Top Hidden Spots in Santa Barbara

Zack Garhart
Untitled Design 440

Get off the main strip and explore Santa Barbara. There are gems throughout the city. We’ve compiled a list of the top hidden spots in Santa Barbara.

The Top Hidden Spots in Santa Barbara

Elsie’s Tavern

A local favorite, Elsie’s Tavern is one of the top dive bars in Santa Barbara. With its low-key vibe, funky decor, and open nature, Elsie’s is a great place to hang out. They also have pool tables and a back patio for smokers. Although Elsie’s is a cash-only bar, they have a nice mix of beer, wine, and hard kombucha available for purchase. Given its chill vibe, Elsie’s is an ideal place to end the night.

Also, guests of ITH get $1 off their purchase when presenting their room key at Elsie’s.

Untitled Design 438SBCC Permaculture Garden

A hidden spot with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean, the Permaculture Garden on Santa Barbara’s City College is one of our top choices for this list. This sprawling garden is the perfect place to take a stroll, especially around dusk. With its breathtaking views and saturation of herbs and plants, the Permaculture Garden is a treat for the senses. The Permaculture Garden emphasizes sustainable practices such as using compost and other natural fertilizers for their range of different plant species. Easily accessible from our ITH Beach Hostel, we recommend bringing a book and a light lunch and spending the afternoon relaxing in the depths of nature.

Karpeles Manuscript Library

Founded by Dr. David Karpeles, a Santa Barbara local, the Karpeles Manuscript Library is one of the hidden gems in town. With documents and artifacts that are hundreds and thousands of years old, the Karpeles Manuscript Library is a stunning display of history and culture. It is considered the world’s largest private holding of original documents and manuscripts. The best part about the museum is that admission is free. From Ancient Egyptian carvings to documents penned by Albert Einstein and Rosa Parks, there is no shortage of fascinating displays at the museum.

Untitled Design 438Cold Spring Tavern

While this spot is outside of the city, it is certainly worth visiting. Cold Spring Tavern has become a local favorite, and somewhere that travelers have come to adorn on their journey through Southern California. Its history is what makes it so fascinating, and there is no better way to get a look into the old days of Western expansion than by visiting a place like Cold Spring Tavern. In 1868, the tavern operated as a stagecoach stop. It was used as a place of residence for the workers who built the famous San Marcos Pass, which connects the Santa Ynez Valley to Santa Barbara. There are also old jailhouses from the 1870s on site, plus various buildings and storage spaces that speak of California’s origin story. To get to Cold Spring Tavern, you will need a car. We recommend getting a group together and splitting a rideshare.

Montecito Hot Springs

Looking to take a dip in a hot spring? The Montecito Hot Springs offers some of the best natural pools around. Dating back to the 1800s, this old resort has become a popular destination for travelers and locals alike. There are seven pools on site, and they all vary in temperature. The hottest pool can get up to 112 degrees. Requiring a hike to get to the top, this spot is worth the effort. The best way to get to the trailhead is by car. The cost of an Uber or Lyft is minimal, too.

Untitled Design 439

Want a better look at what it takes to get to the hot springs? Check out this video!

Once you’ve hit up the top hidden spots in Santa Barbara, swing by our Beach Hostel. It’s an affordable place to stay and meet fellow travelers!

Also, make sure to join our Traveler’s Club! This is a free program that saves you money on all future bookings at ITH properties.

1 comment:

Add comment

Leave a comment