Camino Real Marketplace is a diverse shopping center with a variety of stores, restaurants and services. Located in Goleta, Camino Real Marketplace is close to the Santa Barbara Airport and the University of California Santa Barbara. Stores include Home Depot, Best Buy, Ulta and many others. You can enjoy a locally brewed beer and watch the game at the Hollister Brewing Co. Or plan an outing with the family and catch a movie at Camino Real Cinema - one of the nicest theaters in the Santa Barbara area. Camino Real Marketplace also has outdoor seating areas for less enthusiastic "shoppers." Parking is free.
Arguably one of the area's most chic addresses, this stretch of Montecito is home to a variety of top-notch shops and restaurants. If it's upscale and desirable, you're likely to find it here, along with the well-heeled clientele you'd expect. Gourmet foodstuffs, designer clothing, hip home accessories, art galleries, antique shops and plenty of trendy cafes and restaurants line the road. This is the place to go if you're looking to spoil yourself or a special someone. Parking is free but can be hard to find on the weekends. Celebrity sightings are not uncommon, but keep your cool. Remember: they're probably locals and you're on their turf!
This shopping center is a hidden gem. A somewhat nondescript entrance on bustling State Street opens up into a maze of small shops and specialty businesses. Victoria Court is home to vintage and secondhand stores, a photography studio, a post office and some of Santa Barbara's best independent eateries. SOhO Restaurant & Music Club, one of the area's larger venues, occupies most of the top floor. Victoria Court has convenient parking to the rear. The first 75 minutes are free; it's $1.50/hr after that. Victoria Court is located downtown near the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, within walking distance of many area attractions.
This sun-drenched plaza is located at the quiet end of downtown Santa Barbara. It is home to several luxury stores, including DIANI Boutique and Treat, a high-end beauty supply retailer. Renaud's Patisserie & Bistro serves up the area's finest croissants and is open for breakfast and lunch. If you're in the mood for fresh Mexican food, snag a table at Carlitos Cafe Y Cantina and order the rock shrimp soft tacos. Enjoy a margarita or pisco sour on Carlitos' shaded patio and listen to some live music. Arlington Plaza is located near additional shopping, restaurants, parks and theaters. Parking is free.
Loreto Plaza is a wonderful shopping center on upper State Street that doesn't look like much. A large parking lot and a row of shops. People who don't know better drive past it all the time, on their way to the freeway or even other shopping centers. But just stop for a minute (or an hour) and here's what you'll find: the area's best bookstore, a wonderful nursery, a gourmet grocery store, a bakery with the tastiest croissants in town, a legendary local restaurant and so much more! There's even a shoe repair shop and a travel store. This is a true local secret, so if you've just moved to town or if you're in Santa Barbara for an extended stay, be sure to put it on your to-do list.
Built in 1872 to handle incoming freight and passengers, Stearns Wharf is one of the coast's oldest wooden piers. These days, following renovations in 1982, the wharf is a magnet for tourists, who come to gaze out on the Channel and shop its various venues. There are great souvenir stores, as well as a wine tasting room and a museum. Eateries also share space, and you'll even catch sight of locals plying the waters for fish, along with boats coming in to unload the day's successes. At times in its past, the wharf has been used by the Navy (during WWII) and by gambling companies. Make sure to see the dolphin fountain that marks the entrance.
La Cumbre Plaza is one of Santa Barbara's two outdoor malls. Lush landscaping and pretty architectural details create a Mediterranean feeling, while a host of stores and restaurants provide plenty of outlets for your hard-earned cash. Sears and Macy's anchor either end of La Cumbre Plaza. Other retail options include Willliams-Sonoma, Tiffany's, J. Crew and Pottery Barn. Grab a coffee at Starbucks for a caffeine boost or stop at Panera if you're feeling peckish. La Cumbre is also home to a grocery store, fitness studio and local wine shop. Located on upper State Street by residential areas and other shopping centers. Free parking.
This quaint, character-filled shopping venue is as good for relaxing as it is for shopping. Marked by a multi-faced, chiming clock, the entrance leads to a variety of pleasant shops, cafes, restaurants and art galleries. If the folks accompanying you don't want to browse, they'll be pleased to admire La Arcada's landscaping, fountains and many bronze statues. Plus, there are plenty of benches where you (and they) can catch your breath before moving on. And did we mention the turtle pond? Yes, there's a turtle pond. Located in the heart of downtown, this is one shopping destination you don't want to miss.
Of course boutique shopping is lovely - especially when you're visiting a new city - but sometimes you just need to find a set of shops that satisfies the whole family. A place where you can find shoes for Mom, gadgets for Dad, toys for the kids and pick up whatever else you forgot to pack. Maybe you can even have a little lunch (possibly even al fresco, weather permitting). Enter Paseo Nuevo, Santa Barbara's premier outdoor shopping mall. A lovely collection of the shops and department stores you know and love, mixed with dining opportunities for every palate. And when you're all shopped out, stop by the centrally located movie theater for some well deserved R&R.
This Santa Barbara shopping center is a must-visit for hungry people and food enthusiasts. Part of a mixed-use development in the heart of downtown, this indoor spot contains an artisanal grocery area, as well as over a dozen specialty merchants. There's a cheese store, a butcher, a cupcake shop and so much more, packed into one inviting, continuous space. Many of the merchants sell prepared food that you can enjoy in the market or take to go. Get Thai noodles at Empty Bowl or a fresh plate of spaghetti at The Pasta Shoppe. Or sit down for a plate of oysters from Santa Monica Seafood. There's free parking under the building!