The Funk Zone is now one of the most popular parts of Santa Barbara, but it was once a literal wasteland. It’s hard to understand why it took so long for someone to invest in the Funk Zone—just a few blocks from the beach and some of the cheapest real estate in the city.
But no more. Now this area of town provides the best of city living. Well, that is, city living in Santa Barbara, where surf shops are shoulder-to-shoulder with art galleries and old scuba shops are transformed into hipster wine tasting rooms.
And amongst the eclectic mix of buildings, lofts and old Craftsmans that house the Funk Zone’s restaurants, bars, retail shops, and wineries you’ll find upscale condominiums and even a few single-family homes.
The Funk Zone may just be a few square blocks, but it is in a fantastically perfect spot in the city—two blocks from Stearn’s Wharf, half a block from the Amtrak Station, on the Downtown and Waterfront Shuttle routes, on the edge of downtown and easy access to freeways.
It’s also home to the Urban Wine Trail, our favorite Funk Zone bar (Seven), a craft distillery, a microbrewery, and some of Santa Barbara’s best dining, notably Nuance and The Lark. Don’t miss pizza at the Lucky Penny (the “Milpas” is our favorite!) or a tour through the Art Fund gallery or the Museum of Contemporary Art‘s satellite location. If you don’t have your own bike or stand-up paddle board? No problem—rentals are easy in the Funk Zone.