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Located a hundred miles north of LA, Santa Barbara is a popular stop off if you’re driving along the west coast of California. There are no direct flights from the UK to Santa Barbara, but it's an easy hop on a domestic flight from both LA and San Francisco.
Travelling from the UK, there are cheap flights from a number of well-known international airlines into California's main airports. Santa Barbara County has two airports, Santa Barbara Airport in Goleta, eight miles from downtown Santa Barbara, and Santa Ynez Airport, a small, non-commercial airport 35 miles north of Santa Barbara.
Santa Barbara Airport is a straightforward connection from San Francisco International Airport and LAX. It's a 50-minute flight from LAX or 75 minutes via San Francisco on carriers including United Airlines and American Airlines. There are also direct connections between Santa Barbara and Dallas, Denver, Portland and Seattle airports. Santa Barbara is seven hours behind GMT.
From the airport, you can get an easy transfer into downtown Santa Barbara and the city's beaches. Hop on a public bus from outside the terminal and it’ll take you an hour to reach State Street, while the pricier airport shuttle services get you there slightly quicker. An alternative option to a connecting flight is the Santa Barbara Airbus, which offers 16 services a day between Santa Barbara Airport and LAX.
The chic palm-lined city of Santa Barbara has stacks of attractions from historic 18th-century Spanish missions and designer shopping malls to miles of unblemished white sandy beaches.
Make time to see the city's iconic Mission Santa Barbara, just north of downtown, Stearns Wharf, a historic wooden pier lined with seafood restaurants, or head to the sleepy surf town of Carpinteria, home to some of California's best surf beaches. North of Santa Barbara is the Santa Ynez Valley, which is famous for its top-class wineries.
Wherever you fly to in Santa Barbara County, use Expedia to choose from a range of hotels, inns, motels and B&Bs, from budget friendly to luxury five-star beach resorts.