A Travel Price Comparison for California San Diego vs. Santa Barbara for Beaches, Hiking, Families, and Couples

Should you visit San Diego or Santa Barbara?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for San Diego and Santa Barbara. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

San Diego

San Diego is a energetic, relaxed, and outdoorsy coastal city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. As this is a very quaint destination, you'll find it has a special atmosphere. Other popular activities here include nightlife, live music, and food.

Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is a opulent, pristine, and affluent coastal town. It's a large city, so you'll find plenty of things to do around town. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. This destination also has one of those special and quaint feelings. Visitors also love the food, beaches, and hiking.

San Diego and Santa Barbara: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for shopping
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Not as popular for scuba diving and snorkeling
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in San Diego or Santa Barbara?

Both Santa Barbara and San Diego have plenty of things to do for travelers. Both provide a wide variety of sights and activities for tourists. San Diego is more popular for its nightlife, music, and scuba diving & snorkeling, while Santa Barbara is known for its food, resorts, historical sights, hiking, shopping, and impressive beauty. San Diego is more touristy than Santa Barbara and is popular for its relaxed coastal atmosphere, its many kid-friendly sights, and its beautiful beaches with critter-filled tidal pools. Santa Barbara is popular for its historic missions, pristine beaches, world-class surfing, and scenic hikes that are full of coastal views.

How is San Diego different from Santa Barbara?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Santa Barbara and San Diego. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in San Diego or Santa Barbara?

San Diego
Santa Barbara

Visiting museums and landmarks is a fun activity in both San Diego and Santa Barbara.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around San Diego. While the city is famous for it's beaches, zoos, and aquariums, don't overlook the museums and other landmarks. Popular options include the Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum, the Old Town State Historic Park, and Point Loma and Cabrillo Monument.

Santa Barbara offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. The city is famous for its missions, with Mission Santa Barbara being the most iconic. Also visit the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and Sea Center.


Is the Food Better in San Diego or Santa Barbara? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

San Diego
Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is great for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, San Diego is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Santa Barbara has a huge number of terrific restaurants. The city is best known for its fine dining, particularly if you enjoy seafood. The scallops, oysters, clam chowder, and sea urchin (when available) are all world class. Head for a waterfront setting for the best views and some of the freshest seafood.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the San Diego area. The city has great seafood and a diversity of cuisines. There are many casual dining options that serve informal foods like burgers or salads, but there are also award-winning fine dining restaurants with elegant atmospheres. Popular local dishes include fish tacos and California burritos.

Is San Diego or Santa Barbara Better for Nightlife?

San Diego
Santa Barbara

San Diego is a well-known place for its evening party scene. Also, Santa Barbara is not as famous, but is still a good coastal town to visit for nightlife.

San Diego offers plenty to do in the evening. The heart of the city's nightlife scene is in the Gaslamp District, which is filled with bars, clubs, and music venues. There's a young student population that keeps the nightlife scene casual and fun.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Santa Barbara. For the best nightlife in the city, head downtown to State Street. This is where you'll find the most active bars and biggest crowds. There's a large student population in town, so you'll find much of the nightlife scene is focused on the younger population.

Is San Diego or Santa Barbara Better for Music?

San Diego
Santa Barbara

San Diego is a well-known place for its music scene. However, Santa Barbara is not a live music destination.

The music scene in San Diego is very popular with diverse venues. Popular venues include the House of Blues, The Belly Up, and The Shout House.

Santa Barbara is not a live music destination.


Is San Diego or Santa Barbara Better for Resorts?

San Diego
Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is great for its luxury resorts. Also, San Diego is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for its resorts.

There are plenty of resorts in Santa Barbara to choose from. Many people enjoy the luxurious vacation rentals around Santa Barbara, but there are also a number of high end resorts including the Rosewood Miramar Beach Resort, The Ritz-Carlton, and Hotel Californian.

San Diego has a few great resort options. Most people prefer to stay in hotels or VRBOs, but several popular resorts include Fairmont Grand Del Mar, Paradise Point, and the famous Hotel del Coronado.

Is San Diego or Santa Barbara Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

San Diego
Santa Barbara

San Diego is a popular place for snorkeling and scuba diving. However, Santa Barbara is not a good coastal town for the nearby scuba diving and snorkeling.

San Diego has a few good snorkeling spots. Popular snorkeling and diving spots include La Jolla Cove, Mission Bay, and Turtle Town. The water's a bit chili, but it's still worth going for a dive or popping on a mask and snorkeling around for a bit.

