El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park

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Hours

11AM - 4PM, Thursday through Sunday.

Admission

$5 for adults, $4 for seniors (62+), Free for SBTHP members, SNAP/EBT and CalFresh cards, and children 16 & under. Includes admission to Casa de la Guerra.


Tours

To arrange a guided tour or for more information contact call (805) 965-0093.

 

Before You Visit

View El Presidio de Santa Bárbara SHP Visitors' Guide.

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Located in downtown Santa Barbara, El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park (El Presidio SHP) is a 5 1/2-acre park that preserves the site of the last Spanish fortress, or presidio, founded in Alta (Upper) California in 1782. Two of the fort‘s original adobe buildings still exist and are open to the public — El Cuartel and the Cañedo Adobe.

A visit to El Presidio SHP begins at the Visitor Center in the Cañedo Adobe, where you will be greeted by staff, and given an orientation to the Park. The Visitor Center includes exhibits, displays on the history of the Presidio and the development of the State Park, and a one-room exhibit on the history of the Japanese community in Santa Barbara, which resided on the Presidio site in the early twentieth century. It also includes our gift shop, La Tiendita where you can find books and gifts that evoke the cultures and history of the Presidio area. You will be given a tour booklet with a map, information and images about each tour stop, and are free to experience the park on your own. 

Several portions of the Presidio are available to visitors on self-guided tours, including the Chapel, Comandancia, and Padre‘s Quarters, on the north wing of the quadrangle. Behind the north wing visitors can enjoy the 1940s Whittaker orchards and explore the exposed archaeological site of the Presidio outer defense wall. The Presidio Northeast Corner, consists of reconstructions of rooms that once housed the Presidio‘s Lieutenant as well as some of the soldiers and their families, a two-story observation tower and heritage gardens. All of these areas have been reconstructed over the past forty years and include period furnishings and displays. The Northwest Corner is currently being reconstructed and includes an orientation video.

Presidio Northeast Corner. Photo by Michael Imwalle

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Presidio Chapel. Photho by Michael Imwalle

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Presidio Northeast Corner. Photo by Michael Imwalle

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Presidio Northeast Corner. Photo by Michael Imwalle

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Other buildings within El Presidio SHP are not part of the original Presidio, but are historic resources in their own right, including the former campus of the 1920's Santa Barbara School of the Arts; the 1871 Cota-Knox House; the circa 1830 Buenaventura Pico Adobe; and the 1856 Rochin Adobe. The most recent addition to the Park is Jimmy‘s Oriental Gardens, a former Chinese restaurant. Visitors can enjoy the exteriors of these structures, and can experience selected interiors by patronizing our park tenants, including Three Pickles and The Pickle Room, Zaytoon Restaurant, La Playa Azul Cafe, and Panino.

The Alhecama Theatre, 1925. Photo by Michael Imwalle

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914 Santa Barbara Street, c. 1920s. Playa Azul Restaurant. Photo by Anne Petersen

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Alhecama Studios, 1926. Photo by Michael Imwalle

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The Alhecama Theatre, 1925. Photo by Michael Imwalle

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