Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone has become a favorite in recent years. Over the past few decades, this district, which spans the area between the ocean and Highway 101 and is adjacent to the Amtrak station, has enjoyed an upswell of boutique tasting rooms, cafes, galleries, and shops that cater to Santa Barbara’s contemporary side.
Converted warehouses and buildings decorated with graffiti murals and contemporary art pieces set the tone for this hopping section of town. Surfboard shapers, winemakers and up-and-coming chefs all practice their crafts here. Visit art galleries; shop vintage and modern home goods at The Blue Door; taste at the fun, hip Municipal Winemakers (whose wine club is affectionately known as Club Awesome), and enjoy a five-star dinner at The Lark.
Walk the largest part of the Urban Wine Trail — a self-guided trail of 20+ tasting rooms representing Santa Barbara County wines — and easily discover why Santa Barbara’s wine country is easily world class. Tantalize your taste buds with an Eat This, Shoot That! food and photo tour through the neighborhood for bites of artisanal eats at Lucky Penny, glasses of craft brews from Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co., tastes of Riverbench wines, and sips from Cutler’s Artisan Spirits, the city’s first distillery since Prohibition.
Whether you’re new to Santa Barbara or returning for the hundredth time, this ever-evolving artistic neighborhood is one spot to visit again and again.