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Best Airbnbs in Santa Barbara: Cool, Quirky & Stylish Accommodation in Santa Barbara

Best Airbnbs in Santa Barbara: Cool, Quirky & Stylish Accommodation in Santa Barbara

Are you California dreaming and planning a stay in this glorious State? Then it’s time to peruse the best Airbnbs in Santa Barbara.

For years, the American Riviera has been drawing in wine lovers and coastal dreamers. And with its classic charm and Mediterranean vibe, it’s easy to see why.

A Santa Barbara day trip is great, but spending a couple of days immersed in sun, sea, sand, and vino is even better. 

But where do you stay? Don’t worry, friends. I’ve got you covered.

P.S. While I love and use Airbnb, I have to admit that I prefer Plum Guide. They’re a fantastic Airbnb alternative as they provide the highest quality stays thanks to their vetting system.

Best Airbnb’s in Santa Barbara: At a Glance 

Best Santa Barbara Airbnb’s  – Top Picks Hotel 
Best Overall Airbnb in Santa BarbaraTop Of The Pops
Best Airbnb in Santa Barbara with Pool Hope Ranch Delight
Best Santa Barbara Airbnb for CouplesStraw Hats & Wild Flowers
Best Santa Barbara Airbnb for Groups California Beamin’

Best Airbnb’s in Santa Barbara

Picking out your ideal Santa Barbara vacation rental is no easy feat. Here are some fantastic options close to all the best things to do in Santa Barbara.

A Handwork’s Tale 

A Handwork's Tale 

Did somebody ask for a hilltop villa with a classic Mediterranean vibe? Well, that’s what you’re getting at A Handwork’s Tale

It dates back to 1910, but you can’t tell, as the craftsmanship is just that good. Despite its age, all the modern bits and bobs are there, from a coffee machine to central heating that keeps everything cosy.

Fair warning that there are quite a few stairs in the property, so it’s not ideal for people with mobility issues. However, its balcony provides incredible views of Santa Cruz Island.

Location: Lower Riviera

The Lower Riviera is prime for all things Santa Barbara. It’s close to iconic sites like the Old Mission Santa Barbara and, if it’s the food you seek, head to the Santa Barbara Public Market.

The Show Off

The Show Off

The Show Off has earned its name for a reason, with its swish but sophisticated interior allowing the tropical garden to take centre stage.

Better yet, you can leave all the beach gear behind, as the property’s garage has everything you need, from boogie boards to umbrellas. It even has bikes you can use to get around the city. 

See why it’s one of the best Santa Barbara Airbnbs?

Location: West Mesa

West Mesa is a relaxing neighbourhood that offers a beach lifestyle close to the city centre. You can also enjoy its trendy restaurants and bars like the Corner Tap Room.

Sweet Persimmon

Sweet Persimmon

Nothing is sweeter than finding an Airbnb in Santa Barbara that’s pet friendly. So this quaint yet tasteful one-bedroom home might just be for you.

Its ivory interior welcomes natural light, while the private garden is perfect for relaxing with some champers. Thanks to its clever use of space and tasteful finishings, you won’t even notice its small size.

And its washing machine and tumble dryer mean you don’t even have to worry about dirty laundry on extended stays.

Location: Upper East

With the Alice Keck Park Memorial Garden across the street, you’ll easily be able to take the pups for a walk. It’s also near downtown, so you’re never far from the city’s vibey nightlife.

Top Of The Pops

Top Of The Pops

There’s nothing more rockstar than hanging guitars from the wall and a hot tub in the garden. And if that’s what you’re looking for, then Top Of The Pops’ eight sleeper home is for you.

That’s right, it’s perfect for groups, as the open plan lounge with a timber ceiling and swanky kitchen make hosting a breeze. It’s even got two outdoor fire pits with seating, for crying out loud.

One of the living rooms converts into an extra room, so although you’re losing a communal space, you can cater for two more people.

Location: Coast Village

In the Montecito region of Santa Barbara, you’re minutes away from the coastal paradise of Butterfly Beach. You can taste all the Santa Barbara classics at places like Oliver’s and Honor Bar.

