The aptly named Funk Zone offers a relaxed, artsy alternative to Santa Barbara's upscale boutiques and fine dining scene. Food and wine tours make the rounds at the micro-neighborhood’s casual eateries, taco trucks, breweries, and even a distillery, while a handful of tasting rooms make it easy to check off multiple stops on Santa Barbara’s Urban Wine Trail.
Artisan shops sell locally made goods, while those looking for a more athletic adventure can rent surfboards, bikes, and surreys from walk-up outfitters.
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Things to know before you go
- When following the Urban Wine Trail, check out self-guided tour packages that include 2-for-1 tasting coupons and bottle discounts.
- Bikes and surfboards may sell out during peak season, so call to reserve ahead of time to avoid disappointment.
- If visiting with kids, check out MOXI (The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation), the Funk Zone’s acclaimed interactive children’s museum.
How to get there
The Funk Zone is bordered by State Street, Stearns Wharf, and East Beach in downtown Santa Barbara. It is within easy walking distance of most downtown and wharf attractions. Paid parking is widely available, and the Amtrak train station is just across State Street.
When to get there
Tasting rooms generally keep standard business hours, while most eateries are open later for dinner. In late February to early March, many Funk Zone restaurants offer special tasting menus as part of Santa Barbara Restaurant Week.
Best Santa Barbara Wineries
Santa Barbara and the nearby Santa Ynez Valley are among the most celebrated wine regions of California's Central Coast. The popularity of urban tasting rooms means you can plan a full day of wine tasting without ever leaving downtown. Within the Funk Zone, try bold, juicy reds like zinfandel and syrah at Kunin Wines, or swirl Rhone varietals at DV8 Cellars. Municipal Winemakers is a traveler favorite for its stylish decor and friendly staff, while Santa Barbara Winery (founded in 1962) offers candlelit tastings in the barrel room.
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