Architectural Walking tours of Historic Santa Barbara
Saturday & Sunday Tours, 10 a.m.
In 1989, a small group walking tour of the downtown area began being led by highly knowledgeable volunteer docents. These Saturday tours focused on architectural styles, significant and historic buildings, aesthetics, past and present building usage, and landscape history. In 2001, due the popularity of the Saturday walking tours, a Sunday tour was added. The Sunday tour continued the history of art and architecture of downtown Santa Barbara as it was reborn after the 1925 earthquake. To this day, tours are available every Saturday and Sunday at 10 AM led by our dedicated and knowledgeable group of volunteer docents. Join us for a weekend tour or ask about how to become a tour docent yourself!
- No reservation required.
- $10 per person. Cash or check payment accepted.
- Children under 12 are free and should be accompanied by an adult
- Tours are an easy stroll and last approx. 2 hours
- Please no strollers, very young children, or pets
- Additional group tours and accessible tours can be arranged with advanced notice
- Interested in become a volunteer walking tour docent? Contact the Program Chair, Brian Hofer with any questions!
Sabado (Saturday) Walking Tour
On the Sabado (Saturday) Tour, see the historic center of downtown Santa Barbara. Celebrate with us the rich cultural heritage left by the first Spanish and Mexican settlers and those giants of Southern California architecture. Sabado tours leave from the City Hall steps at De La Guerra Plaza.
This tour leaves from the City Hall steps at De la Guerra Plaza at 10:00 am, and is an easy stroll lasting approximately two hours. Rain will cancel the tour, but weather permitting it runs every Saturday all year.
Sabado (Saturday) Walking Tour:
- Casa de La Guerra, City Hall, Santa Barbara News-Press, and La Placita buildings, the 19th-century center of Santa Barbara
- El Paseo, the restaurant, courtyard, and commercial spaces
- Meridian Studios
- Lobero Theatre (1924)
- Lobero Office Building by Julia Morgan, architect of Hearst Castle
- Santa Barbara Recreation Center (1912)
- Castillo Building Masonic building (1924)
- Montecito Bank, designed by Myron Hunt and said to be modeled on a basilica in Sicily Hill-Carrillo Adobe (1828)
Domingo (Sunday) Walking Tour
On the Domingo (Sunday) Tour, see the historic art and architecture of downtown Santa Barbara as it was reborn after the 1925 earthquake. Domingo tour leaves from the Central Library courtyard entrance on Anapamu Street.
This tour leaves from the Central Library courtyard entrance on Anapamu Street at 10 am (see map below), and is an easy stroll lasting approximately two hours.
Rain will cancel the tour, but weather permitting, it runs weekly all year.
Domingo (Sunday) Walking Tour:
- Pre- and Post-Earthquake Santa Barbara Santa Barbara Central Library (1917)
- La Arcada (1930)
- East Figueroa Buildings San Marcos Building (1913; 1926)
- Santa Barbara Museum of Art (1914-1937)
- Granada Theater (1924)
- Upper Hawley Building (1887)
- 1301 State Street Arlington Theater (1930)
- US Bankruptcy Court (1946-47)
- Santa Barbara Medical Clinic Building (1920)
- Trinity Episcopal Church (1919)
- Plus many more, including Notre Dame School, Yoga Center, and Our Lady of Sorrows Church
Tours for private groups and the physically challenged can be arranged. Special tours for groups larger than 10 people may be arranged at least two weeks in advance and can be scheduled for any day of the week.
For further information on large, private, or special tours, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (805) 965-6307.