Kaplan City Guide: Santa Barbara

With its beautiful beaches and breath taking cliffs, its no wonder Santa Barbara is one of the most popular cities in California. Famed for its bright skies and blue oceans, it's the perfect destination to enjoy the California lifestyle. We asked some of our students studying English at Kaplan Santa Barbara to tell us about their favorite things in the city. Here's what they had to recommend.


Enjoy Volleyball at the beach

"Go the East Beach after class. I often go with my classmates and play volleyball."

Tip provided by:

Laura Spitznagel, Switzerland

If you want to experience the best beach in Santa Barbara, then Laura and her classmates recommend going to East Beach, where they play beach volleyball after class.  Over 1.6 miles long, the busy beach is a mecca for sports, boasting regular games of volleyball and handball, and attracting large crowds of cyclists and rollerbladers.


Santa Barbara volleyball
Enjoy a game of beach volleyball with your friends in the warm California sun


Go bowling at Zodo’s 

"There is a bowling alley called Zodo’s in Goleta. The place is beautiful with good music, delicious food, and amazing beverages."

Tip provided by:

Azucena Peralta, Mexico

If you want to spend time with your classmates outside of the classroom, Azucena recommends going bowling at a bowling alley called Zodo’s in Goleta. Aside from having an amazing bowling alley, he describes the place is stunning and a great place to grab a bite to eat. Definitely a good way to spend the day with your friends!


bowling Santa Barbara
Bowling is a great way to spend an afternoon


Visit Los Agaves for the best Mexican food 

"If you want to try real homemade Mexican food, visit Los Agaves."

Tip provided by:

Azucena Peralta, Mexico

Everyone knows that the USA is home to some of the world’s best Mexican food, so if you want to try real, authentic Mexican cuisine, Mexican student Azucena recommends that you go to Los Agaves. With the choice of everything from burritos to nachos, tacos, and enchiladas, the food is delicious and an inexpensive way of enjoying real, home made Mexican food.


Mexican food Santa Barbara
Try some of the best Mexican food the USA has to offer


Shop and eat at State Street

"State street is the main street in the city with the best food and shopping."

Tip provided by:

Alex Ruaro, Brazil

For Brazilian student Alex, those that enjoy shopping and eating should visit State Street, which is one of the best places for dining in Santa Barbara.  At this large and friendly plaza, visitors are spoilt with everything from boutiques to department stores, restaurants and cafés, and even art galleries, which offer visitors the ultimate shopping experience. For those that enjoy parties and nights out, she recommends Velvet Jones and Isla Vista, which both have a lively atmosphere and good music.


State Street Santa Barbara
With shops, restaurants, and amazing cafés, State Street has so much to see


‘You don't need to travel to enjoy everything Santa Barbara has to offer’

"What I like most about Santa Barbara is that it isn’t too big! Everything important is reachable on foot – the campus, the beach, State Street; it’s all close to each other and within walking distance."

Tip provided by:

Randy Ruegg, Switzerland

Because it's such a small city, everything is conveniently located within walking distance. That means, you can walk to the beach in the morning and have a leisurely stroll to State Street for dinner in the evening. For those that want to travel, Santa Barbara is also in a great location for travelling to nearby cities, such as Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Diego and San Francisco.


walking Santa Barbara
When the weather is nice, it's definitely worth walking around town


Come and discover the city of Santa Barbara yourself! You never know what you might find. If you’ve lived or studied here, feel free to share any other tips in the comment section below. Want to find out more about how you can study English in the USAContact one of our advisors for more information.

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