Any visit to Santa Barbara should include a stop in the “Funk Zone”. This is an area that stretches from State Street to Milpas Street and bordered by the 101 Freeway and the ocean. It used to be an industrial area filled with warehouses, artist studios and funky hangouts. Today the funk is a bit more refined with lots of unique boutiques, award-winning restaurants, wine tasting rooms and much more. The converted warehouses now sport graffiti murals and the area is a buzz with college students, visitors and locals looking for a casual good time. The area is home to surf shops, art galleries, vintage and modern home goods and over 20 wine tasting rooms. Here are a just a few of the cool places you might want to include in your Funk Zone visit:
Surf N Wear Beach House
Just a stones throw from Santa Barbara’s East Beach, this legendary surf shop has been voted one of Santa Barbara’s best since 1962. They carry world famous locally-shaped Yater Boards, as well as wet suits, clothing and popular accessories. If you are going to hit the beach afterwards, we recommend you pickup a bottle of Oil Slick Beach Tar Remover to keep your feet, boards and shoes free from any beach tar you may encounter. Located at 10 State Street.
Wheel Fun Rentals
The Funk Zone is easy to navigate on foot, but if you want to cover more ground you might want to stop by Wheel Fun Rentals and pick up a beach cruiser bike, electric bike, or a pedal surrey, that can let you transport up to six people in old fashioned style. Located at 24 East Mason Street.
If you’re in the mood to shop and want to bring home some Santa Barbara style, locally owned Dylan Star offers women’s clothing best described as California boho chic. It’s easy to put together a great outfit here, complete with shoes and accessories. Located at 110 Anacapa Street.
Jules by the Sea SB
For unique jewelry, hand-crafted in the Funk Zone, as well as tasteful home goods and soothing earth-friendly bath and body goods, Jules by the Sea SB, is a fun stop. Owner and artisan Jules Kramer will look forward making you feel welcome. Located at 121 Santa Barbara Street.
If vintage goods and antiques are your thing the Blue Door is a must. Mid- century, pop art, records and more await in this multi-story collection of fun and funky items. Located at 617 E. Gutierrez not far from the Amtrak station.
While there is no shortage of great places to eat in the Funk Zone, if you want to put together a tasty picnic lunch before you head out to the beach, then Tri-County Produce has everything you need. Fresh fruit and veggies, bread, cheese and more, are all super fresh and ready to go in your picnic basket. Located at 335 S. Milpas Street.
Blue Sands Inn
If you want to stay close to all the action of the Funk Zone, the Blue Sands Inn is a great locally owned lodging just steps from Santa Barbara’s famous East Beach. They feature the work of local artists and artisans in the lobby and they are great at directing you to some of the must see spots in the Funk Zone and the rest of Santa Barbara. Located at 421 South Milpas Street.
Most of the locations listed above are pleased to support local businesses like Oil Slick Beach Tar Remover. So before you spend the day at the Santa Barbara beaches near the Funk Zone, ask them for a bottle or pack of wipes of Oil Slick Beach Tar Remover so you can avoid any sticky situations.