Best Airbnbs in Santa Barbara, California

12 Incredible Airbnbs in Santa Barbara, California

With beautiful beaches, perfect weather, and mouth-watering food, Santa Barbara truly is a dream vacation destination. Situated along the famous Pacific Coast Highway, this alluring beach town welcomes thousands of visitors every year. After all, who wouldn’t want to watch the pastel sunset from Butterfly Beach while savoring a scoop of salted caramel chip ice cream from McConnell’s?

During your Santa Barbara trip planning process, you will eventually need to set aside the fun list of things to do and places to eat in order to book your accommodation. But rather than dread the accommodation search, we’ve found a way to make it a little simpler for you by gathering up the best Santa Barbara Airbnbs.

Considering the wide range of styles and locations in Santa Barbara, it can be difficult to narrow down the best vacation homes. But we’re here to help you out! Instead of making you scroll through the hundreds of Santa Barbara vacation rentals, we’ve already done the work for you. We’ve made a list of 12 of the best Airbnbs in Santa Barbara so you can easily select one that suits your style from the list below.

Top 10 Things To Do in Santa Barbara

Cool Airbnbs in Santa Barbara, California: Santa Barbara Mission

Santa Barbara is filled with delicious food, breathtaking nature, and lovely cultural attractions. Honestly, what more could you ask for in a holiday destination?

  1. Stop at one of the most visited attractions in the city: Old Mission Santa Barbara. Established in 1786 by the Franciscan order, the Old Mission Santa Barbara is one of the oldest buildings on the West Coast and is even still a practicing parish. It’s a top stop on any Pacific Coast Highway road trip.
  2. Act like a Santa Barbara local and get a scoop from the famous McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams. Enjoy fun flavors like eureka lemon and marionberries or opt for something a little more traditional like the simple, yet still delicious vanilla bean.
  3. Stroll around the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. There are dozens of hiking trails and countless Southern California plants for you to enjoy within the 78-acre property.
  4. Enjoy the stunning view of the city from above from the tower of the Santa Barbara Courthouse.
  5. Munch on some salt water taffy from the Santa Barbara Pier. And why not enjoy the view of the ocean, beach, and town while you’re there?
  6. Embrace your inner artist at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. With over 27,000 pieces of art from every era of human history, you’ll definitely be able to find a piece that catches your eye.
  7. Snap a selfie at the Chromatic Gate, Santa Barbara’s iconic rainbow-colored archway. Designed by artist Herbert Bayer, this sculpture adds a bright blast of color to the Santa Barbara beach scene.
  8. Spend the entire day at Butterfly Beach. And then watch the sun dip below the horizon, painting the sky in an array of beautiful pink and orange hues.
  9. Devour some delicious fresh seafood at Stern’s Wharf. Be sure to get there early in the morning to get the freshest fish and beat the crowds.
  10. Go wine tasting at one of the beautiful wineries around Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara Winery, Jamie Slone Wines, and Jaffurs Wine Cellars are a few of our favorites. Or head to the Santa Barabara Funk Zone, a hip neighborhood with over 20 tasting rooms!

Why Stay in an Airbnb in Santa Barbara

Why Stay in an Airbnb in Santa Barbara, California

While there are a lot of really cool boutique hotels in Santa Barbara, there are also plenty of advantages to staying in an Airbnb. For starters, you can choose the exact location you want to be closest to. Whether that’s by the beach, in downtown Santa Barbara, or in one of the adorable neighboring towns, you’ll find Airbnbs sprinkled all over – tucked in cute neighborhoods and dotted along the California coastline.

Plus, there are so many fun and unique Airbnbs to choose from in Santa Barbara, so you can pick a vacation home that perfectly fits your vibe. Whether you prefer to stay in a luxury beachfront home, a tiny house in an avocado orchard, or a restored 1974 Airstream trailer, all of these options and more are available as Airbnbs in Santa Barbara.

As if that weren’t enough to convince you, most Santa Barbara Airbnbs are significantly more spacious than your average hotel room. And many offer extra amenities – from private pools and hot tubs to free bicycles and even farm-fresh produce.

The economic value of staying in an Airbnb can’t be beaten either. If you are traveling as a large group, it’s much more cost-effective to split the price of a single vacation rental among everyone. If you opt for a hotel, you’ll find yourself paying a premium for multiple rooms, especially at the pricey oceanfront hotels in Santa Barbara. 

