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“Good place to get a feel for the city”

Santa Barbara County Courthouse
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Designed by William Mooser III in the Spanish-Moorish architectural style, this working courthouse is surrounded by landscaped gardens and lawns.
Reviewed July 23, 2013

The courthouse is a great place to get a feel for the city. You can go up on the tower for free and there are signs telling you what you can see. The grounds are being kept well and the courtroom is very impressive. Definitely a must when visiting Santa Barbara for the first time.

Thank Max J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"clock tower"
in 367 reviews
"mural room"
in 192 reviews
"beautiful building"
in 202 reviews
"tile work"
in 103 reviews
"sunken garden"
in 50 reviews
"degree view"
in 38 reviews
"court room"
in 33 reviews
"law library"
in 27 reviews
"viewing tower"
in 25 reviews
"observation deck"
in 38 reviews
"free tour"
in 39 reviews
"great architecture"
in 33 reviews
"spanish architecture"
in 58 reviews
"santa barbara county"
in 44 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 68 reviews
"docent tour"
in 29 reviews
"open to the public"
in 24 reviews
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1,989 - 1,993 of 2,743 reviews

Reviewed July 20, 2013

The Santa Barbara County Court House, built in 1929, is an outstanding example of Andalusian asymmetrical style of architecture. It incorporates the history of Santa Barbara County and California. Our guide, Stella Larsen, was absolutely the best. We learned so much from her in an entertaining and easy to understand way. Do not miss the Mural Room. If they are having a wedding, wait until you can go in. Climbing the stairs to the tower is worth the effort! Beautiful and expansive views of Santa Barbara from the mountains to the ocean. It is a short walk to the arcade and choice of restaurants. Six of us ate in Cielito's, outstanding Mexican food. I cannot answer the question about wheelchairs, but one lady in our group had one, so I imagine that she was able to use it on the tour. They were in a different tour group from us. Our tour lasted about 2 hours plus the trip up to the tower. Other tours were one hour.

Thank lizcraven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2013

it's only open to the public in the weekends, but its a MUST see! Great location, the gardens are terrific, and they offer free outdoor movies in the summer on Wednesdays!

Thank sdlibra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2013

This courthouse is absolutely gorgeous. I couldn't believe it's still a functioning courthouse because of how pristine it is. I've worked at all of the Orange County courthouses which are typical government looking, asbestos-filled buildings, so that explains my appreciation for this magnificent building. I think it's definitely worth seeing!!

Thank Happy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 19, 2013

The courthouse dates to 1929, but the architecture matches the old Spanish Presidio and Mission, in keeping with the city's heritage. Like many nice old buildings from the 20's and 30's done in other styles, this building has plenty of beautiful decorative detail in the facade.
This is a working courthouse, but visitors are encouraged to wander the halls and take the elevator (or stairs) up to the 4th floor viewing deck. The wood beams and walls throughout the interior of the building are beautifully painted, and there are carved and painted benches scattered throughout the halls. The clockworks are visible on the 3rd floor.
Parking is available free for 75 minutes on the street. There are movies on the courthouse lawn in the evening, and people were showing up with their chairs and blankets when we left.
There was a free tour available at 2:00 on the day we were there, but we missed it.

Thank July1955
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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