It's possible to go snorkeling in Santa Barbara. Snorkeling areas not far from town include Refugio State Beach and Tajiguas. You'll see a few fish, beautiful rocks, and anemones that are unique and impressive.

Is San Diego or Santa Barbara Better for Beaches?

San Diego
Santa Barbara

San Diego and Santa Barbara both offer amazing beaches.

San Diego offers stunning beaches that attract visitors from around the world. The city has great beaches with tidal pools and interesting sea life at low tide. Adults and kids alike will enjoy hitting the beach when the tides are out and looking for local critters in the tidal pools. Popular beaches in the area include La Jolla Cove Beach, Coronado Beach, and Pacific Beach.

Travelers come from around the world to visit the beaches in Santa Barbara. The city is famous for its pristine, sandy beaches. Whether you want to enjoy world class surfing or enjoy a gentle ocean setting, Santa Barbara has many options.


Is San Diego or Santa Barbara Better for its Old Town?

San Diego
Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is a good destination for its old town. However, San Diego does not have a historic old town.

Plenty of visitors enjoy exploring the old town in Santa Barbara. The city's downtown "Old Town" is a high end, pedestrian-friendly area with plenty of shopping, dining, and entertainment options.

San Diego does not have a historic old town.

Is San Diego or Santa Barbara Better for Hiking?

San Diego
Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is renowned for hiking. Also, San Diego is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for the nearby hiking options.

Santa Barbara is well-known for its hiking and trekking. Just outside of town are countless hiking opportunities that offer spectacular ocean views. Popular hikes include Inspiration Point, San Ysidro Trail, and Cold Spring East Fork.

San Diego is a popular spot for hiking. The city is filled with parks and has tons of natural beauty. There is plenty of urban hiking in town, or you can visit more natural areas just out of town. Head to Torrey Pines State Park or Los Penasquitos Canyon Trail for some nice hikes.

Is the Shopping Better in San Diego or Santa Barbara?

San Diego
Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is renowned for its shopping opportunities. Also, San Diego is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for its shopping areas.

Known for shopping, Santa Barbara draws large crowds to its stores. The city is famous as a high end shopping destination. Head to State Street for a palm tree lined street with local boutiques.

Many visitors go to San Diego to go shopping. Head to Fashion Valley or Westfield UTC for some fun shopping. There are suburban shopping malls in the area as well as souvenir shops in the more touristy areas.


Is San Diego or Santa Barbara Better for Families?

San Diego
Santa Barbara

San Diego is renowned for its family-friendly activities. Also, Santa Barbara is not as famous, but is still a good coastal town to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

As it has a large number of activities for kids, San Diego is a very family-friendly destination. The city is filled with kid-friendly activities that everyone can enjoy. There's the world-class zoo, several amusement parks, the beaches, aquariums, and more. The year-round warm weather makes it easy to spend plenty of time outdoors in parks, playgrounds, and beaches where kids can stretch their legs and run around.

Santa Barbara is a very family-friendly destination. The city has some nice family-friendly activities including a zoo, some cool museums, and even whale watching. There are also many beautiful beaches where everyone can run around and play, as well as parks and other outdoor settings. For animal-lovers, there are wildlife centers and sea life opportunities.

Is San Diego or Santa Barbara Better for Couples?

San Diego
Santa Barbara

San Diego and Santa Barbara both amazing destinations for a couple.

San Diego is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. For adventurous couples, there are many outdoor activities that you can enjoy together. The beaches offer a great playground for adults who enjoy the water and warm weather. There are also restaurants and a great nightlife in San Diego.

Santa Barbara makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. The town is a stunningly beautiful destination with beautiful beaches, excellent shopping, and nice resorts that make for a great honeymoon or romantic trip.

Is San Diego or Santa Barbara Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

San Diego
Santa Barbara

San Diego is a popular place for backpackers. However, Santa Barbara is not a good coastal town for backpackers and budget travelers.

Plenty of budget travelers visit San Diego. Backpackers will enjoy the young vibe of the city. There are a few great hostels near the beach or in town.

Santa Barbara is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. The city isn't really known as a budget friendly destination, but there are a couple of hostels in the area. There's also a large student population with a fun nightlife scene.


Is San Diego or Santa Barbara Better for Students?

San Diego
Santa Barbara

San Diego is renowned for students. Also, Santa Barbara is not as famous, but is still a good coastal town to visit for its student-friendly activities.

Many students frequent San Diego. With its young population and many universities, international students will feel right at home in San Diego. There are also many great outdoor activities for the adventurous.

Santa Barbara is very popular with students. With a major university right in town, there's plenty of student life that international students or locals can enjoy.

