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Family Fun in Santa Barbara

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Santa Barbara is a great place to learn about the natural world and have fun doing it. Little ones will love getting busy with the interactive exhibits at the Natural History Museum and the touch tanks at the Sea Center, plus getting up close and personal to the animals on a whale watching tour or at the Santa Barbara Zoo. The town is extremely child (and pet) friendly, with special meals at restaurants, kid-centric tours at the museums and even horseback rides at some if the vineyards.
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1212 Mission Canyon Rd, Santa Barbara, CA 93105, USA

For a tranquil city break, visit the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, which displays a thousand different native California plants over 31 hectares (77 acres), through which guests can stroll some eight kilometers (five miles) of trails with mountain...

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2201 Laguna St, Santa Barbara, CA 93105, USA

Among California's 21 Spanish missions, the late-18th-century national landmark Mission Santa Barbara is considered the "queen of the missions." Those interested in early California history will also want to stop by the whitewashed, red...

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217 Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, USA

One of the finest Pacific Coast piers, as they're usually called in California, is Stearns Wharf. Built in 1872 for cargo delivery and passengers, the pier has survived earthquakes, storms and fires. Today, an entire subculture of colorful...

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119 Harbor Way, Santa Barbara, CA 93109, USA
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A local legend for its fresh seafood and particularly its clam chowder, the super-casual Brophy Bros. is right on the marina. There's an oyster bar, or you can sit on the upstairs terrace overlooking the pleasure craft coming and going. The...

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With the longest southern-facing coast in California and with the protected Channel Islands offshore, Santa Barbara offers a premier whale-watching environment. Humpbacks, gray and blue whales and other magnificent marine mammals squeeze...

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1639 Copenhagen Dr, Solvang, CA 93463, USA

For more than a half century, it's been a rite of passage for travelers making the drive up or down the California coast to stop in little Solvang, 50 kilometers (31 miles) over the mountains from Santa Barbara. The town's windmills and...

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1101-, 1233 Channel Dr, Montecito, CA 93108, USA
It's often a four-way tie when Santa Barbara locals are asked about their favorite beaches. Butterfly Beach is a west-facing golden strip of sand that may be the best place to watch a sunset, but there aren't many amenities besides the surf,...
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1130 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, USA
No West Coast museum owns more Monet paintings than the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, which boasts 27,000 works within its collection. The museum punches well above its weight for one located in a city of 92,000, with works from...
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211 Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, USA
The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center anchors the end of Stearns Wharf. Sitting directly above the Pacific Ocean, it offers interactive marine exhibitions and a window onto the Santa Barbara Channel, as well as a kid-friendly...
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500 Ninos Dr, Santa Barbara, CA 93103, USA
Spread over 30 acres, the Santa Barbara Zoo is one of the country's best small zoos, with an emphasis on open, natural habitats for its 146 species of animals, including Asian elephants and lowland gorillas. Home to more than 500 mammals,...