The City of Santa Barbara is beautiful and quaint. Carrillo Street and State Street are the main thoroughfares. State Street is generally considered to run “north and south,” and has no direct off-ramp from the 101 Freeway in the downtown area.
Garden Street and Carrillo Street off-ramps are good to take in order to arrive at the City center. East and west street numbers have their origin at State Street. The two north/south oriented streets on either side of State Street (Chapala Street and Anacapa Street) are one-way and help the flow of traffic in the downtown area. State Street is a two-way street that is great for sightseeing and “people-watching,” however with its many stoplights and mid-block pedestrian crossings, it is not recommended for quick commuting.
If you are planning a trip to the downtown or waterfront area, there are many municipal parking lots where parking is free for the first 75 minutes. It is probably best to park and walk in the downtown area.