Santa Barbara Museum of Art – The art museum is free every Sunday. On other days adults are $9, seniors, students and children 6-17 are $6. Children under 6 are free. Closed Monday. 1130 State St. 805-963-4364.
Coronado Butterfly Preserve (aka Ellwood Main Monarch Grove)- From December to February, stop in to see thousands of monarch butterflies wintering among sage scrub and eucalyptus groves. Visiting the 9.3 acre preserve is free. At the end of Coronado Dr. on the right in Goleta. Come with it is sunny for best viewing. 805-966-4520.
The Santa Barbara Natural History Museum is free the third Sunday of every month except in June, July and August. Normally adults are $10, teenagers and seniors 65 and older are $7, children aged 3 to 12 are $6 and children under 3 are free. Planetarium shows are $4. 2559 Puesta del Sol. 805-682-4711.
The Cheese Shop – For an afternoon snack…… stop in for a 3- or 5-cheese plate and/or wine tasting. Even if you don’t order anything, you may well get a free sample from an employee. At the very least, dairy lovers will enjoy breathing the rich air.A three-cheese plate is $13; the five-cheese plate is $19. Both come with bread, dried fruit and nuts. Wine tastings run $16-$21. The store closes at 6 p.m. weekdays and 7 p.m. on Saturdays. 811 “G” State St in the Paseo Nuevo outdoor mall. 805-884-9463.
Bronfman Family Jewish Community Center – Check out two exhibits for free, including a permanent collection of Holocaust survivor portraits and a revolving exhibit that changes quarterly. Closed Saturdays and Sundays. 524 Chapala St. 805-957-1115.
Take a drive -Find out why Santa Barbara is called “the American Riviera” by cruising along Alameda Padre Serra Road. There are many other beautiful homes to oggle northeast of State Street, the main drag. Mission Canyon Rd. is a pretty drive that takes you past the Santa Barbara Mission up to the Botanical Gardens.
Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens – Stroll through 78 acres of flora on a guided tour or on your own. The center emphasizes plants native to California. Adults are $8, seniors 60 and older are $6, students, active military and teenagers are $6, children 2-12 are $4, and children under 2 are free. 1212 Mission Canyon Rd. (805) 682-4726.
Old Mission Santa Barbara – Get in touch with Santa Barbara’s roots for $5, the cost for adults to tour the mission’s eight rooms, including the sanctuary. Exhibit displays include pictures of missionaries and native Americans, and artifacts from when the mission was founded in 1786. The grounds also include a cloister garden and cemetary garden. Guided tours can be arranged in advance for groups of 15 or more. Seniors aged 65 or older are $4, children aged 6 to 15 are $1 and children up to 5 are free. 2201 Laguna St. 805.682.4713.