Planes, trains and automobiles may bring people to town, but when you get here, Santa Barbara has loads of ways to locomote your way around. Whether you’re a local or just visiting, it’s easy to step off the gas and take a vacation from your car with Santa Barbara Car Free’s (santabarbaracarfree.org) discounts and tips. If it’s a guided tour you’re after, here are some fun ways to get around.
1 From See to Sea
Finally, a shark that doesn’t bite! The Land Shark amphibious tour vehicle is a fun-for-all-ages way to tour the town both by land and sea. The journey begins at Stearns Wharf and winds its way through an amusing narrative of the streets of Santa Barbara’s historic landmarks and attractions. Then—in what’s clearly the money shot of the day—you splash into the blue Pacific waters of the harbor to hear maritime legends and discover the abundant marine mammals and sea life that inhabit the ocean. Land and Sea Tours, 805/683-7600, out2seesb.com.
2 Trolley Tours
Whether you want a 90-minute narrated tour of Santa Barbara or prefer to hop around town all the livelong day, boarding the Santa Barbara Trolley is a great option. The trolley—which has toured Santa Barbara for more than 25 years—runs throughout the city from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, departing from Stearns Wharf, where the purchase of a single ticket gets you all-day on/off privileges. Points of interest include Santa Barbara Courthouse, Santa Barbara Zoo, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Old Mission Santa Barbara and more, all fully narrated by knowledgeable tour guides. Santa Barbara Trolley Company, 805/ 965-0353, sbtrolley.com.
3 Segway Scene
Hop on a two-wheeled Segway and see the sights in a whole new way. Guided tour options include the Santa Barbara Beach Run, from West Beach to Andree Clark Bird Refuge; a Butterfly Beach Tour, from Stearns Wharf to the historic Four Seasons Biltmore and Coral Casino; Old Santa Barbara, from Stearns Wharf to the courthouse; or the Mission Tour, which takes you from the pier to Old Mission Santa Barbara. Play your cards right and Josh, the flamenco guitar-playing guide, may even serenade you. Segway of Santa Barbara, 805/963-7672, segwayofsb.com.
Originally published in the Fall 2014 issue of Santa Barbara SEASONS Magazine.