13 Gorgeous Airbnbs in Santa Barbara, California

Last updated on June 8, 2023

Airbnb Santa Barbara - Cabana las Flores

Looking for somewhere to stay in Santa Barbara? Here’s our round-up of the best Airbnb’s in California’s iconic coastal paradise. From glamorous abodes to boho dwellings, these Santa Barbara Airbnb’s demonstrate the diversity of the city, which attracts everyone from celebrities to surfers to hippies.

Stay downtown to be within walking distance of all the major sights, or perhaps head to the charming beach town of Montecito or the hills of Mission Canyon. We’ve included options for all tastes and budgets.

And don’t miss our Handpicked City Guide for all the best things to do in Santa Barbara and our California road trip guide.

The Best of Airbnb Santa Barbara

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Cabana la Flores

Live the celeb lifestyle in glam Montecito at this cute poolside cabana in tropical, lush surrounds. Spend your days enjoying the private, natural pool and hot tub and exploring the nearby beaches. There’s even a teahouse pavilion where you can meditate and do yoga overlooking the pool – or order a personal masseuse.

The cabana itself has a spacious bedroom, lounge and bathroom, all decorated in the Spanish style typical of Santa Barbara. Free parking is available for one car. It’s a proper dreamland in Santa Barbara.

What the guests say: “WOW! Five stars are not enough. This place is paradise. My husband and I had a magical long weekend stay at Cabana Las Flores. The pictures do not do the serene setting justice, and the gardens extend far beyond what you can see in the Airbnb listing.

The house itself is incredibly comfortable, and Dino and Florida are wonderful hosts –helpful and available, but give you complete privacy so you feel like you’re at your own resort. We took them up on several restaurant recommendations and each one was top notch. We can’t wait to come back. Thanks Dino and Florida!”

VRBO listing: Cabana las Flores

Price: From $250 per night

Sleeps: 3 people (one bedroom, one sofabed)

Beachy Blue Hideaway

Summerland is one of the most popular places to stay on a visit to Santa Barbara. It has all you could wish for from a classic California beach town, complete with cosy cafes, inviting restaurants, a wine-tasting bar and a gorgeous beach, just a 10-minute walk away from the house.

The bright home is decorated with flashes of blue against a white background and wooden floors, creating a classic beachy vibe. You can sit back and enjoy the ocean view from the lounge or step out onto the deck for a bbq and to catch some rays.

At night, sit back and enjoy some Santa Barbara wine around your own private fire pit. Do note that the house is on a main road and not directly on the beach. 

What the guests say: “Charming coastal cottage with great attention to detail. This cottage was a lucky find for our family of five, while we had a sports tournament 1.5 miles down the road. Lots of great details from beach chairs, beach towels, umbrella to beautiful bed linens and a fun patio and fire pit out back. There was thoughtful beach themed artwork throughout, and the furniture and rugs were updated and fresh.

We enjoyed amazing sunsets from the front porch and had a great place to relax after a long day on the playing fields. One room has 2 full sized beds, and we added a twin air mattress on the floor so that all 3 leggy teenagers could spread out a bit more, and that worked well. It is also nice being able to do some laundry and cook some meals while away from home.

It was noted in other reviews, so we were prepared, but the street runs parallel to Hwy 101 and the noise is constant. Summerland has a quaint little downtown, and it is a great starting spot for exploring the greater Santa Barbara area.”

VRBO listing: Beachy Blue Hideaway

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Price: From $315 per night

Sleeps: 6 people (three beds)

The Paragon

The Paragon is a mid-century modern architect-designed masterpiece with epic views across the mountains and surrounding valley. Glass walls and a magical back patio with fire pit make the most of the stunning location, and I think it’s easily one of Santa Barbara’s most special vacation rentals. It’s just 10 minutes from downtown.

Plum Guide listing: The Paragon

Price: From $490 per night

Sleeps: 6 people (three bedrooms)

Airstream on organic ranch

This one’s outside of Santa Barbara (a 25-minute drive from the centre or 13 minutes to Summerland) but worth it if you’re looking for a stay in an iconic airstream. It’s also close to Ojai, a bohemian town filled with galleries and new age shops. The 33-foot Airstream is stylishly decorated with tan leather and wooden floors against the classic metallic walls.

It’s fully equipped with a full kitchen and space for dining both inside and out. Plus to top it all off, it’s situated in a small avocado orchard on a 5-acre working farm – can you get more Californian than that?!

What the guests say: “We thoroughly recommend Delia’s Airstreamer. True to the listing, this is a charming location and a great place to stay while exploring the Santa Barbara area. Our stay was very comfortable with helpful additional amenities (e.g. washing machine) and surprising spacious. It is also private, bar the welcomed visit from two very friendly dogs.