Finally, one of the greatest perks of staying at Airbnb is the ability to connect with a local before you even set foot in Santa Barbara. If you’re lucky enough to have a friendly Airbnb host, he or she will likely provide you with the best attractions, tastiest restaurants, and sometimes even the hidden gems that you wouldn’t have found on your own. Who knows? You might even make a new friend!

Search Hotels and Vacation Rentals in Santa Barbara

The 12 Best Airbnbs in Santa Barbara

Best Santa Barbara Airbnbs for Couples and Solo Travelers

1. Lovingly Restored 1974 Airstream Trailer

Best Airbnbs in Santa Barbara, California: 1974 Airstream Trailer
Images courtesy of Airbnb

There are quite a few unique Airbnbs in Santa Barbara, but this restored 1974 Airstream is definitely one of our favorites! The metallic interior of the retro Airstream trailer is nicely contrasted with cool leather furnishings, making the feel of this Airbnb simultaneously modern and rustic.

In addition to the Airstream trailer, you’ll also have access to an outdoor patio and a small avocado orchard. Don’t be afraid to wander around the property and feel free to pick an avocado or two for some fresh guacamole or avocado toast!

The location of this Santa Barbara Airbnb also happens to be perfect for couples looking to spend some romantic time together or a solo traveler searching for a bit of alone time. While you’re just 15 minutes from all of the best Santa Barbara attractions, you can easily stay tucked away from the rest of the world in your own little hideaway.

2. The Mission Lounge: Adorable and Affordable

Best Santa Barbara Airbnbs & Vacation Rentals: Mission Lounge
Images courtesy of Airbnb

The Mission Lounge is a clean, adorable place to stay in Santa Barbara. This cute little studio apartment is absolutely perfect for a quiet couple’s weekend getaway. And with consistently high ratings from previous guests, we’re obviously not the only ones who think so!

Located just half a mile from the Old Mission Santa Barbara and two miles from everything else in town, The Mission Lounge definitely has a location worth boasting about. And in addition to its noteworthy location, many guests have also commented about how much they loved the host of this Airbnb!

The owner of this cozy Airbnb consistently meets and exceeds expectations by providing a seamless check-in process, speedy responses, and her own personal recommendations for local restaurants and activities in Santa Barbara. As anyone who has stayed at an Airbnb before can tell you, an amazing host can make all the difference during your stay.

3. Casa Castillo: Comfort plus Convenience

Best Airbnbs in Santa Barbara, California: Casa Castillo
Images courtesy of Casa Castillo

This brand new apartment in Santa Barbara, the Casa Castillo, is actually part of a boutique hotel. So when you stay at this Santa Barbara Airbnb, you’ll have access to the amenities of the whole property. Enjoy the shared outdoor background with a gurgling fountain or grill up some dinner on the barbecue.

As can be expected from a boutique hotel, the décor and attention to detail are flawless. The white Spanish stucco-style walls are highlighted by bright blue windowpanes. The small plants add little splashes of lively greenery throughout the accommodation. Overall, you’d be hard-pressed to find a cleaner, safer, and more welcoming Airbnb in Santa Barbara.

Finally, as with many of the Airbnbs on this list, Casa Castillo has a superb location. Everything in Santa Barbara – from Butterfly Beach to Stern’s Wharf to the Santa Barbara Zoo – is within just a few miles of this lovely accommodation.

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4. Bright, Luxurious Studio with Perfect Location

Best Santa Barbara Airbnbs & Vacation Rentals: Luxurious Studio
Images courtesy of Airbnb

Bright, modern, and luxurious are the first three words that come to mind when describing this Santa Barbara Airbnb. This studio apartment makes wonderful use of natural light, embraces a modern style of décor, and doesn’t shy away from extra lavish touches like a well-stocked coffee bar and super comfortable plush bedding.

As for this Airbnb’s location, it’s hard to beat! You can easily explore the town’s highlights of the Old Mission Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Pier, and the Santa Barbara Harbor. And if you decide to venture further from town, you have quick and easy access to the Pacific Coast Highway just blocks away.

While the Airbnb listing claims to sleep 3 guests, we think it is much better suited for a solo traveler or a couple’s weekend getaway in sunny Santa Barbara!

Best Santa Barbara Airbnbs for Small Groups and Families

5. Strand Hus: Stunning Oceanfront Beach House

Best Airbnbs in Santa Barbara, California: Strand Hus
Images courtesy of Strand Hus

One of the best things about Airbnb is that it allows you to spend a night or two in an epic vacation home that you would never actually live in. Strand Hus is one of those places.

