The Best Photo Spots in Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara is a small California city located on a beautiful stretch of the Pacific coastline. It is situated on the coast of the Pacific Ocean and is known for its beautiful beaches, scenic views, and Mediterranean-style architecture. It’s only 90 minutes away from Los Angeles and is well known for its laid-back artistic vibes and upscale taste.
Many call Santa Barbara the California Riviera because it’s similar to towns on the Mediterranean Sea. There are many exciting places to take photos in Santa Barbara and that’s why I’ve created the “Best Photo Spots in Santa Barbara” for you to enjoy!
Santa Barbara Mission
There are 21 Spanish Missions in the state of California and let me tell you, the Santa Barbara Mission TAKES THE CAKE! The mission is located on a hill overlooking the city of Santa Barbara and is surrounded by lush gardens, historic buildings, and beautiful fountains. Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the mission, which includes a visit to the church, cemetery, museum, and various other buildings on the grounds.
Address: 2201 LAGUNA ST, SANTA BARBARA, CA 93105
The Chromatic Gate
Have you ever wanted to walk through a rainbow? Well, you can do just that at The Chromatic Gate. It’s one of the coolest spots in Santa Barbara and has come to be a staple in the community. The colors used in the Chromatic Gate are intended to symbolize the diverse cultural heritage of Santa Barbara. And to create a sense of vibrancy and energy in the surrounding space.
The installation is particularly stunning when the sunlight hits the structures, casting vibrant and dramatic shadows on the ground. Finally, I especially love the angle from the backside of the gate because the palm trees in the middle make for the perfect photo opportunity.
Address: 633 EAST CABRILLO BLVD
Chase Palms Park
The land of nothing but Palm Trees, Chase Palm Park is the perfect place for a picnic in Santa Barbara. It’s adjacent to the beach with a skate park and shipwreck-themed playground. It’s the perfect activity for families! Furthermore, it’s located across the street from the Chromatic Gate so it’s easy to hit up both these spots at once.
Address: 323 E CABRILLO BLVD 93101
Stearns Wharf is a wooden pier that juts out into the harbor. The wharf was built in 1872 and was originally used to serve as a cargo and passenger port for ships traveling to and from Santa Barbara. Today, it is a popular destination for visitors and locals alike, offering a variety of activities and attractions. It’s great for beautiful ocean views and you can grab dinner here at one of their many seafood restaurants.
Ganna Walska Lotusland
IMG VIA PINTEREST
Located on an estate in Montecito, California, Lotusland was purchased by Ganna Walska in 1941. After her passing, they turned it into a non-profit botanical garden. It’s known for its dramatic botanicals and is recognized as one of the top ten gardens in the world!
Address: LOTUSLAND, COLD SPRING RD, MONTECITO, CA 93108
Santa Barbara Courthouse
One of the prettiest places we visited in Santa Barbara was the Santa Barbara Courthouse. Its architecture is quintessential Spanish Colonial and there are so many corners that are great backdrops for photos. Finally, it’s free to visit the exterior, and is very quiet in the morning hours.
Address: 1100 ANACAPA ST 93101
Paseo Nuevo Staircase
California is inundated with tiled steps but the Paseo Nuevo staircase is perfect for a good photo opportunity. There are two identical staircases and they’re located right next to Eureka restaurant.
Address: 601 PASEO NUEVO 93101
The Funk Zone
The most creative part of this city is The Funk Zone. It’s a small area that is dedicated to artistic murals, curated coffee shops, and outdoor eats. We really enjoyed coffee at Dart Coffee Co. and The Lucky Penny is a great spot for dinner!
Address: 220 GRAY AVE 93101
State Street is the main attraction for downtown. This palm tree-lined street runs for miles with boutiques, restaurants, and art galleries. There are so many great photo opportunities on State Street. Including this vintage-looking marquee and the endless Spanish architecture buildings. Just walk along State Street and see what catches your eye!
Address: STATE STREET 93101
Finally, this spot is a local’s spot and it’s a bit off the beaten path. It’s located 40 minutes outside of Santa Barbara’s main attractions but has a beautiful ocean and mountainous view. If you’re coming from the North I would stop off and check this place out!
Address: FARREN ROAD, GOLETA, CA
What to Pack to make your Photos Stand Out
- A sturdy pair of flip-flops. These Olukai Sandals are my go-to and have lasted me years!
- Chic and comfortable slide sandals
- Sunscreen: This GOOP FACE SUNSCREEN BRUSH is perfect for traveling because it adds SPF to your face all while not messing up your makeup. It’s my new holy grail product and you need to add this one to your packing list! Also, my daily moisturizer with SPF is incredible for traveling + every day!
- A wide-brim sun hat: I love this one from Brixton I have it in multiple colors. Also, I’ve been eyeing this Lack of Color Boater Hat which I just purchased and it has easily become my new favorite!
Thank you for reading my “Best Photo Spots in Santa Barbara” post. Are there any places that you love in this city that I’ve missed? Be sure to let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to check out more of my California guides!
don’t forget to pin this post for later!
Great post ?
Thanks! I’m so glad you liked it
I would love to have a photo shoot there some day, looks pretty there. I especially love the tall-looking trees <3
They’re pretty incredible!
It’s always nice to know the photo spots before hand!
Can’t wait to visit one day and explore those beautiful photo spots! Really great post 🙂