For the last 30 years, the Santa Barbara Trolley has been an iconic sight downtown and across the riviera. Perfect for getting acquainted with the best spots in town, celebrating a special event, or touring neighborhoods during the Christmas holiday, these old-fashioned, open-air buses make everyone happy. Here is our guide to the best ways to enjoy a ride:
Taking a classic Santa Barbara City Tour aboard a trolley is an excellent way to get acquainted with the area, learn a little about SB history and enjoy a leisurely afternoon. Tours run for 90 minutes from 10 AM to 3 PM, so if you find yourself wanting to stop and shop, you can easily step off and catch the next bus. Stops to look forward to include Stearns Wharf, the Natural History Museum, the Old Mission and the Andree Clark Bird Refuge.
The SB Trolley’s Wine Tours are the perfect way to experience the Santa Ynez wine country in style. Designed for larger groups, the rides can be completely customized to your liking with champagne and hors d’oeuvres included in the price. You will also receive lunch aboard the trolley, a map of the more than 50 wineries and free tastings. Cost depends on the number of guests, so the more the merrier!
Private events, particularly weddings and birthday celebrations, can be organized aboard a Santa Barbara trolley. The decorations, food and drink (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) served are all personalized for your vision of the perfect party. If you wish, you can also count on a sound system, lights and dance floor to make your ride memorable and fun.
The Tour of Lights is a special tour that runs from December 10th-23rd every year and takes guests through brightly decorated neighborhoods of Santa Barbara. It is one of the the city’s favorite ways to celebrate the holidays. For these rides, it is important to book ahead of time, tickets go on sale October 1st. As a special bonus, you can bring canned food to be donated in exchange for raffle tickets!
The free Shopping Trolley in Santa Barbara is an easy way to get around all the best restaurants and stores in town. Riders are free to request special stops and get off wherever they choose. Rides begin at 10 AM and run until about 5 PM every day, so while you’re in town don’t miss the opportunity to get a feel for the old-fashioned buses while you enjoy exploring the best boutiques in town!