This oceanfront Santa Barbara Airbnb is absolutely breathtaking. Just about every ocean-facing wall is filled with glass windows. You can essentially spend your entire day just watching the waves of the Pacific Ocean – and maybe spot a couple of the dolphins that like to pop by.

Should you decide to leave your oceanfront mansion, there are plenty of things for you to explore. The drive to Santa Barbara is just ten minutes and the beach is literally two steps away from your back patio.

The beachfront location and stunning Pacific Ocean views make this one of the best Airbnbs in Santa Barbara. And the responsive and resourceful host is just the cherry on top! Past guests have raved of her kindness, patience, and overall willingness to help with unexpected issues or changes in plan.

Check Price & Availability on vrbo

6. Cozy Garden-themed Oasis

Best Santa Barbara Airbnbs & Vacation Rentals: Boho House
Images courtesy of Airbnb

The Boho House whole-heartedly embraces a garden aesthetic – and it totally works. The motif starts with a plant-filled patio where you’ll love spending time relaxing. And it continues with potted succulents, cactus-themed pillows, and plant-centric artwork all throughout the home. Basically, if you’re a plant lover, this is the Airbnb for you. It’s definitely up there on the list of cool Airbnbs in Santa Barbara!

This greenery-filled Airbnb has all of the essentials you’ll need for a great trip to Santa Barbara – from an array of spices in the well-stocked kitchen to Apple TV in the living room and high-speed WiFi throughout the property. This Airbnb host has covered all the details so you can simply enjoy your time in town.

Speaking of the town, you’ll find all of Santa Barbara’s best attractions within 10 minutes of this Airbnb. We recommend you spend your day lounging on beaches, shopping in boutiques, and devouring McConnell’s ice cream before returning to your quaint Santa Barbara Airbnb for the night.

7. Adorable Tiny House with an ocean view

Best Airbnbs in Santa Barbara, California: Ocean View Tiny House
Images courtesy of Airbnb

If you’ve ever wanted to try living in miniature quarters, this adorable tiny house is your chance! Tiny houses can be a bit of a hard concept to grasp at first. How exactly do you fit everything you need – a kitchen, a washer and dryer, a bathroom, a living area, a dining area, and sleeping arrangements for four – all within 400 square feet? Well, you’ll just have to book a night or two at this unique Santa Barbara Airbnb to find out!

As with many of Santa Barbara’s best vacation homes, the location has an appeal all its own. Settled on an avocado orchard and just a few miles from town, you’ll have the best of both worlds. You can relax in secluded nature or enjoy the action of downtown Santa Barbara – the choice is yours!

8. Luxury Cottage with a Prime Location

Best Santa Barbara Airbnbs & Vacation Rentals: Luxury Cottage
Images courtesy of Airbnb

This luxury cottage is one of the top-rated Airbnbs in Santa Barbara and it’s easy to see why! With a beach-inspired color scheme and willowing curtains, you’ll feel like you’re staying in an open, airy paradise. And while guests love the chic décor and the attentiveness of the owner, the real highlight is the location of this vacation home.

Situated near Lower State Street in downtown Santa Barbara, this Airbnb is within walking distance of top attractions like Butterfly Beach, the Rainbow Arch, and Stern’s Wharf. Even the farther attractions, such as the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and the Santa Barbara Zoo, are located within just a couple of miles of this amazing accommodation.

With hundreds of glowing reviews, this cozy cottage is definitely a crowd favorite Airbnb in Santa Barbara!

Best Santa Barbara Airbnbs for Large Groups and Events

9. Spanish Gem and Pool Oasis

Best Airbnbs in Santa Barbara, California: Spanish Oasis
Images courtesy of Spanish Gem and Pool Oasis

If you’re looking to splurge during your getaway, why not rent one of the coolest Airbnbs in Santa Barbara? This Spanish-influenced villa sleeps up to 10 guests so you can invite your whole squad and experience Santa Barbara in comfort and style!

While many local homes have been renovated with more modern design and decor, this vacation home embraces Spanish design elements that were once quite common in Santa Barbara. Between the white stucco exterior, terra cotta roof tiles, and even a small Spanish-style fountain, the Spanish influence is everywhere.

Besides the impeccable architecture, this epic Santa Barbara Airbnb is home to a host of other amazing amenities. Roast marshmallows over the outdoor fire pit, go for a swim in the private pool, or relax in the spacious jacuzzi tub in the master suite.