Is San Diego or Santa Barbara Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

San Diego
Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is a good destination for times when you don't have a car. However, San Diego is not a good destination for its public transit.

While Santa Barbara offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. Transit options include buses, trolleys and water taxis.

Public transit is generally limited in San Diego. The city has a trolley (light rail system) as well as a bus system. Most people depend on cars to get around, and you'll likely enjoy your trip a bit more if you have your own vehicle.

Is San Diego or Santa Barbara a more walkable city?

San Diego
Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is great for its high level of walkability. Also, San Diego is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for its ease of walking around.

Santa Barbara is a very walkable coastal town. The downtown area is very pedestrian-friendly and best explored on foot.

San Diego is a somewhat walkable coastal city. The downtown area is walkable, but if you want to travel further, you'll need to find a different form of transportation.


For even more information, also check out Is San Diego Worth Visiting? and Is Santa Barbara Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Santa Barbara or San Diego?

How long in San Diego or Santa Barbara?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both San Diego and Santa Barbara. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in San Diego than in Santa Barbara. Usually, 3-5 days is a good amount of time for San Diego, and 2-3 days is enough time in Santa Barbara.

Families should spend more time in San Diego than Santa Barbara. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in San Diego, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Santa Barbara than San Diego. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Santa Barbara that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in San Diego than Santa Barbara if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in San Diego.


  • How many days in San Diego or Santa Barbara? Ideal Length of Stay
    San Diego 3-5 
    Santa Barbara 2-3

One day in San Diego or Santa Barbara?

Many travelers enjoy the food and scuba diving and snorkeling when visiting the fun-filled destination of San Diego. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. Don't miss the beaches, as that's what most people do. Your budget might influence how long you stay. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

You'll find shopping and museums around the coastal town of Santa Barbara. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A weekend in San Diego or Santa Barbara?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in San Diego. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Don't miss the beaches, as that's what most people do. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

You'll find museums and nightlife around the opulent destination of Santa Barbara. Hikers are also drawn to this area. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this coastal town has to offer. This coastal town offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in San Diego or Santa Barbara?

Many travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the idyllic destination of San Diego. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. This coastal city offers a variety of activities to choose from. If you have five days, this is a great place to go. Five days is usually enough time to experience most activities.

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the wealthy coastal town of Santa Barbara. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. It's also a relaxing resort destination. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


A week in San Diego or Santa Barbara?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the coastal city of San Diego. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Santa Barbara is a popular choice for travelers. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 3-Week Tours in United States of America, The Best Bicycle Tours in United States of America, Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in United States of America, and The Best Coach Bus Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Santa Barbara or San Diego?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in San Diego is $202, while the average daily cost in Santa Barbara is $162. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for San Diego and Santa Barbara in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    San Diego $115
    Santa Barbara $88
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    San Diego $230
    Santa Barbara $176
Compare Hotels in San Diego and Santa Barbara

Looking for a hotel in San Diego or Santa Barbara? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in San Diego


Hotels in Santa Barbara


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: San Diego Hotel Prices and Santa Barbara Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    San Diego $24
    Santa Barbara $42

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Diego

Also for San Diego, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • San Diego International Airport (SAN) Private Arrival Transfer: $40
  • Try find your better than us! Airport transfer service in San Diego HTL-APT(SAN): $47
  • Private Departure Transfer to San Diego Airport SAN: $50
  • Tijuana International Airport (TIJ) to Tijuana hotels - Arrival Private Transfer: $55
  • Tijuana to Tijuana International Airport (TIJ) – Departure Private Transfer: $55
  • San Diego Airport (SAN) to San Marcos, CA - Arrival Private Transfer: $65
  • Transfer in private minivan from San Diego Downtown to San Diego Airport (SAN): $68
  • Transfer in private minivan from San Diego Airport (SAN) to San Diego Downtown: $68
  • San Diego Airport: One-Way Private Transfer to San Diego: $70
  • San Diego Airport (SAN) to Carlsbad, CA - Arrival Private Transfer: $75
  • Private Transfer from San Diego Port to San Diego city hotels: $75
  • San Diego hotel/address to San Diego Airport (SAN) - Departure Private Transfer: $75

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santa Barbara

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Santa Barbara:

  • Private Transfer from Santa Barbara Port to Los Angeles Airport: $94
  • Private Transfer from Santa Barbara Cruise Port to Los Angeles: $94

Is it cheaper to fly into San Diego or Santa Barbara?

