How to travel from Albuquerque to Santa Barbara on the cheap

How to travel from Albuquerque to Santa Barbara on the cheap
Photo: iStock
By Hoodline - Published on November 08, 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 & 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.

Using travel site Skyscanner, we’ve sifted through the cheapest flights between Albuquerque and Santa Barbara in the next few months, including some standout hotel options and beloved local attractions. (Prices and availability are current as of publication and subject to change.)

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Flight deals to Santa Barbara

Currently, the cheapest flights between Albuquerque and Santa Barbara are if you leave on Jan. 7 and return from California on Jan. 11. Delta currently has roundtrip tickets for $194.

There are also deals to be had in November. If you fly out of Albuquerque on Nov. 16 and return from Santa Barbara on Nov. 18, United can get you there and back for $292 roundtrip.

Top Santa Barbara hotels

To help plan your accommodations, here are some of Santa Barbara's top-rated hotels that we selected from Skyscanner's listings, based on price and customer satisfaction.

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

If you're looking to splurge on top-tier quality, consider the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara. The hotel has a 4.8-star rating on Skyscanner, and rooms are currently available for $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.

San Ysidro Ranch (900 San Ysidro Lane)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

If you're looking to treat yourself, there's San Ysidro Ranch, which has rooms currently set at $595/night.

Situated near the airport, this Santa Barbara hotel offers convenient proximity to attractions such as Westmont College, Santa Barbara Zoo, Santa Barbara Botanical Garden and Presidio Santa Barbara.

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

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

If you're looking for a less expensive place to stay, there's The Hyatt Centric Santa Barbara. This 4.3-star hotel has rooms going 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

Don't miss out on Santa Barbara's food scene, which hosts plenty of noteworthy spots to get your fill of the local cuisine. Here are a few of the top-rated eateries from Skyscanner's listings.

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 Brophy Bros. Clam Bar & Restaurant, which has an average of 4.6 stars out of 51 reviews on Skyscanner.

Apart from its sustainable seafood, clam chowder and fresh, crusty sourdough bread, this restaurant is known for its lively atmosphere with beautiful views of the ocean and harbor — and of Santa Barbara and the mountains, too.

"Brophy Brothers is the quintessential Santa Barbara restaurant with views of the harbor and the best clam chowder bowls," wrote visitor Leila. "Start with their oysters and a bloody mary cocktail, and then definitely order one of their fish dishes (cooked any way you like)!"

Arigato Sushi (1225 State St.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

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

"A delicious and well-rounded menu with a nice vegetarian selection," wrote reviewer Maria. "The sake and wine were both wonderful, as well."

Ca' Dario (37 E. Victoria St.)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Finally, there's Ca' Dario.

This charming Italian restaurant is known for its excellent execution of simple pasta dishes, meats and other classics, along with a fantastic wine list.

"The atmosphere is serene," wrote Emily. "Very authentic Italian food. Like, the pasta is handmade."

Featured local attractions

To round out your trip, Santa Barbara offers loads of popular attractions worth visiting. Here are some top recommendations, based on Skyscanner's descriptions and reviews.

Stearns Wharf (217 Stearns Wharf)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

First up, there's Stearns Wharf.

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

"This is a fun place to explore with lots of shops, restaurants and a small aquarium," wrote visitor Irene. "The aquarium here [has] lobsters that you can actually pet, as they have no pinching claws!"

Butterfly Beach (Montecito)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Then, there's Butterfly Beach.

This Santa Barbara beach is popular for stand-up paddleboarding and other water sports.

"The most beautiful beach in Santa Barbara ... go at low tide for a walk in the sand," wrote visitor Anne.

Shoreline Park (Shoreline Drive and Santa Rosa Place)

Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Lastly, spend some time at Shoreline Park.

"Awesome park to go for a stroll with your dog, or [for] any kind of activity," wrote visitor Eduardo. "This place is just beautiful."

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.