Situated in Montecito, the location of this Santa Barbara Airbnb is fantastic as well. You’ll be within walking distance of some of Santa Barbara’s most famous beaches and shopping districts. Regardless of whether you decide to spend your time lounging in your Spanish villa or go venturing into the city each day, your time in Santa Barbara will certainly be unforgettable at this epic Airbnb!

Check Price & Availability on vrbo

10. La Maison: Chic, Modern Home Perfect for Events

Airbnb Sanata Barbara Vacation Home: La Maison
Images courtesy of La Maison

As one of the best Airbnbs in Santa Barbara, La Maison is often fully booked months in advance. So if you get the opportunity to snag this stunning vacation home for you and 11 other guests, don’t hesitate to book!

La Maison checks all of the boxes for a great Airbnb – beautiful décor, convenient location, and a responsive host. For the décor, hardwood floors and high ceilings make for a chic, modern design. For the location, a short drive will take you to pretty much any of the noteworthy spots in Santa Barbara. And as for the host, past guests have sung praises about her attentiveness and helpfulness.

As if that weren’t enough, La Maison also boasts unique touches that you won’t find in any other Santa Barbara Airbnb. A front yard lined with blooming white roses and budding lavender plants, a landscaped backyard decorated with magical twinkle lights, and a DIY photo booth complete with silly mustaches and goofy glasses just to name a few.

The owner simply goes above and beyond all expectations, making La Maison one of the best Airbnbs in Santa Barbara!

Check Price & Availability on vrbo

11. Stillpoint Sanctuary: Spectacular Mountain Views

Cool Airbnbs in Santa Barbara, California: Stillpoint Sanctuary
Images courtesy of Airbnb

The first thing that you’ll notice about Stillpoint Sanctuary is the unobstructed view of the San Rafael Mountains from every room in the house. Next you’ll notice the inviting, open floor plan and the smart, modern furnishings. This Santa Barbara Airbnb definitely exudes sophistication.

Situated on 1.3 acres of land, you’ll have total privacy while you’re relaxing on the back deck or soaking in the hot tub. And with 3 spacious bedrooms, you’ll have plenty of space for everyone. There’s even an air mattress in case you need a 4th bed.

Luckily, the tranquil setting and sweeping mountain views don’t mean you have to sacrifice convenience. All of the major Santa Barbara attractions are still within 5 miles of this lovely vacation home. If you’re looking for the perfect Santa Barbara Airbnb for a big family get together or a relaxing weekend with friends, then make sure you check this one out!

12. Blackrock Beach House with Private Beach Access

Best Santa Barbara Airbnbs & Vacation Rentals: Blackrock Beach House
Images courtesy of Airbnb

The Blackrock Beach House has it all – superb interior design, a fantastic location, and a helpful host are just the tip of the iceberg. It’s no wonder this spectacular 13-person vacation home is one of the best Airbnbs in Santa Barbara!

Black Rock Beach House was recently professionally designed and it shows. Every room is uniquely and thoughtfully decorated. In the living room, you’ll find an eye-catching white vaulted ceiling with black accent beams, a double-sided fireplace, and a massive sectional couch that seats 10.

The kitchen has porcelain countertops and brand new high-end appliances. All of the beds have Casper mattresses and Parachute linens. And the backyard features a grove of avocado and citrus trees, a hot tub, and a stunning outdoor dining space that seats 16.

As for the location, Black Rock Beach House has access to one of the only privately accessed beaches in all of Central California. You and your friends can enjoy the sun and sand without having to think about the crowds. That alone is reason enough to book this Santa Barbara Airbnb!

Of course, you’ll still be within a few miles of all of Santa Barbara attractions, including the Santa Barbara Pier and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. If you’re looking for the absolute best Airbnb in Santa Barbara for big groups, we think it’s the Blackrock Beach House!

That’s it – 12 of the best Airbnbs in Santa Barbara! Do you have a favorite vacation rental in Santa Barbara? Let us know in the comments below.

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  • Valerie Wheatley

    Val grew up in Portland, Oregon but moved to Oahu on a whim back in 2013. She sold her house and all of her belongings and bought a one-way ticket. Since then she’s taken two around-the-world trips and has visited 60-ish countries while living out of a duffel bag.

    Val started documenting the Wandering Wheatleys travels back in 2013 as a way to update friends and family about her whereabouts and to relay humorous daily interactions. The only readers were her mom and her mother-in-law but that didn’t stop her!

    These days you’ll find Val dreaming up future trips, creating new travel content, managing a team of amazing travel enthusiasts, and chasing around her two adorable but naughty kids.

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