popular types of vacation rentals in Santa Barbara include:

  • Villas: 21 rentals available
  • Condos/Apartments: 166 rentals available
  • Cottages: 82 rentals available

But you can also enjoy a great stay in one of our other vacation rentals including Bungalows and more.

Can I find a vacation rental with pool in Santa Barbara?

Yes, you can select your preferred vacation rental with pool among our 236 vacation rentals with pool available in Santa Barbara. Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

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