Update, 6/9/2020

According to travel personality Samantha Brown, the act of PLANNING travel puts us in the same psychological, happy-go-lucky place as BEING in a destination. 44% of people are using their time in quarantine to plan a future trip. Are you?

Update, 6/2/20

Check out the short art talks by Ariana Meyers, SBMA Travel's former assistant!

Update, 5/31/20

This article took me on a virtual trip back to Bhutan, perhaps my favorite country to visit, where I have been twice and would happily return every year!

Update, 5/26/20 

According to travel personality Samantha Brown, the act of PLANNING travel puts us in the same psychological, happy-go-lucky place as BEING in a destination.

44% of people are using their time in quarantine to plan a future trip. Are you?

Email us your response at

Update, 5/20/20

"This virus can stop our travel plans, but it cannot stop our travel dreams." - Rick Steves

As I think about what Rick Steves said, I think about how happy I am when I am making travel plans, or doing travel research.  Since I was an 8-year-old planning my birthday party down to the very last detail, I have always enjoyed making plans, even if they never come to fruition. I have countless files on places I may go one day, or may never get to - it almost doesn't matter. 

This has worked beautifully with my job as SBMA's Travel Manager, since there are many trips that I plan and do not go on.  I relish in thinking about the places our Members would want to visit and in planning the itineraries, from the museums that should be included to the best moments for fitting in restroom breaks. 

And so I continue to dream of travel.  I dream about the moment when SBMA can offer tours again and I dream about the details. 

By Lisa Benshea, SBMA Travel Manager

Update, 5/11/2020

As the Museum continues to be closed and we continue to plan for the future of travel, we loved  this short article by Pico Iyer , who always reminds us in the most beautiful words, why we travel. 

We have added photos above that were sent by travelers as they reminisce with us about past SBMA tours. Please send your best SBMA travel photos or memories to

We leave you with a quote for these times of isolation:  "One's destination is never a place, but rather a new way of seeing things." - Henry Miller

Update, 4/28/2020

The spread of Covid-19 has created unprecedented challenges for all of us. The health and safety of our travelers is our top priority. If you are a participant on an upcoming SBMA tour, we and/or the tour operator will continue to be in touch with updates regarding your trip and we will address each program on a trip-by-trip basis. Please contact with any questions. We are working from home but remain available to you.

It is at times like these that we feel especially grateful for our community of SBMA travelers, your loyalty and support through the years, and the memories of so many wonderful past trips. We hope that you and your loved ones are well and healthy. As our whole world faces true challenges, we remember that travel teaches us understanding, respect, and the importance of sharing ideas. We look forward with hope to the moment when we can once again wander the globe, connect with cultures, intermingle with people from other backgrounds, appreciate art, and share our interconnectedness with other human beings around the world.

In the meantime, we have put together some ideas for vicarious travels from the comfort of your home.

While these uncertain times have created endless challenges in the travel industry, we have found comfort in reminiscing about past tours.   If you would like to reminisce with us, please email with your favorite photo and/or memory from a past SBMA Tour. We can't wait to hear from you and the best photo will be featured in the next SBMA Members' Newsletter!

Looking to the more recent past, we have hosted some wonderful guest speakers for our  Armchair Travel Lecture Series . If you didn't get a chance to see them in person we invite you to watch them from the comfort of your home, maybe paired with a cocktail or favorite viewing snack.  Click Here  and select Public Lectures, then click on one of the five  Armchair Travel Lectures

A good read is becoming increasingly important right now, and we have been enjoying this list of  great travel books from  Condé Nast TravelerClick Here

Also from  Condé Nast Traveler is this list of  50 great travel movies we thought you might enjoy.  Click Here

Finally,  for those dreaming of the day travel is feasible again, we have updated our website with our plan for 2021 and beyond (subject to change). We are in constant communication with our contacts around the globe, putting together one-of-a-kind itineraries for you and getting ready for the moment when travel is once again on the horizon.  Click Here


From frequent SBMA travelers on how they are practicing "virtual" travels and looking forward to the future:

"I've had enough of this.  Let's get traveling!!"  - One of our avid travelers

" I have been very busy reliving wonderful trips to wonderful Italy. With the help of two newer books by Frances Mayes (she of 'Under the Tuscan Sun') I have been able to recreate some fabulous moments and plan a few for the future!  "See You in the Piazza" offers a more intimate travel account, complete with a few recipes..... good to enjoy with a lovely glass of wine, which she will also recommend.  "Always Italy" has the added value of some wonderful photography.  It seems Mayes knows and loves many of less visited locations we have enjoyed with Susie and Nigel. All things Italian are lovingly described, from the mini series 'My Brilliant Friend' to Taralli, those circular treats so delicious with aperol spritzes, which we all loved in Puglia!  Just spending time going through my old Susie itineraries and remembering special moments with Nigel reminds me how much I am looking forward to travel again!  Soon, very soon......." - Gwen Baker, SBMA Traveler and Trustee

Santa Barbara Art Museum

Museum Hours

In accordance with the State of California orders and in response to COVID-19, the Museum is currently closed.

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Santa Barbara Museum of Art
1130 State Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
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