Historic Sites

Santa Barbara
Casa de la Guerra

Prior to California statehood, the Santa Barbara region was overseen by Presidio commandantes. The fifth such governor, José de la Guerra, had this home built during the 1820s. The low-slung, colonnaded structure was particularly impressive in...  Read More

Dating from 1782, this military compound is the only extant one of four that the Spanish built in the area. Locus of government and military activities, the presidio was in use until the mid-19th century. In 1963, an historic preservation group...  Read More

A joint effort of Franciscan vision and Chumash Indian labor, this graceful structure dates from 1786, although it was reworked until the 1830s. Referred to as "Queen of the Missions," the Santa Barbara building was tenth of the twenty-one...  Read More

Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park

Just a brief drive from Santa Barbara rests a sandstone cave housing pictographs created by the Chumash Indians. Created with mineral pigments, the drawings are believed to have been religious in intent and date from a couple hundred years back...  Read More

Santa Barbara Presidio Chapel

Although the entire Presidio makes for a worthwhile visit, the chapel deserves special recognition. A simple facade belies the rich interior, which is dressed with artwork, sacred artifacts, faux painting, and beautiful details. The present...  Read More

Casa del Herrero

Completed in 1925, this gorgeous Spanish Colonial Revival home is the collaboration of owners George and Carrie Steedman and a coterie of designers, architects, and horticulturists. Painstakingly conceived, built, and furnished, the estate is a...  Read More

Considered one of the most beautiful government buildings in America, Santa Barbara's historic Spanish-Moorish style courthouse draws thousands of visitors each year and is actually the second courthouse on this site, constructed after an...  Read More

Photo courtesy of brewbooks

Designed by eccentric Ganna Walska, a Polish opera singer, this estate garden is the product of decades of effort and attention. Fantastical vignettes feature a wealth of unusual plants, including cycads, which were present in the era of the...  Read More

Santa Barbara

Built in 1872 to handle incoming freight and passengers, Stearns Wharf is one of the coast's oldest wooden piers. Following renovations in 1981, the wharf became a magnet for both tourists and locals. Shops, eateries, and even a wine tasting...  Read More