Prices for flights to both Santa Barbara and San Diego change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    San Diego $45
    Santa Barbara $46
Typical Food Prices in San Diego

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to San Diego:


  • Mexican Lunch for Two
    $27
  • Breakfast at Starbucks
    $20

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Diego

For San Diego, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Pizza and Gelato Tour in San Diego: $80
  • Old Town Tequila and Tacos Walking Food Tour: $81
  • Little Italy Food and Drink Walking Tour: Pizza, Pasta & Piazzas: $85
  • Gaslamp Quarter Downtown San Diego Food Tour: $89
  • Gaslamp Quarter Food Tour: $89
  • San Diego, Seaport Village: Waterfront Walking Food Tour: $99
  • Seaport Village Food Tour in San Diego : $99
  • Guided Secret Food Tour: $104
  • Scenic Buffet Dinner Cruise: $108
  • San Diego Dinner Cruise: $116
  • Gourmet Dinner Cruise: $118
  • Thanksgiving Day Buffet Brunch or Dinner Cruise: $121

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    San Diego $48
    Santa Barbara $27
Typical Entertainment Prices in San Diego

For San Diego, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • San Diego Zoo
    $15
  • Sea World Parking
    $12

Tours and Activities in San Diego

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for San Diego.

  • Pies & Pickaxes: A Historic Walking Tour of Julian, CA: $4.49
  • San Diego Balboa Park Quest Experience: $7.16
  • Waterfront Smartphone Audio Walking Tour: $7.30
  • A Seaside Stroll: La Jolla's Hidden Treasures Self-Guided Tour: $9.99
  • Historical Walking Tour of San Diego: $10
  • Discover In-App Audio Driving Tour: $11
  • Beaches & Bluffs San Diego's Ultimate Coastal Driving Tour: $12
  • San Diego Natural History Museum Ticket: $12
  • Haunted Historic Whaley House - Self-Guided Tour: $14
  • Explore Balboa in a Private Tour of San Diego Hidden Gems: $20
  • San Diego's Historic Treasures and Old Town Tour: $20
  • Private Walking Tour and Gaslamp Adventure in San Diego: $20

Tours and Activities in Santa Barbara

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Santa Barbara are as follows:

  • 2- Hour Pottery Workshop and Studio Tour in Ojai: $65
  • City & Sand Electric Bike Tour: $105
  • Crime Solving Detective Experience Goleta / Isla Vista, CA: $15
  • Downtown SB Walking Food & Drink Tour: $175
  • Electric Bike Adventure in Santa Barbara Wine Country: $83
  • Epic Zipline Tour Over The Santa Ynez Valley: $139
  • Guided Kayak Wildlife Tour in the Santa Barbara Harbor: $55
  • Kayak Tour of Santa Barbara with Experienced Guide: $55
  • Montecito Coastline Electric Bike Guided Tour: $125
  • Murder Mystery Detective Experience Santa Barbara, CA: $15
  • Private Guided Tour in Santa Barbara on Electric Bikes: $80
  • Private Helicopter Tour in Santa Barbara: $149

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    San Diego $21
    Santa Barbara $12

Sample the Local Flavors in San Diego

Also in San Diego, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • History Tour Pub Crawl of Famous Gaslamp Quarter: $30
  • Brewery Tour with Tastings and Food Pairings: $85
  • Little Italy Wine Tasting Walking Tour: $125
  • Private Wine Tasting Tour in Valle de Guadalupe: $135
  • Cruise & Booze Brewery tours : $149
  • Baja Tour Guide wine tour: $169
  • Sidecar Wine Tasting Tour: $199
  • Brewery and Tap Room Sidecar Tour: $199
  • California Sunset Brewery Tour: $199
  • Brewery and Beer Tasting Tour in San Diego: $215
  • Ensenada Valle De Guadelupe Private Wine Tasting Experience: $240
  • Valle de Guadalupe Wine Tour: $249

Typical Alcohol Prices in Santa Barbara

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Santa Barbara:


  • Camping
    $20

Sample the Local Flavors in Santa Barbara

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Santa Barbara:

  • Paranormal Pairing: Wine Tasting Walk with Ghost Storytelling: $105
  • Solvang Valley Small Group All-Inclusive Wine Tour : $185
  • All-Inclusive Full-Day Wine Tasting Tour from Santa Ynez Valley: $199
  • 6 hour Private Wine Tour of Santa Barbara County : $199
  • Wine Tasting Tour in Santa Ynez Valley (All-Inclusive & Full-Day): $215
  • ‚ÄčAll-Inclusive Full-Day Wine Tasting Tour from Santa Barbara: $219
  • Taco Tour & Wine Tasting Funk Zone Santa Barbara: $225
  • Small-Group Wine Tasting Tour of Santa Barbara Wine Country: $235
  • Santa Barbara Small-Group Wine Tour to Private Estates & Wineries: $235
  • Small-Group Wine Tour to Private Locations in Santa Barbara : $235
  • Santa Barbara/Santa Ynez Wine Tour (We Drive Your Vehicle): $300


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between San Diego and Santa Barbara, we can see that San Diego is more expensive. And not only is Santa Barbara much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Santa Barbara would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Santa Barbara and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in San Diego would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in San Diego than you might in Santa Barbara.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is San Diego Expensive? and Is Santa Barbara Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, San Diego or Santa Barbara?

