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Southwest Airlines Announces New Service to Santa Barbara Airport: Hotel deals make 2021 an ideal time to visit “The American Riviera”

December 22, 2020 Visit California No Comments

On December 16, Southwest Airlines announced intent to begin year-round service to Santa Barbara Airport (SBA), with new flights starting as soon as the second quarter of 2021. The airline is expected to announce specific routes in the coming weeks. It’s the first time the popular carrier has connected to Santa Barbara’s regional airport, which is currently serviced by Alaska Airlines, American Airlines and United Airlines.

“Visit Santa Barbara is thrilled to welcome Southwest Airlines to ‘The American Riviera,’” said Kathy Janega-Dykes, president/CEO of Visit Santa Barbara, the official destination marketing organization for the Santa Barbara South Coast. “Southwest has gained the admiration and brand loyalty of fliers throughout the U.S. with its competitive fares and community focus. We look forward to connecting with Southwest’s vast network and welcoming Southwest fliers to Santa Barbara.”

Santa Barbara has long been called “The American Riviera” by travelers, due to its sweeping coastline, distinctive Spanish-influenced architecture and temperate Mediterranean climate. For those who want to travel sooner, Visit Santa Barbara’s Third Night Free deals ( provide a compelling reason to linger longer, with two dozen hotels throughout the region—from luxury five-star properties to economy lodging—offering a third night free for every two nights booked through March 2021.

With its relaxed and welcoming small-town vibe, plus the amenities of a bigger city, Santa Barbara offers the quintessential California experience. Attractions include:

Outdoor adventure, from hiking and horseback riding in the foothills to kayaking and sailing
30+ south-facing beaches, from downtown favorites to wild, secluded rambles
Easily walkable and bikable streets, with a scenic downtown bordering the waterfront
A mile-long State Street Pedestrian Promenade* (*open at least through spring 2021)
200+ eateries, featuring locally grown produce and seafood delicacies like sea urchin
More than three dozen world-class wineries in the Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail
Exquisite gardens, museums, cultural attractions and historic landmarks featuring Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, from the Santa Barbara County Courthouse to Stearns Wharf
More than 300 days of sunshine
Read more about Santa Barbara, including the latest updates on travel conditions, how to be a healthy traveler during COVID-19, itinerary suggestions and more, at

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