Downtown Santa Barbara Stores Satisfy the Urge to Splurge

If you're looking to spend a little fun money, downtown Santa Barbara is the place to go. There are oodles of shops big and small, but the very best ones are locally owned. This list shares the ten best stores in downtown Santa Barbara and includes many independent retailers that you won't find anywhere else!

Ladies with the urge to splurge will be delighted by the high-end designer fashion at Wendy Foster, Diani Boutique and A Tropical Affair. Even the thrifty-minded will enjoy browsing the racks at Lola, a designer consignment boutique.

For unique gifts and treasures, try Lewis & Clark or the Santa Barbara Museum of Art Store. Both are bursting at the seams with home goods, jewelry, books and much more. Locally handcrafted jewelry can also be found at either Lovebird Boutique location. In fact, if you're lucky the designer might even be working when you visit.

Music lovers should seek out Warbler Records. In addition to new and used vinyl, turntables and band merchandise, Warbler also stocks books, cards and sundries, many crafted by local artists. 

These downtown stores are all within easy walking distance of one another, and there are plenty of parking and dining options in the area, too. Downtown Santa Barbara: it's the perfect way to spend a day!


Santa Barbara

An almost-secret boutique that hides in a quiet shopping center tucked just off bustling State Street, Lola Boutique sells both designer consignment and new women's apparel, accessories and jewelry. Browse the racks of colorful high-fashion duds and get your boutique fix for astoundingly low prices. Score luxury shoes and handbags for a song, too. They also host fun trunk shows featuring up-and-coming Santa Barbara designers. This store is light and airy, with big windows and spacious dressing rooms. Park in the city lot behind the store or walk there from many area hotels. Surrounded by great restaurants and additional shopping.

Recommended for Downtown Santa Barbara's Best Shopping because: Find all your favorite labels at Lola in great condition at affordable prices.

Geneva's expert tip: Since they have such varied inventory, ask the friendly staff to show you some of their favorite pieces in your size.

Read more about Lola Boutique →

Santa Barbara Museum of Art Store
Photo courtesy of Geneva Ives

A store for shoppers of all ages, whether you're a group of art afficionados or not. The Santa Barbara Museum of Art Store is home to an assortment of treasures and souvenirs that you won't find anywhere else. Of course there are wonderful art books, but there are also fun children's toys, family games, home decor pieces and handcrafted jewelry collections. Although attached to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, you don't have to pay admission if you just want to pop in and do a little shopping. Located on a charming block of State Street with many other fun shops and restaurants nearby.

Recommended for Downtown Santa Barbara's Best Shopping because: The Santa Barbara Museum of Art Store carries art, gifts and activities that bring out the artist in all of us.

Geneva's expert tip: You can shop at the museum store, even if you didn't pay for admission to the museum. Enter from the State Street side.

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Lewis & Clark
Photo courtesy of Geneva Ives

Looking for a one-of-a-kind gift? Do you enjoy antiques, jewelry and whimsical home goods? You do?! Well then Lewis & Clark is the destination for you. Located in the charming La Arcada courtyard, this small shop is packed with treasures that you'll want to take home with you. There are Santa Barbara cookbooks, charming aprons and tea towels in addition to stacks of dish ware, fun accessories and a wonderful selection of cards. After October, Lewis & Clark becomes your one-stop Christmas shop, too, showcasing a collection of hand blown holiday ornaments that would be hard to find elsewhere. Truly a unique shopping experience that you shouldn't miss!

Recommended for Downtown Santa Barbara's Best Shopping because: Such a fun store for shoppers of all ages and tastes! The astounding variety makes this a great gift shop.

Geneva's expert tip: Go to Lewis & Clark starting in late September to discover the best selection of holiday and Christmas decorations anywhere.

Read more about Lewis & Clark →


Wendy Foster is a gorgeous, high-end women's fashion boutique located in the center of downtown that epitomizes Santa Barbara style. Look for classic shapes in luxury fabrics as well as seasonal pieces with a Southern California-vibe. In addition to apparel, Wendy Foster also carries jewelry, scarves, handbags, scented candles and a limited assortment of lingerie. If you love designer fashion but a splurge isn't in your budget, don't miss the sale racks at the store; they're always home to phenomenal deals. Anchoring one corner of Paseo Nuevo mall, Wendy Foster is close to additional shopping, restaurants, parks and movie theaters.

Recommended for Downtown Santa Barbara's Best Shopping because: Fashionistas of every age can find something to fall head-over-heels in love with in this high-end boutique.

Geneva's expert tip: Looking for a gift for that hard-to-shop-for friend? Start here.

