10 Things to Know About Santa Barbara Airport

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Source: Andy Rusch

This small airport welcomes more than 700,000 passengers every year, and they always get amazed by its beauty. With its red tile roof and old mission garden, Santa Barbara Airport is a true landmark of architectural history and a beautiful gateway to the city. It is also a big part of aviation history. Today it boasts five major airlines offering to travel anywhere in the world.

1. How to Get to Santa Barbara Airport

What is the most convenient, fastest and cheapest way to go to or from the airport? This is one of the most common dilemmas among the travelers. Santa Barbara Airport is conveniently connected to the nearby hotels, businesses and tourist attractions. There is various ground transportation alternatives including taxis, buses, rental cars or commercial and courtesy shuttles. Get informed and choose the one that suits you well.


  • Name: Transport
  • Taxi: Santa Barbara Airport Taxi – 805-895-2422
    Santa Barbara City Cab – 805-968-6868
    Santa Barbara Checker Cab – 805-560-8284
    Santa Barbara Yellow Cab – 805-9655111
  • Door-to-Door Shuttle: Central Coast Shuttle – 805.928.1977  or  800.470.8818
    Road Runner – 805.389.8196 or 800.247.7919
  • Public Buses: There is a Public Bus Stop on Moffett Road across from the Airline Terminal

2. Parking at Santa Barbara Airport

Source: Glenn Beltz

When you have to fly from Santa Barbara Airport, you can either choose one of the various transportation alternatives or just drive yourself there. If you prefer the second option, the airport offers safe long-term as well as short-term parking lots. If you have any problems with it there is the parking attendant who will help you arrange for it. The overflow parking is currently not in use.


  • Name: Parking
  • Short Term Parking:
    Address: 500 Fowler Road
    Price: 0-60 min:  $2 Each add’l hr:  $1
    Maximum Charge per 24-hour period: $20
  • Long Term Parking:
    Address: 500 Fowler Road
    Price: 0-60 min: $2, Each add’l hr: $1
    Maximum Charge per 24-hour period: $12
  • Overflow Lot Parking:
    Address: 140 Frederick Lopez Road
    Price: 0-60 min: $2, Each add’l hr: $1
    Maximum Charge per 24-hour period: $10

3. SB Airport Terminal

Santa Barbara Airport boasts the new modern Airport Terminal opened in 2011. The project included a new airline terminal building, a new aircraft parking ramp, moving and restoration of the existing old terminal as well as the new short-term parking lot. Today, it is an attractive building designed in the traditional Spanish architectural style. “Green building” techniques and environmentally friendly elements were used in the design. Five airlines currently serve the airport.


  • Name: SB Airport
  • Address: 500 James Fowler Rd Santa Barbara, CA 93117
  • Website: flysba.com

4. Flights from SB Airport

Source: Andy Rusch

Santa Barbara Airport serves not only Santa Barbara, but also California’s Tri-County Region. With its three runways it is one of the busiest airports in the area offering 40 daily departures as well as regular daily flights to and from San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Denver, Portland, Phoenix and Dallas. Top international flight routes include London, Paris, Amsterdam, Toronto, Tokyo, Mexico City and Shanghai.


  • Name: Airlines
  • American Eagle: 800-433-7300
  • America West Express: 800-235-9292
  • United Express: 800-241-6522
  • Frontier Airlines:  800-432-1359
  • Horizon Air:  800-547-9308

5. Help for lost baggage

Source: Ratha Grimes

If you are a frequent traveler, you have probably experienced losing your baggage. It is the most often trouble of air travel nowadays. It is good to buy travel insurance, but the statistics say that 98% of the baggage is actually returned to the owner. If you realize that you have lost some of your baggage on an aircraft, you must fill out the report for your airline at the baggage counter. This problem is handled by the individual airlines. If you lose your baggage in the terminal building call the Security Operations Office.


  • Name: Security Operations Office
  • Phone: 805-681-4803

6. Hotels Close to the Airport

Santa Barbara Airport is located about 7 miles west of the Santa Barbara city center. There aren’t any hotels at the Airport, but you can find a lot of beautiful hotels offering great service and facilities close to the US 101, not far from the Airport. Some of the hotels, like Best Western Plus South Coast Inn and Best Western Plus Pepper Tree Inn offer an airport shuttle service. Choose the one you think is the best for you.


  • Name: Hotels
  • Hampton Inn:  805-681-9800
  • South Coast Inn: 800-350-3614
  • Pacifica Suites: 800-338-6722
  • Holiday Inn: 800-465-4329
  • Super 8 Motel: 800-435-5595

7. Airport Tours

Source: Andy Rusch

Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. you can book free Airport Tour at Santa Barbara Airport. You should book the tour at least two weeks in advance. The tours are age appropriate. The Airport Visitors Center features hands-on aviation exhibits for kids of all ages. It has an exhibit hall, two classrooms with a flight simulator and internet access, and an office. To book a tour and more information call (805) 964-7622.

 8. Activities

Once a month Santa Barbara Airport hosts three local flying clubs. They are all open to public and you can get information about the dates and times by calling the Visitor’s Center (805.964.7622).  Young students can attend Future Flyers class on aviation once a year. The latest interactive exhibit at the center is a wind tunnel where students fly a radio controlled plane. There is also a great collection of videos on aviation history for visitors to enjoy watching. The Airport also features a Public Art Program, with commissioned art and rotating exhibitions of local art.

9. Shop & Dine

If you get early to Santa Barbara Airport, don’t worry, there are concessions available both downstairs and upstairs. La Mission Café found downstairs serves breakfast and lunch sandwiches, soup, chili, wine and beer. Passengers with tickets can enjoy some of the upstairs concessions including The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Costa Terraza Restaurant & Tapas Bar offering various menus and Santa Barbara News and Gifts where you can buy newspapers, magazines, books, and various souvenirs.


  • Name: Shop & Dine
  • The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf: 805-770-2382
  • Costa Terraza Restaurant & Tapas Bar: 805-770-2382
  • Santa Barbara News & Gifts:  805-967-3567
  • La Mission Café

10. Santa Barbara Helicopter and Cessna Plane Tours

Source: Andy Rusch

If you want to experience Santa Barbara and its surroundings from a completely new perspective, then you should definitely take a helicopter or Cessna plane tour. This is the best way to see the stunning beauty of the city, the mountains, the ocean as well as the wonderful vineyards. Decide on what you want to see and make your tour personalized. The pilots are very professional, entertaining, and informative. This may not be the cheapest way to see Santa Barbara, but it is definitely once in a lifetime experience.


  • Name: Helicopter and Plane Tours
  • Cessna plane tours:
    Address: Santa Barbara Municipal Airport – Goleta, CA
    1-2 passengers: $259
    3 passengers: $299
  • Helicopter tours: 15 Marxmiller Pl Santa Barbara, California 93117
    1 passenger: $300
    Phone: 805-845-4500

Santa Barbara Municipality Airport may be small, but it offers much more than some of the larger airports do. When you arrive and depart from there, you do that in big style – Californian!

Have a good trip and travel!

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North America, Santa Barbara County, State of California, U.S.A.