Since the early 1900s, art has played a major role in defining Santa Barbara as a city. Whether it's tucked away in a winding paseo or hidden in plain sight in a busy shopping plaza, art can be found in the most surprising places – if you know where to look!
Our Everyday Art Walk focuses on unique artwork surrounding the urban area of Santa Barbara. We call it Everyday Art because you might walk past it everyday and never really notice it's there! Some of it is in plain sight… and well, some of it is located in the most unexpected and often overlooked places. Our walk is for the inquisitive and the culturally curious.
On this tour, you will:
- Immerse yourself in Santa Barbara’s rich culture and history as you explore an extraordinary array of art - from intricate mosiacs and murals that are dispersed throughout the city (some with over 200,000 tiles) to statues that are often mistaken for real people!
- Learn about the artists and inspiration behind the paintings, murals, mosaics, sculptures, and fountains interspersed throughout Santa Barbara’s historic buildings and walkways.
- Explore the lineage of art in Santa Barbara while gaining a unique understanding of the city’s artistic heritage.
What Is Not Included?
- How long is the tour?
- The tour will last for about 90 minutes.
- What should I bring with me?
- We recommend that you bring good walking shoes and an inquisitive mind!
- Are there tours on Sundays or holidays?
- Yes; however, we are not open on all holidays for practical reasons, as many key establishments are not open and so this limits the opportunities that the tour normally offers.
- Are there limits on the number of people in our group?
- Yes, each tour takes 12 participants, but should you have a large group we are open to working with you to address your needs. Our intention is to maintain our trademark personal approach -- and when a group's size affects the quality or the safety of a specific tour, then we'll suggest an additional guide. If you have a group of more than 12 people, please click on the "Contact WalkingSB" link and let us know what you're interested in. Someone will get back to you shortly!
- What about children?
- If your children are inquisitive and want to go, we encourage you to include them. We are convinced that our tour is a substantial educational experience. We walk through art, history, architecture, biography, geography and legend. At the least, they have the equivalent educational value of a school field trip! Children 4 to 12 years of age have a reduced ticket price. Children under 4 are free and need not have a ticket to attend.
- What about inclement weather?
- We have amazing weather here in Santa Barbara nearly all year round so it would be a rare event that weather would result in a tour not continuing as planned; however, emergencies do happen and we do reserve the right to adjust our schedule as necessity requires. If we are forced to cancel, you will be able to reschedule to another tour date or receive credit for a future event.
- How far do we walk?
- We will walk between 1-2 miles over pavement, grass, brick, stairs and carpet. It's not an aggressive walk, but it is still a walk, so wear comfortable shoes.
- Can I bring my own food and drink with me?
- Sure! It will be difficult to eat while walking, but you are welcome to bring any light snacks or beverages with you. Note that it is illegal to consume alcohol in the open in Santa Barbara. There will also be a coffee shop close to our meeting spot where you can buy coffee, water, and other snacks/drinks.
- Is the tour wheelchair or stroller accessible?
- Yes, the tour route is wheel friendly! Wheelchairs and strollers are welcome.
- What if I need to use the restroom?
- We pass several public facilities along the way so just let your guide know and she can direct you to where the nearest one is located.
- Can I bring a pet?
- While we love pets, we are unable to bring them on the tour due to insurance liability. If you need a pet sitter, we would be happy to recommend one for you (our contact information is provided to you upon purchasing tickets). Thanks for understanding!
- Is tipping allowed?
- We feel that you are paying for the tour already, so tipping is neither expected or required. Without you we'd be walking the streets talking to ourselves so having you with us is far more fun! If you feel strongly about giving the tour guide a tip, write a great review of our tours so others will enjoy them. As a member of the National Federation of Tourist Guide Associations we strive to uphold the ethics of the association in all our endeavors.
- What should I wear?
- Comfortable shoes are a must on all walking tours but please consult the weather the morning of the tour to make sure you are ready for whatever weather the sky holds for us. If you are not familiar with the area, we are a coastal town, so the weather is generally pleasant all year round but if you are not a coastal dweller it can seem chilly do to the onshore breeze. We recommend you bring a light jacket or sweater in case the sun does not show - and please don't be disappointed as no sun merely means that there will not be shadows in the photos that you take on the tour!
- Do you recommend sunscreen?
- Yes, always - whenever you plan to spend time outside.
- Where is the meeting spot?
- The meeting spot is in Downtown Santa Barbara - further instructions will be provided to you upon purchasing tickets. The meeting spot is about 1.5 to 2 hours away from LA, and about 10-12 miles from the Santa Barbara airport.
- Do you offer gift certificates?
- Sure. To request a gift certificate, please click on the "Contact WalkingSB" link to let us know what you'd like - someone will get back to you shortly!
- Can I do a private tour?
- Of course! We can accommodate groups of many sizes on a custom, private tour of Santa Barbara. We also may be able to run a tour for your group on a day or time that is not listed on our public schedule. Please click on the "Contact WalkingSB" link and let us know what you're interested in, and someone will get back to you shortly.
Santa Barbara Walking Tours
Ellen strives to make each tour an indelible memory experienced at the visitor's own choosing and at the visitor's own pace. She wants all those who visit to leave Santa Barbara loving it as much as she does!