Santa Barbara Tours
Private Santa Barbara History and Architecture Walking Tour
5

Private Santa Barbara History and Architecture Walking Tour

By Sullivan Israel
Recommended by 100% of travelers
100% of reviewers gave this product a bubble rating of 4 or higher.
About
from
$99.00
per adult (price varies by group size)
Lowest price guaranteeReserve now & pay laterFree cancellation

Ages 0-100
Duration: 2–3 hours
Start time: Check availability
Mobile ticket
Live guide: English
More


  • Guided Tour, historical photos
  • Entry/Admission - El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park
  • Entry/Admission - Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens
What's not included
  • Parking Fees
  • Lunch
  • Entry/Admission - Santa Barbara Historical Museum


Start:
  • El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park, 123 E Canon Perdido St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, USA
    In front of the Church.
End:This activity ends back at the meeting point.

    • Wheelchair accessible
    • Stroller accessible
    • Service animals allowed
    • Near public transportation
    • Transportation is wheelchair accessible
    If you have questions about accessibility, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 311289P1

    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
    • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
    • Most travelers can participate
    • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
    • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate

    • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

    If you have questions about this tour or need help making your booking, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 311289P1

    Reserve your spot

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    About the operator
    Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator:
    • Sullivan Israel
      40
      Santa Barbara, California
      Joined in June 2021
    • laurapQ5438SY
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Must do while in Santa Barbara!
      Sully is a very knowledgeable historian of Santa Barbara and California in general. We had a great time, he told us some really amazing stories. Would definitely recommend to anyone who visits Santa barbara. We have been here many times but didn't know the history. It's obvious that he loves what he does and I felt like he would have stayed with us all evening telling us the history if given the opportunity. 10 out of 10, highly recommend! He also suggested a place for dinner that was fantastic.
      Written May 1, 2022
    • twauhob
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Worth it times ten.
      Sullivan's rich detailed accounts of early Santa Barbaran & early Californian history come with short geography & carpentry explainers, are packed with wit, dense, logical. He uses the houses, streets and mountain vistas around presidio to illustrate stories about soldiers, bandits, priests, explorers, famous names. Sullivan is extremely well read in the local history & brings you into fascinating stories including the origin of the Bear Flag Republic. If you like history, even a little, you will want to see if he's available & book his tour.
      Written September 7, 2021
    • F5604KFchrisr
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Historic and Beautiful Santa Barbara
      Great experience overall. Our tour guide Sullivan was very knowledgeable. We visited historical sites in Santa Barbara filled with so much rich history and places we never even knew were still part of this wonderful city of Santa Barbara. Sullivan gave us an insight on how this beautiful and historic city began, the culture, the backgrounds and most importantly stories he told that made this experience all worthwhile. Much recommended!
      Written August 6, 2021
    • DMH1164
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      A Must When In Santa Barbara
      We stay in Santa Barbara quite frequently and stumbled on a private tour. We did not know what to expect but we do love history and checked it out. This 2 hour tour did not disappoint, Sullivan’s knowledge was very interesting, informative and kept us engaged. This walk through Santa Barbara history told to us in detail was a great way to spend our afternoon. I highly recommend
      Written August 2, 2021
    • MM200815
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Definitely Recommend!
      We had a wonderful experience. Sullivan was very organized in bringing us around the historical sites of Santa Barbara and telling us the background stories of the buildings there, and the history during that time. He even spent extra time with us at the end answering our questions. He is very knowledgeable about Santa Barbara’s history.
      Written July 10, 2021
    • MontecitoMom
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      GREAT Tour! KNOWLEDGEABLE Guide!! A “MUST DO” for visitors and locals alike!!!
      Wow! What a good experience. Sullivan is knowledgeable, helpful, and funny. This tour is perfect for anyone who wants a fun and informative tour of Santa Barbara. My family and I loved this tour, and I would highly recommend for anyone else!
      Written July 10, 2021
    • petersV4041ZH
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Awesome!!!
      What a tour! The guide is one of the most knowable people about Santa Barbra lore I've heard. I would recommend this to anyone and everyone. Sullivan is such a well-learned person, anyone that needs to have fun and learn something along the way while in Santa Barbra needs to take this ASAP.
      Written July 6, 2021
    • joseaI2747PA
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Learned so much, had fun!
      I learned so much about this town that I never new before! Sullivan is a well of information, and has so much knowledge about hidden historical locations and little-known stories. I couldn't have appreciated some of Santa Barbara's history without this fun tour and great guide. I would recommend to anyone in town--local or tourist!
      Written July 2, 2021
    See all 40 reviews
    These reviews are the subjective opinions of Tripadvisor members and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

    Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

    Popular mentions

    5.0
    5.0 of 5 bubbles32 reviews
    Excellent
    32
    Very good
    0
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    0
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    0
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    0

    pamcjohn
    Seattle, WA11 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Mar 2022
    Please know that I am declaring myself the president and charter member of the Sully Israel fan club! Our experience with this tour was stellar! Sully has researched well every aspect of this tour — he loves history and scours antiquarian stores for maps and images of Santa Barbara’s past that beautifully illustrate the information he shares. Beyond this, he has a distinct talent for telling stories that bring to life some of the principal characters of Santa Barbara history — it was very entertaining! He is a most impressive young man — and beyond this, very generous and thoughtful in adapting the tour to our interests; after the tour, we very much appreciated that he shared additional “insider’s” information about various places to visit both on and off the beaten track. I have done many history tours around the world, and this is absolutely one of the best, largely due to Sully’s knowledge, enthusiasm, and love for this community.
    Written March 13, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Alan B
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Jan 2022
    Sullivan brings the past alive with his knowledge of Santa Barbara, and California. He is an excellent guide, friendly and informative, with very engaging tales about the history of buildings and points of interest around the town. Altogether a most enjoyable afternoon and we came away with a new appreciation for Santa Barbara, it’s history and it’s beauty. Thank you Sully.
    Written January 9, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Ameya
    Emeryville, CA1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Me and my wife, both are interested in history and architecture, and this was a perfect tour for us. We booked a shorter version (1-2 hours). Immediately after booking the tour, Sully contacted me and provided necessary details.

    Sully knows his stuff. He is passionate about the history and you will realize this during the tour. The tour is mainly about the history of Santa Barbara with interesting connections to history of CA and the USA as well. Sully is patient and will answer your questions not just about Santa Barbara history but also related topics. He has trove of interesting drawings, pictures and maps that will help you imagine transition of Santa Barbara from a sleepy Spanish establishment to what it is today.

    And yes, he will take your pictures :).

    This is should definitely be in the to do list if you are visiting Santa Barbara.
    Written January 4, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    JeanM
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Sullivan Israel’s Architectural and Historic Tour of Santa Barbara was excellent. His description of how Santa Barbara came about from the trading of the Chumash peoples, the arrival of the Spanish invaders, the creation of the Presidio, the impact of the Mexican Civil war, the creation of the California State, to the Earthquake of 1925 was given in a lively and entertaining discourse . His in depth knowledge shows his keen interest in the subject of how this town came about giving the low down of the movers and shakers that created this lovely city.
    Written September 28, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Gail G
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Sep 2021
    Educational, interesting, and fun! Sullivan's enthusiasm for the history and architecture of Santa Barbara was evident throughout the tour. I've been to SB many times and now feel that I have a much richer understanding of the city and its past. I highly recommend the tour!
    Written September 11, 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Steve H
    Santa Barbara, CA21 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Jan 2023
    We are 4 members of the Santa Barbara Conservancy, advocating for public awareness of historic architecture and culture preservation. We took Sully's tour to check him out, and we had a phenomenal time. We had little to add to his knowledge of Santa Barbara, and his stories and pictures were very entertaining. We highly recommend him if you are interested in architecture and the history of Santa Barbara!
    Written February 8, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    CSK
    7 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Apr 2023 • Couples
    Sullivan is passionate about the history of Santa Barbara and that passion is infectious. Spent a fabulous afternoon exploring the buildings of the town with most historical significance, and whilst I’m from Scotland and it was all new to me, my SB resident son and daughter in law now have a new appreciation of their home town 😃. Great storytelling throughout from a thoroughly lovely young man. I would highly recommend this tour to tourists and locals alike!
    Written April 23, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    DC
    Anacortes, WA8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Sep 2022
    Sully, our private tour guide, exceeded our expectations. His knowledge of the Santa Barbara city area from both a historical and current day perspective was incredible. His passion to share his knowledge was clearly evident. He went above and beyond to ensure we had a terrific tour experience. Thank you, Sully!
    Written September 10, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Carol L
    6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    What a pleasure it was to spend our afternoon touring Santa Barbara with Sully! If you’re into architecture and history,this tour is for you. Sully is an incredibly impressive young man who was full of facts and stories of this beautiful town. His love of history and architecture was evident as he took us to well known and lesser known spots throughout Santa Barbara. The tour ran longer than expected, but we were delighted to carry on because Sully’s stories were so fascinating and the area was so beautiful. We especially enjoyed the hidden spots he showed us as we never would have found them on our own. In addition, he had a notebook full of old photos that allowed us to compare the past to the present. We particularly enjoyed his chronological presentation as it helped keep all the information organized for us. Finally, Sully was a very good communicator. His replies were prompt and thorough. The day after our tour he even followed up with additional regional suggestions for us! Thank you, Sully, for a memorable day.
    Written April 4, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Jared S
    4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    May 2022 • Family
    Sully was a very personable and knowledgeable tour guide who used what is left of the original Santa Barbara buildings to walk us through the history of the area. He had many interesting stories about the people who discovered and founded Santa Barbara. He is very passionate about the subject and the architecture of the area and we really enjoyed the tour. It was especially impressive how he helped us imagine what the buildings that are no longer standing looked like. Definitely recommend for anyone with an interest in architecture or history.
    Written May 22, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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    Private Santa Barbara History and Architecture Walking Tour provided by Sullivan Israel

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