Santa Barbara County Courthouse, Santa Barbara

#1 of 149 in Things to do in Santa Barbara
Architectural Building · Landmark
Not just any old government structure, Santa Barbara County Courthouse is a four-building Spanish-Moorish complex with plenty to see beyond courtrooms. As you wander the 14,000 sq m (150,000 sq ft), you can view the Mural Room, Law Library, and Hall of Records. Climb the Bell Tower to see the inner workings of the old clock--and to take photos from this famous observation deck. The courthouse's interior might surprise you with its intense colors, bodacious tiles, and bold lighting. Its gardens feature trees from more than 25 countries and are a popular place for weddings. You can plan Santa Barbara trip in no time by asking Inspirock to help create your itinerary.
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2,973 reviews
  • A magnificent building! Enough markers were around that we could get a sense of its history. We enjoyed sitting in a garden area.  more »
  • This is one of the most beautiful buildings in the United States! I know like that seems like an exaggeration, but I'm not joking. Walking around the building reveals countless architectural details.....  more »
  • Wow! Wish all courthouses looked like this. It’s really a treasure. I’m so glad a friend recommended it to us. We arrived early and were able to find free parking right up front. Really worth a visit to locals and visitors.
  • Looking for a place to sight-see? A place to bring out-of-town folks? Or maybe just jazz up your day? If it's before 4:45pm, check out the Courthouse Clock Tower. There is the option of elevator (kinda slow) or stairs. If you can, be sure to take the stairs one way, either up or down, because along the way there are some lovely mosaics and various views of the inner courthouse. The view on a relatively clear day is lovely and being on the tower is so refreshing with the breeze. On each of the four sides there are maps labeling what you can see from that side of the tower so you can view some of SB's popular sightseeing destinations from above! Below the viewing platform of the tower is the Clock Gallery, though be sure to check the open hours if you decide to go because it closes up pretty early and is not open every day! The Mural Room is also breathtaking with beautiful historical moments depicted on each wall. Fantastic for photos. In general, the courthouse and its grounds are perfect for meandering or finding cool refuge on a hot day. It's truly a work of art inside and out.

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