Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara is a tender port – Ships have to anchor off Santa Barbara and tender passengers ashore by boat. When tendering is required, guests using mobility devices will not be transferred into or out of the tender. Many tender ports do not provide wheelchair access so even if the guest can board the tender they may not be able to disembark ashore. Again the shore-side facilities, movement of the tender, weather and tidal conditions can also preclude tendering.

Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara is a city in the state of California, in the United States of America. It is the county seat of Santa Barbara County, located in Southern California.

Santa Barbara County Courthouse was built in 1929 and is the grandest building in town. A working courthouse, this Spanish-Moorish castle has frescoes, murals and Tunisian tile work. The El Mirador Bell Tower provides great views of the city and the bay. (Guided tours available).

Santa Barbara Mission is an excellent example of California’s Franciscan Spanish architecture.

At the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, highlights in the 11 exhibit halls include a life-size Blue Whale skeleton and a rare skeleton of a pony-sized ‘pygmy mammoth’.

Santa Barbara Museum of Art, features a good collection of Roman antiquities, as well as classical European and modern art.

Santa Barbara Historical Museum features relics, artefacts, textiles and photographs from Chumash, Spanish, Mexican, Yankee and Chinese cultures, some dating as far back as the 15th century.

The picturesque Stearns Wharf dates back to 1872 and is the longest deep-water pier between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Badly damaged several times by fire, it has been repeatedly rebuilt and today features more than a dozen shops and restaurants. You may be lucky and spot brown pelicans at the end of the wharf.

At the Karpeles Museum, among the many items on permanent display is an original stone copy of the Declaration of Independence, handwritten scores by leading composers and a replica of the globe used by Columbus.

Santa Barbara Zoo is small but has over 600 animals including snow leopard, African lion, Chilean flamingo and western lowland gorilla.

Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens is located on 65 acres in the foothills just above the city and features exhibits of California native plants as well as a meadow, canyon and redwood forest. It is the oldest botanic garden in California dedicated to the study, conservation, and display of native flora.

Reagan Ranch Center Exhibit Gallery has original Ronald Reagan Ranch artefacts and state-of-the-art, interactive, multimedia exhibits.

Santa Barbara’s most popular beach, East Beach, is a pristine stretch of white sand framed by palm trees, surrounding hills and nearby harbour. For less crowds, head to Leadbetter Beach and isolated Arroyo Burro (known to locals as Hendry’s Beach). Hendry’s Beach is also home to a nudist beach.

Santa Barbara has numerous private and public golf courses located in and around the city. Hidden Oaks, Twin Lakes and Ocean Meadows are 9 hole courses whilst 18 holes can be found at Santa Barbara or Sandpiper Golf Courses.

The unique geography of Santa Barbara provides many opportunities to see panoramic views and abundant wildlife. Hiking guides and maps can be obtained from many downtown establishments such as bookshops and larger newsagents.

Other activities to try including paragliding, surfing and exploring the Channel Islands National Park by kayak. These five islands are close to the Californian coast and are home to many unique animals, plants and archaeological resources found nowhere else on Earth.

Santa Barbara has a number of wineries all within blocks of downtown. Most wineries have tasting rooms and are open to the public. Daily Wine Tours can also be arranged.

The disabled cruiser visiting Santa Barbara 

Since the cruise ship does not dock and the disabled cruiser is tendered to the island from out in the harbor; if the water is too rough, the captain may not let the disabled cruiser off the ship. Anyone with limited mobility would have some difficulty. Anyone in a wheelchair would have to be carried on and off the tender.

Where You’re Docked

Santa Barbara is an anchorage port. Passengers transfer to shore via ship’s tender.

Cruise ships enter Santa Barbara Harbor and dock 1½ miles offshore. Passengers are tendered to Sea Landing where they are greeted by a Hospitality Team. Hospitality tents are located along Cabrillo Boulevard, and across from Bath Street.

Walk from Sea Landing to the Harbor or Stearn’s Wharf where there is a variety of restaurants, shops and museums.

To reach downtown Santa Barbara, there are a few options. Jump on MTD Downtown Waterfront Shuttle, hire a pedicab or it is possible to walk down to State Street, turn left, go under the overpass and you will reach the downtown area.

Taxis tend to be an expensive option here.

Good to Know

Heavy traffic 

Getting Around

On foot: 

By car: 

By bus:

Currency & Best Way to Get Money

The official currency is the US Dollar.


The official language in Santa Barbara 


State Street offers more than a mile stretch of everything from trendy boutiques to popular chain stores. El Paseo is an upscale mall that bills itself as “California’s First Shopping Center”, while nearby Paseo Nuevo offers Nordstrom’s, Macy’s and more than 50 speciality shops. The Italian Pottery Outlet carries the largest collection of Italian pottery in the west and at discounted prices.

Latin-themed dishes are extremely popular here. BBQ, Italian and fast food options can also be found in the numerous local restaurants. Try the world-famous Santa Maria style barbecue (marinated beef tri-tip slow roasted over native red oak) or tasty freshly caught fish and seafood.

Points of Interest

  • Santa Barbara – a seven-

Santa Barbara Accessible Excursions

Whether your cruise ship stops in 

Santa Barbara Accessible Guided Tour

This 4 hour accessible