The Best Cheap Hotels and Inns to Book in Santa Barbara, California

The backdrop of the Santa Ynez Mountains makes Santa Barbara an ideal holiday destination
The backdrop of the Santa Ynez Mountains makes Santa Barbara an ideal holiday destination | Courtesy of Best Western Plus Pepper Tree Inn / Expedia
Rachel Eva Lim

The sunny, coastal locale of Santa Barbara – with its balmy weather, distinctive architecture and myriad of natural wonders – is a must-visit spot if you’re in California. While most hotels have a reputation for being on the pricey side, we’ve rounded up a few more wallet-friendly options for your next trip. Whether you prefer a homey inn that offers stunning vistas of the shoreline or an elegant establishment with a modern aesthetic, here’s our selection of cheap hotels in Santa Barbara – bookable on Culture Trip.

1. Coast Village Inn – Santa Barbara, for vegan delights


A large bed with furnishings at the Coast Village Inn
Courtesy of Coast Village Inn /

Originally constructed in 1935, this renovated inn is located near the gorgeous Butterfly Beach. There are various accommodation types to choose from: ranging from individual digs with queen beds to two-bedroom apartments. All lodgings come with comfortable beds, a workspace and blackout curtains that are perfect for a lazy lie-in. There’s also a heated outdoor pool and an expansive garden area – plus an on-site restaurant serving delicious, hearty vegan cuisine.

2. Holiday Inn Express Santa Barbara, an IHG Hotel, for a unique aesthetic


A small but well-furnished double room at Holiday Inn Express Santa Barbara
Courtesy of Holiday Inn Express Santa Barbara /

This downtown Santa Barbara bolthole blends a modern look with heritage touches. Rooms come with plush, triple-sheeted beds and blackout curtains and are furnished in an up-to-date style with elements of classic Spanish Colonial Revival décor: think Malibu and Catalina tilework, exposed brick walls and wrought-iron furnishings. There’s a complimentary breakfast bar where you can grab a coffee and a cinnamon roll to enjoy on the balcony – which looks out onto panoramic views of the neighborhood.

3. Franciscan Inn & Suites, for coastal relaxation


A small but bright room with two double beds at Franciscan Inn & Suites
Courtesy of Franciscan Inn & Suites /

If you want to spend a relaxing weekend at an oasis by the sea, you’ve come to the right place. The Spanish-style retreat is flanked by towering palm trees and lush gardens and is situated just one and a half blocks away from the buzzing West Beach. Cozy rooms are appointed with all the basic creature comforts you need for a pleasant experience and feature charming wooden furniture and original artwork of Santa Barbara landmarks.

4. Beachside Inn, for beachfront views


A comfy sitting area with wooden coffee table at the Beachside Inn
Courtesy of Beachside Inn /

For a coastal getaway, look no further than this beachside property positioned right across from the picturesque Santa Barbara Harbor. Take your pick from 69 stylish guest rooms that are done up in a contemporary-chic aesthetic. Amenities-wise, you’ll discover a heated outdoor pool and lobby lounge where you can kick back with a refreshing drink or cheeky cocktail. Besides the beach, the hotel is also close to many shopping and dining hotspots to explore.

5. Best Western Plus Pepper Tree Inn, for old-world charm


The bar area with sports on the television at Best Western Plus Pepper Tree Inn
Courtesy of Best Western Plus Pepper Tree Inn / Expedia

Featuring old-world Spanish Colonial Revival architecture and sprawling landscaped grounds, Best Western Plus Pepper Tree Inn is a beautiful heritage hideaway. Spacious rooms are outfitted with large beds, with many configurations providing either pool or courtyard views. Guests can take a dip in the two on-site pools, or go for a soak in the hot tub. The property is located a short drive away from popular attractions such as the Museum of Natural History and Botanic Garden.

6. West Beach Inn, for harbor views from the balcony


A bright double room with large bed at West Beach Inn, a Coast Hotel
Courtesy of West Beach Inn, a Coast Hotel /

Searching for a calming retreat that’s still close to the action? Book a stay at West Beach Inn, one of the best cheap hotels in Santa Barbara. Lodgings are amply sized, with some set-ups featuring either a semi-private garden patio or balcony that gazes out over the harbor. After tucking into a free continental breakfast, you can go for a swim in the heated outdoor pool, rent a free bike to explore the surrounding area, or make your way to the nearby West Beach for some fun in the sun.

7. Hotel Santa Barbara, for central convenience

Suite Hotel

A large double room with desk, chairs and coffee table at Hotel Santa Barbara
Courtesy of Hotel Santa Barbara /

Situated along the bustling State Street in Downtown Santa Barbara, this quaint boutique hideaway is an ideal selection for those who want to bed down in the center of town. You’ll be a short stroll away from trendy restaurants and cafes and many beaches are within easy walking distance. Rooms are well-lit and offer beds with pillow-top mattresses and elegant furnishings. Guests driving electric cars will also be pleased to know that they can charge their vehicles on-site.

8. La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Santa Barbara Downtown, for a pet-friendly stay


Modern, spacious double room at La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Santa Barbara Downtown with carpet, headboard and furnishings in shades of brown

Stylish quarters, an unbeatable downtown location and solid amenities are what you’ll find at this pet-friendly pad. Stately digs sport huge beds, workspaces and bold purple couches – while facilities include a pool, fitness center, in-hotel convenience store and bike rentals. Guests can tuck into a complimentary breakfast each morning before heading out for the day’s activities. Popular spots such as Stearns Wharf, Los Padres National Forest and the beach are all located a quick drive away.

9. Pacific Crest Hotel Santa Barbara, for beach decor vibes


A large bed with lots of natural light and a wicker bench in a hotel room at Pacific Crest Hotel Santa Barbara
Courtesy of Pacific Crest Hotel Santa Barbara / Expedia

Pacific Crest Hotel Santa Barbara is a locally operated gem with the ocean at its doorstep. The 20 guest rooms feature a beachy-chic vibe ­– think woven headboards, light-wood flooring and plenty of sunlight streaming into the space ­– with double queen rooms providing views of either the pool, garden, or mountains. Wake up to coffee from Santa Barbara Roasting Company and free continental breakfast – and end your day with a relaxing sunset swim in the heated outdoor pool.

10. Harbor House Inn, for personalized touches


A bright room with double bed and sofa at Pacific Crest Hotel Santa Barbara
Courtesy of Pacific Crest Hotel Santa Barbara /

This intimate, family-run hotel is great for those who want a home away from home during their time in Santa Barbara. And with a total of just 17 studio accommodations – each of which has a unique layout and design scheme ­– you can be assured of attentive and personalized service throughout your stay. The inn is positioned a block away from West Beach and provides towels, umbrellas and cruiser bikes for you to use when you’re in town.

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