Tours and Lectures

The Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara fosters an appreciation for art, architecture, and design through its weekly walking tours and occasional lectures and film presentations. These events are part of our mission to promote quality in design, construction, and preservation, and to foster an understanding of excellence in the urban environment.

Walking Tours

Experience Santa Barbara—its architecture and its past—in a unique and personal way. Join us in a small group walking tour of downtown on Saturdays and Sundays. Led by highly knowledgeable docents of the Architectural Foundation, the tour focuses on architectural styles; significant and historic buildings; aesthetics; past and present building use; and landscape history. Discover why Santa Barbara is called “The American Riviera,” and why the Santa Barbara News Press lauds our educational walkabouts.

We’ll lead you to hidden courtyards, secret fountains and original adobes. Photographic opportunities abound and our leisurely pace invites relaxed enjoyment. Appreciate varying architectural traditions and see close-up Santa Barbara’s hallmarks: hand-made tiles, wrought iron detailing, stonework, balconies, doorways, arches, and fragrant plantings.

Adjacent city lot parking is available for both tours. The tours are an easy walking stroll. Bring your camera and friends. All are welcome, including children, but please know that the tour is an hour and half of walking with lots of detailed information. Children under 12 are free but must be accompanied by an adult. Please, no strollers.

  • Saturday (Sabado Tour): 10 am – meet at the City Hall steps at De la Guerra Plaza
  • Sunday (Domingo Tour): 10 am – meet at the downtown Central Library courtyard entrance on Anapamu Street
  • Tours offered every week, weather permitting.
  • $10 donation per person.
  • Tour duration: Approximately an hour and a half
  • Tours for private groups and the physically challenged can be arranged.
  • Special tours for groups larger than 10 people may be arranged at least two weeks in advance, and can be scheduled for any day of the week.
  • For information on large, private, or special tours, please email us or call (805) 965-6307

Lectures and Films

AFSB’s diverse lectures and films are open to the public and feature a range of topics such as “Petra: the Ancient Stone City of Jordan,” Cuba’s architecture, and the Spanish Colonial Revival idiom.” Previous speakers have included Allan Langdale, an art and architectural historian; Christopher Long, professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture; Kevin A. Clark, artist and architectural designer; and photographer Brent Winebrenner.

Find information about our current and future lectures and films on our Events calendar.