Our highlight was spending serene evenings by the outdoor fire with a glass of wine. The hosts were helpful and attentive, but not intrusive. We would recommend having a car to truly experience this AirBnB as it is somewhat off the beaten track. Thank you to Delia for a wonderful trip.”

Airbnb listing: Airstream on organic ranch

Price: From $198 per night

Sleeps: 2 people (one bed)

Casa Sonrisa Cielo Suite

Stay in this private room within a family home for a taste of Santa Barbara life. Casa Sonrisa – the house of smiles – promises to welcome you with open arms and wide sweeping views of the islands, ocean, harbour and coastline.

There are three rooms available, including the master suite (Cielo) with a king-size bed, a second master (Eden) with a queen bed and fold-out couch; and a smaller room (Cozy) with a queen-size bed. Both Cielo and Eden have large private baths and double shower head. All have access to the living room, family room, dining, kitchen and large outdoor living space. Breakfast supplies are provided.

The home is in a quiet residential area just a 15-minute walk from the beach. The family have dogs and a cat.

What the guests say:  This house fit our needs perfectly. It offered the comforts of being able to have a spacious kitchen, outdoor space to relax, private (huge) bedroom and bathroom with an amazing view, and lots of toys and kid-friendly activities for our two-year old.

The location was great too. Tracy was not around when we were there, which was unfortunate since I heard great things about her, but she made sure that we were comfortable and was very responsive to all of our needs and questions.”

AirBnB listing: Casa Sonrisa Cielo Suite

Price: From $125 per night

Sleeps: 2 people (one bed)

Sand Bungalow at the Lazy Hummingbird

The star of the show at the Sand Bungalow at the Lazy Hummingbird is the charming deck with gorgeous ocean views – perfect for enjoying the sunset with a glass of wine. The whole place has peaceful, beachy vibe with statement design pieces and white walls.

It’s a couple of blocks from the beach in popular Summerland, a friendly community just 10 minutes from downtown Santa Barbara.

Plum Guide listing: Sand Bungalow at the Lazy Hummingbird

Price: From $315 per night

Sleeps: 2 people (one bedroom)

La Petite Maison Blanche

I’m not sure you can find somewhere cuter to stay than this picturesque cottage in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara. Owned by an avid traveller, the cottage is decorated with artefacts from around the world and touches of African décor.

The rooms are small but well-appointed and the location couldn’t be better – just two blocks from State Street, one block from the Saturday Farmers’ Market, a short stroll to the Funk Zone and in walking distance of pretty much everything.

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Bikes, a BBQ, game table and portable music system are available for guests to enjoy.

What the guests say: “Amazing cottage! Location is perfect. Dawn has thought of everything for her guests! From comfy beds, every kitchen gadget you may need, to the welcome guide with suggestions for everything (restaurants, hiking, running, how to work everything in the house and more!). Highly recommend!”

VRBO listing: La Petite Maison Blanche

Price: From $278 per night

Sleeps: 6 people (three beds)

Patio garden suite in Goleta

This sweet little garden suite is a peaceful place to stay in the Goleta district of Santa Barbara. The bedroom has large French doors, opening out onto a charming tropical patio, complete with a private six-person jacuzzi tub.

The suite itself is decorated with quintessential Santa Barbara style including local artwork and bright, bohemian touches. A microwave, fridge and coffee pot are provided for making simple meals and there’s a good selection of local restaurants to choose from.

The home is in an attractive local neighbourhood, filled with purple jacaranda trees and a friendly vibe.

What the guests say: “Catherine’s place is a perfect little oasis to escape to outside of Santa Barbara. The space looks exactly as it does online and is so comfortable and beautiful. We loved having the jacuzzi to relax in after lots of walking. A very special place. Next time we will take advantage of the bikes for hire as there is a brilliant cycle track.”

AirBnB listing: Patio Garden Suite in Goleta

Price: From $99 per night

Sleeps: 2 people (one bed)

Ocean View Tiny House

What’s a list of best Airbnbs without a tiny house option? This one is near the beach town of Carpinteria and hippy Ojai and has gorgeous views across the avocado orchard out to the ocean. Sleeping four guests the house is compact yet still spacious with high ceilings and  large cantina windows and patio doors that allow in plenty of natural light. A highlight is the 400 sq-ft deck where you can sit back and enjoy the views. There are full size cooking and washing appliances as well as beach toys provided.

What the guests say: “The tiny house was amazing – we had such a wonderful week’s stay in the Carpinteria hills. The property was fantastic, and the outdoor seating area was so tranquil and beautiful that we cancelled our dinner reservations and stayed in every night. We were initially concerned, as others may be, by the lack of AC. However, don’t let this deter you. The temperature inside throughout the day and night was completely fine. Couldn’t have imagined a better setting for a relaxing 5 days break in beautiful California!”

