While in Santa Barbara we visited the County Courthouse (voluntarily, we weren't in trouble!)
It's a great white building with red tiled roofs, more of a Mediterranean feel than an American one. The courthouse had Tunisian designs inside and was very impressive. We also got a great view from the clock tower. All of the houses downtown have to have red tiles so it was quite a mad view from way above street level.
Surrounding this area were lots of shops and restaurants. It seems a very affluent place and is famous for its mission.
There was a huge music festival going on behind the beach walkways so everything was quite loud but it was a fun place to people watch.
After trying to get into the only tourist hostel in town (actually called the Santa Barbara tourist hostel) and hearing, yes we have rooms but you have to be a student and you need to stay for 3 days I was a little baffled and asked why it was called a tourist hostel if it only allowed students the receptionist sounded clueless so I gave up and we found a place round the corner which was 2 blocks from the beach.