Read more about Wendy Foster →

Vinyl records still exist. Better yet, new ones are constantly in production. But where do you go to buy them? Why, the local record store, of course. Enter Warbler Records & Goods, Santa Barbara's most awesome (in this expert's opinion) music shop. Here you will find stacks and rows and heaps of new and used vinyl, to suit almost every musical preference. What? You don't have a record player? Don't fret, they sell those, too. And let's not forget the "Goods" portion of their name. The front of the shop boasts a thoughtfully curated selection of interesting things, from lamps and books to stationery and other sundries.

Recommended for Downtown Santa Barbara's Best Shopping because: Discover or rediscover the joys of vinyl at Warbler! The good people here actually play records, in store, all day for your listening pleasure.

Geneva's expert tip: Check out the fun area up front where they sell cards, barware and other neat treats.

Read more about Warbler Records & Goods →

DIANI Boutique
Photo courtesy of Lola Boutique

A calm haven for beachy fashionistas, DIANI Boutique specializes in quality, fashion forward women's apparel with a sophisticated yet relaxed vibe. Designer pieces by Cynthia Vincent, Lemlem, Theory, and many more hang from gorgeously simplistic racks in an open and airy setting. Owner Caroline Diani opened the original DIANI Boutique in 2002 with the belief that "good design is timeless." In 2007, she expanded her retail presence with DIANI Shoes - just footsteps away in the very same shopping center - to make sure her loyal clientele have all their needs met, head to toe. A 'can't miss' for fashion devotees.

Recommended for Downtown Santa Barbara's Best Shopping because: This women's fashion boutique is a pleasure to visit - from the kind employees and great selection to the relaxing atmosphere.

Geneva's expert tip: Join their mailing list to stay up to date and receive super secret discount codes for their online shop.

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Lovebird is an adorable boutique that features locally crafted jewelry and other beautiful (and often affordable) adornments for women. Owner Jennifer Scarbrough designs and makes most of the jewelry pieces herself, giving you the opportunity to walk away with a truly unique Santa Barbara souvenir. Leather, gold, silver, pearls and other precious elements are commonly used in her collections. Bohemian luxe fashions are carefully curated to compliment the jewelry. Gauzy tunics and blouses mingle with party dresses and beach coverups and sandals. With two small, gem-filled shops in the downtown area, you're never far from an opportunity to fall in love.

Recommended for Downtown Santa Barbara's Best Shopping because: You never know what treasures you will find when you stop into Lovebird. Besides jewelry, Lovebird stocks shoes, denim, bags and more.

Geneva's expert tip: In the spring, they've even been known to carry cheery rain boots and umbrellas!

Read more about Lovebird Boutique & Jewelry Bar →

For those with a love of all things vintage, Punch Interieur is a little slice of heaven right on State Street. The candy colors and sparkling surfaces might momentarily overwhelm your senses upon arrival, but as soon as you eyes adjust and have time to focus... oh my, what fun there is to be had. From antique furniture to vintage clothing to retro toys, every piece is lovingly hand picked by Punch's carefully selected vendors, whose distinct tastes are reflected in every beautifully merchandised booth. This shop also has a great - and frequently hilarious - selection of greeting cards.

Recommended for Downtown Santa Barbara's Best Shopping because: Punch is the place to discover one-of-a-kind vintage and antique finds for your home, your best friend or your closet.

Geneva's expert tip: Going to (or planning) a Mad Men themed party? Everything you need is here in one amazing shop.

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Rocket Fizz
Photo courtesy of Geneva Ives

If you have a sweet tooth, Rocket Fizz is like heaven on earth. This soda pop and candy shop is packed to the brim with almost 100% pure sugar. There are hard-to-find candies from around the world, unusual sodas and all kinds of other unexpected treats like... bacon-flavored cotton candy! (We're not kidding.) Soda can be purchased as individual bottles or you can mix-and-match your own six pack. RocketFizz is also a great place to arrange a private party. The store's mascot, Santa Barbeard the pirate, guards the front door. Beware all ye who enter here, for the stormy seas of sugar highs (and lows) lurk inside!

Recommended for Downtown Santa Barbara's Best Shopping because: Rocket Fizz has candy, soda, toys, novelties, fun posters... it's a candy land for children and adults.

Geneva's expert tip: Call ahead to arrange for a special event - like a kid's birthday party!

Read more about Rocket Fizz →


Meet Geneva Ives

Geneva Ives moved to Santa Barbara in 2000 on a whim (ok, and to go to college) and never looked back. She loves Santa Barbara because it’s really one of America’s greatest small towns - it...  More About Geneva