AirBnB listing: Ocean View Tiny House

Price: From $185 per night

Sleeps: 4 people (two beds)

Rustic hiking cabin

This ridiculously cute little cabin with mountain and sea views is right next to the Inspiration Point hike, making it the ideal spot for keen hikers. In the winter you can get cosy with the fire on and in warmer weather enjoy al fresco dining on the patio under the stars.  It’s a simple cabin with only basic kitchen facilities (microwave and hot plate) but it’s enough for creating simple meals.

What the guests say: “Carla and Thomas’s place is really cool and lovely perched up in the hills overlooking Santa Barbara. It’s small and quirky- but has all the amenities and basics you need- including cooking equipment, silverware, soaps etc. We loved the outdoor space, and also the bed was super comfy! Thanks again Carla “

AirBnB listing: Rustic hiking cabin

Price: From $89 per night

Sleeps: 2 people (one bed)

Petite Retreat

This little artist studio in Montecito is perhaps the most characterful on the list. Just a 5-minute walk to all the best Montecito restaurants, the studio is ideally located for exploring this upscale and charming Santa Barbara neighbourhood. The outdoor terrace is particularly inviting. Note that the hot, outdoor shower is the only shower in the property, so you need to be happy to wash al fresco (in my mind, this is a bonus).

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What the guests say:  It’s exactly like you see in the pictures, actually better. The location is perfect as it is in a quiet road but minutes away from where everything is! Plenty of restaurants, bars and beautiful shops and boutiques. And the beach also is at walking distance.”

AirBnB listing: Petite Retreat

Price: From $169 per night

Sleeps: 2 people (one bed)

Fantastical cottage on epic dream land

Just five minutes’ from Santa Barbara, but feeling like a world away, host Jennifer has several unique rentals on her 11-acre land. This playful cottage is set on a 3-acre grove along with one more cottage – both have privacy and secluded views, but  guests share common areas, including an outdoor lounge/kitchen area, pool, hot tub, trampoline, and shower/bath house. Plus everyone can help themselves to free eggs from the chickens.

The views of the grove and Santa Barbara mountain range are stunning. The whole place has an emphasis on getting back to nature and is a particularly special find so close to the centre of town.

What the guests say: “Jennifer and her magical grove were wonderful. The environment unique and stunning. Jennifer’s hospitality was unsurpassed. She loaned us a cool box and beach towels for our channel island kayak tour, made sure I had coffee and sugar for my morning caffeine fix. She gave us good advice on local restaurants and neighbourhoods.

The house was cozy, the silence complete and the we had such a lovely sleep. I would recommend to anyone looking for an unique experience in a gorgeous atmosphere.”

Airbnb listing: Fantastical Cottage on Large Epic Dream Land

Price: From $209 per night

Sleeps: 2 people (one bed)

Lux Spanish Charm

A few blocks from the Wharf, State Street and Funk Zone, this luxury pad in a Spanish Style home has been thoughtfully planned by the owner who wanted to create a rental that she would be happy to stay in – think Biltmore meets the Kimpton. Touches such as luxurious bedding, tons of natural light, tiled steps and a high-end kitchen mean all your needs are met. And there are beach chairs, towels, toys and flip flops provided for your beach days. 

What the guests say: ” We couldn’t recommend this place more! A beautiful home, stylish and so thoughtfully kitted out, very comfortable, a real home away from home. The location is very central with a number of excellent bars and restaurants close by as well as the beach. Kathy was an excellent host – super communicative and with wonderful recommendations.”

Airbnb listing: Lux Spanish Charm

Price: From $199 per night

Sleeps: 4 people (two beds)

Our California travel guides

We also have detailed guides to loads of California destinations that can help you plan even more. They’ll especially suit you if you’re a bit like us, keen on discovering the creative side of a destination and in pursuit of all the best cafes, ice creams, doughnuts, bookshops, murals and beauty spots. And we have lots of family guides if you’re travelling with kids.

Road trips: California Road Trip | Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip | San Francisco to Seattle road trip | San Francisco to Seattle road trip

Handpicked travel guides: Laguna Beach | Mendocino |San ClementeSan Diego  | Santa Barbara  | Santa Cruz|Shasta Cascade and Redding Sonoma |Tuolumne County Yolo County

California family travel guides: California with kidsLos Angeles with kids | Sacramento with kidsSan Diego with kids | San Francisco with kids

California accommodation guides: Joshua Tree Airbnb | Laguna Beach Airbnb | Hip Palm Springs Hotels | Palm Springs Airbnb | Palm Springs VRBO | San Diego Airbnb | Santa Cruz Airbnb | Santa Barbara Airbnb |Santa Monica Airbnb | Sonoma Airbnb | Venice Beach AirbnbHip San Francisco Hotels

California attraction guides: How to get the most out of Disneyland with toddlers | The ultimate guide to Universal Studios with babies and toddlers

If you’re heading elsewhere in the USA or even worldwide, see more of our family travel tips here.

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All photos courtesy of Airbnb.

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