Top 20 Santa Barbara attractions

Santa Barbara Museum of Art

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art is in an elegant, italianate building in downtown.

It was originally the post office from 1914-1932, miraculously surviving the 1925 earthquake.  It then opened as an art gallery in 1941, and today houses an incredible 27,000 works of art.

Combine a visit to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, with nearby downtown attractions like restaurants and shops along bustling State Street, and the stunning Santa Barbara Courthouse.

5 best things about Santa Barbara Museum of Art

1. The fabulous collection includes Renoir, Dali, Rodin, and Chagall.  

See Renoir's Woman in a White Chemise (1900), Dali's striking Honey is Sweeter than Blood (1941), Rodin's Eternal Spring (1884), and Chagall's Horse Woman (1945).  

2. It has the largest Monet collection on the West Coast.

See romantic impressionist pieces from Monet like Waterloo Bridge (1900).

3. The italianate interior is gorgeous.

Breathtaking Ludington Court is the most impressive gallery, with high, paneled ceilings and decorative archways that create a light, airy and elegant space. 

4. There's a superb collection of Greek and Roman antiquities.  

See precious vases, busts and sculptures from as early as the 1st Century AD.

5.  The California Dreaming collection captivates the senses.  

These plein-art paintings from San Francisco to San Diego, capture a dreamlike, ethereal quality, with light infused California landscapes. Amongst the best is Children on the Beach by William Merritt Chase (1894).

Know before you go

  • Address:  1130 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101.
  • Hours and admission:  check here
  • Parking: 1115 Anacapa St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 (Public Parking Lot 7).
  • Cafe & museum store: lower floor.

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