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Exploring the best of Santa Barbara, with cheap flights from Tucson

Exploring the best of Santa Barbara, with cheap flights from Tucson
Photo: iStock
By Hoodline - Published on July 22, 2019.

This laid-back California beach town doesn't try too hard, but it still managed to come in third on the New York Times' list of 52 Places to Go in 2019. Perfect weather may have something to do with that: The city's Mediterranean climate was ranked best in the country, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Visit Mission Santa Barbara, still an active Franciscan mission, for a taste of California history — or for a taste of something different, head straight for the city's many wine tasting rooms and excellent eateries. The beach also beckons any visitor, so make time to soak up the sun and surf while you're in town, and don't forget to catch a spectacular Pacific sunset before you go.

It’s more doable than you think. According to travel site Skyscanner, there are plenty of flights from Tucson to Santa Barbara in the next few months, and the prices aren't too shabby.

So if you're looking for a change of scenery, here are some deals to put on your to-do list. (Prices and availability are current as of publication and subject to change.)

Hoodline offers data-driven analysis of local happenings and trends across cities. Links included in the articles may earn Hoodline a commission on clicks and transactions.

Flight deals to Santa Barbara

The cheapest flights between Tucson and Santa Barbara are if you leave on Aug. 30 and return from California on Sept. 1. American Airlines currently has roundtrip, nonstop tickets for $270.

There are also deals to be had in September. If you fly out of Tucson on Sept. 13 and return from Santa Barbara on Sept. 16, Delta can get you there and back for $337 roundtrip.

Top Santa Barbara hotels

To plan your accommodations, here are some of Santa Barbara’s top-rated hotels, according to Skyscanner, that we selected based on price, proximity to things to do and customer satisfaction.

The San Ysidro Ranch (900 San Ysidro Lane)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

If you're looking to splurge on top quality, consider The San Ysidro Ranch. The hotel has a five-star rating on Skyscanner, and rooms are currently available for $595.

Situated near the airport, this hotel is also close to Westmont College, the Santa Barbara Zoo and the Presidio Santa Barbara.

The Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara (1260 Channel Drive)

There's also the 4.8-star rated The Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara. Rooms are currently set at $395/night.

"The rooms are lovely, and the grounds are equally impressive. The service is always a step above the rest, and the hotel has a lot of amenities that are worth the price if you intend to take advantage of them," wrote reviewer Ryan.

The Hyatt Centric Santa Barbara (1111 E. Cabrillo Blvd.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

A third option is The Hyatt Centric Santa Barbara. The 4.3-star hotel has rooms for $149/night.

"This is a really nice hotel. Located across the street from a really nice beach. They have a great pool with views of the ocean," wrote visitor Travis. 

Featured Santa Barbara food and drink

Santa Barbara has plenty of top-notch dining options. Here are a few of the most popular, according to Skyscanner.

Brophy Bros. Clam Bar & Restaurant (119 Harbor Way)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

First things first: where to get seafood. For a popular option, check out the Brophy Bros. Clam Bar & Restaurant, which has an average of 4.7 stars out of 51 reviews on Skyscanner.

"This is a must-visit in Santa Barbara. Stop in for an oyster shooter and fish basket," wrote visitor Steve. 

Arigato Sushi (1225 State St.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

One of Santa Barbara's most popular restaurants is Arigato Sushi, with 4.8 stars from 29 reviews.

"This spot has a delicious and well-rounded menu with nice vegetarian selections," wrote reviewer Maria.  

Los Agaves (600 N. Milpas St.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Also worth considering is Los Agaves, with 4.7 stars from 35 reviews.

"Los Agaves is an authentic Mexican restaurant with several locations. The chicken enchilada is delicious! It's great for families and big groups," wrote Leila.

What to see and do in Santa Barbara

Not sure what to do in Santa Barbara, besides eat and drink? Here are a few recommendations, provided by Skyscanner.

Shoreline Park (Shoreline Drive and Santa Rosa Place)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

First up is the Shoreline Park, with 4.9 stars from seven reviews.

"This is an awesome park to go for a stroll with your dog or [to] enjoy any kind of activity," wrote visitor Eduardo. 

Stearns Wharf (217 Stearns Wharf)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Next up is the Stearns Wharf. It checks in with 4.6 stars from 94 reviews on Skyscanner. 

This ocean pier is lined with restaurants and classic California entertainment options. It is popular with locals and tourists alike.

The Santa Barbara Zoo (500 Ninos Drive)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

The Santa Barbara Zoo is another popular destination. It has 4.6 stars from 79 reviews on Skyscanner. 

"It's a smallish zoo but the exhibits are first rate," wrote visitor Tracy. "We spent about 2.5 hours here. The animals look well cared for and the informational displays are well curated."


This story was created automatically using flight, hotel, and local attractions data, then reviewed by an editor. Click here for more about what we're doing. Got thoughts? Go here to share your feedback.