Like a Charm

Like a Charm

Book your stay at Like a Charm for a classic beachside vibe with a baby blue facade and an airy open-planned interior. You won’t overheat in summer thanks to the air conditioning, while its magical alfresco setup is perfect for a romantic dinner in the garden.

It does have stairs up the room, which may be a problem for those with mobility issues. But on the whole, this luxury home with arched passages and soft finishings is worlds above any hotel room. 

Location: West Beach

The Stearns Wharf – within walking distance – is this area’s primetime landmark. It’s a pristine area of town, with soft sand and tasty restaurants nearby, like the Santa Barbara Shellfish Company.

Hope Ranch Delight

Hope Ranch Delight

If you want a host that goes above and beyond, look at the three-bedroom Hope Ranch Delight. I mean it, they can organise pretty much anything for you, like transportation, booking massages, chefs, tours, and much more.

Sounds too good to be true, right? I have yet to mention the glorious pool, breezy lounges, or its pristine red cedar flooring throughout. There’s even a tennis court for you to work off some steam. What’s not to love?

Location: Hope Ranch

This sleepy neighbourhood in Santa Barbara is perfect if you want accommodation with lots of space. It’s also close to More Mesa, a great whale-watching spot.

Secret Jungle

Secret Jungle

Spectacular vista views and iconic Santa Barbara hikes are just some of the joys at Secret Jungle. This humble ranch-style abode uses timber and clean white walls to turn Santa Barbara into a dreamland.

Let the canyon views bless your eyes during the day, and the star-studded sky grace your presence at night. Of course, you’ll want to enjoy this on the balcony, but the views are just as fantastic.

Unfortunately, pets are a no, but the stunning outdoor activities in the area will let you see past that hiccup.

Location: Mission Canyon

Mission Canyon is the prime location for all things outdoors, with the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden just down the road. Hiking trails like Inspiration Point and Rattlesnake Canyon are also nearby.

Straw Hats & Wild Flowers

Straw Hats & Wild Flowers

The best beachfront Airbnb in Santa Barbara for couples has to be Straw Hats and Wild Flowers. Its interior is simple and welcoming, but what makes this a standout is its proximity to the beach.

You’re literally on the beach. No, seriously, you step off the porch, and bam, there’s the soft sand. 

This means romantic sunset beach walks are in order, or you can relax in the pool and gaze at the coastline with a drink in hand. 

Location: Montecito

You can easily access Hammonds Beach and its glorious water. In the opposite direction, the trendy Coast Village Road pops with eateries, bars, and boutique shops.



Another beachside paradise in Montecito is Carmencita, a three-bedroom lodging that’ll have you loving life. It’s a charming accommodation with wooden rafters that elevate the rooms to open, homely spaces.

As for the garden, it’s a beautiful tapestry of shrubs, fruit trees, and a perfectly manicured lawn. 

Although you’re near the beach, you can’t see it from the house, but that’s okay when you’ve got this stunning garden.

Location: Montecito

Aside from the beach and famous Coast Village Road, you can enjoy wine tasting at the Valley Project or a hike on the Ennisbrook trail.

California Beamin’

California Beamin'

The beach rentals in Santa Barbara keep coming, and California Beamin’ is possibly the best of the bunch. It has it all, from an inviting hot tub to the outdoor shower where you can hose down after a day on More Mesa Beach.

The Airbnb uses light and dark tones to create a moody yet welcoming space. And despite it being the furthest accommodation on this list from the city centre, the host provides everything from beach essentials to a welcome hamper.

Location: Hope Ranch

The Santa Barbara bike trail is a picturesque ride that’s nearby. And if you’re a lover of all things plants, Cal-Orchid Inc is one street up.

Practical Tips to Consider Before Booking Your Airbnb in Santa Barbara 

  • Don’t underestimate how popular the Airbnbs in Santa Barbara are. This is a popular tourist destination, especially for novice wine drinkers.
  • Consider what you will be doing in Santa Barbara before booking your stay. Fancy a weekend on the beach? Don’t book a stay near the wine valleys (though, they are beautiful).

Airbnb Santa Barbara: Map

Click here for a map of the hotels featured in this guide