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Pocket Guide: Santa Barbara Santa Barbara Municipal Hotels

Where is Santa Barbara Airport?

Santa Barbara Airport is in Goleta, a small beachfront town seven miles west of downtown Santa Barbara. The airport is just 15 feet above sea level and bordered by wetlands known as the Goleta Slough.

Centrally located, Santa Barbara Airport lies less than a mile from the blonde sands of Goleta Beach Park, and within walking distance of the University of California’s Santa Barbara campus.

Flying to Santa Barbara Airport from the UK

There are no direct flights from the UK to Santa Barbara Airport, so if you’re flying from Europe, you’ll take an internal flight from an entry port such as LA or San Francisco. Santa Barbara Airport has over 40 daily flights with well-known carriers, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines and American Airlines, as well as Frontier Airlines and US Airways.

You can get domestic flights to Santa Barbara Airport from Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle and Dallas. Or if you’re lucky enough, fly in on the private jet of one of the wealthy Santa Barbara residents.

Facilities at Santa Barbara Municipal Airport

Inspired by Spanish architecture, the original Santa Barbara Airport terminal was opened in 1942. In 2011, an extension was added, also built in the Spanish style, with a terracotta-red roof and iconic whitewashed facade.

The terminal has a public art gallery showcasing some of the Santa Barbara’s best artists. So grab a drink from one of the coffee shops and cafes and peruse the gallery or airport gift shop. If you have longer to wait, have a meal at a restaurant and tapas bar, and get on with some work using the free WiFi and charging points.

Getting to and from Santa Barbara Airport

You can easily get to and from Santa Barbara Airport using public transport. There is a bus stop on Moffatt Road, just across the street from the terminal, and buses take around an hour to reach downtown Santa Barbara.

There are several airport shuttle services which are slightly quicker and run between the city and the airport, including the Santa Barbara Airbus, which offers 16 services a day between Santa Barbara Airport and LAX airport in Los Angeles.

You can easily get a taxi cabs from outside the terminal. But if you want to explore the Southern Californian coast and the Santa Barbara County wine regions, it's worth hiring a car. There is a number of internationally known car-hire companies with service desks at Santa Barbara Airport.

Hotels near Santa Barbara Airport

There are no airport hotels based at Santa Barbara Airport, but you have a good selection of hotels nearby. Use Expedia to book a modest roadside inn or budget-friendly B&B, or splash out on a major chain hotel with onsite bar, restaurant and outdoor pool.

Your flight into Santa Barbara Airport is the start of a great stay in California, whether you’re on the beach or further inland. And you’ll be able to see it all as you fly into land.