San Diego has a larger population, and is about 10 times larger than the population of Santa Barbara. When comparing the sizes of San Diego and Santa Barbara, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit San Diego or Santa Barbara?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit San Diego or Santa Barbara in the Summer?

Both Santa Barbara and San Diego during the summer are popular places to visit. The beaches, snorkeling, the hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to San Diego this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Santa Barbara for the beaches, snorkeling, the hiking, the city activities, and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, San Diego is a little warmer than Santa Barbara. Typically, the summer temperatures in San Diego in July average around 71°F (22°C), and Santa Barbara averages at about 65°F (19°C).

San Diego usually gets more rain in July than Santa Barbara. San Diego gets 0 inches (1 mm) of rain, while Santa Barbara receives 0 inches (1 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    San Diego 71°F (22°C) 
    Santa Barbara 65°F (19°C)

Should I visit San Diego or Santa Barbara in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both San Diego and Santa Barbara. Many travelers come to San Diego for the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Furthermore, many visitors come to Santa Barbara in the autumn for the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In October, San Diego is generally a little warmer than Santa Barbara. Daily temperatures in San Diego average around 68°F (20°C), and Santa Barbara fluctuates around 62°F (17°C).

In October, San Diego usually receives less rain than Santa Barbara. San Diego gets 0.4 inches (9 mm) of rain, while Santa Barbara receives 0.5 inches (13 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    San Diego 68°F (20°C) 
    Santa Barbara 62°F (17°C)

Should I visit San Diego or Santa Barbara in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to San Diego as well as Santa Barbara. Many visitors come to San Diego in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Additionally, most visitors come to Santa Barbara for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

San Diego is a little warmer than Santa Barbara in the winter. The daily temperature in San Diego averages around 57°F (14°C) in January, and Santa Barbara fluctuates around 52°F (11°C).

San Diego usually gets less rain in January than Santa Barbara. San Diego gets 1.8 inches (46 mm) of rain, while Santa Barbara receives 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    San Diego 57°F (14°C) 
    Santa Barbara 52°F (11°C)

Should I visit San Diego or Santa Barbara in the Spring?

Both Santa Barbara and San Diego are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to San Diego for the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty during these months. Also, the spring months attract visitors to Santa Barbara because of the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty.

In the spring, San Diego is a little warmer than Santa Barbara. Typically, the spring temperatures in San Diego in April average around 62°F (17°C), and Santa Barbara averages at about 57°F (14°C).

In April, San Diego usually receives less rain than Santa Barbara. San Diego gets 0.8 inches (20 mm) of rain, while Santa Barbara receives 1.1 inches (27 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    San Diego 62°F (17°C) 
    Santa Barbara 57°F (14°C)

Typical Weather for Santa Barbara and San Diego

San Diego Santa Barbara
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 57°F (14°C) 1.8 inches (46 mm) 52°F (11°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Feb 59°F (15°C) 1.5 inches (39 mm) 54°F (12°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Mar 59°F (15°C) 1.8 inches (45 mm) 55°F (13°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm)
Apr 62°F (17°C) 0.8 inches (20 mm) 57°F (14°C) 1.1 inches (27 mm)
May 64°F (18°C) 0.2 inches (5 mm) 59°F (15°C) 0.2 inches (4 mm)
Jun 67°F (19°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm) 62°F (17°C) 0 inches (1 mm)
Jul 71°F (22°C) 0 inches (1 mm) 65°F (19°C) 0 inches (1 mm)
Aug 73°F (23°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm) 67°F (19°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm)
Sep 71°F (22°C) 0.2 inches (6 mm) 66°F (19°C) 0.5 inches (12 mm)
Oct 68°F (20°C) 0.4 inches (9 mm) 62°F (17°C) 0.5 inches (13 mm)
Nov 62°F (17°C) 1.5 inches (37 mm) 57°F (14°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm)
Dec 57°F (14°C) 1.6 inches (40 mm) 52°F (11°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)