State Street in downtown Santa Barbara is an unexpected shopping hub. Santa Barbara definitely does not need a full indoor mall when it has beautiful weather, and all the best shops along State Street. This is also where you will find one of the main move theaters in town and a lot of the popular Santa Barbara restaurants. So most people walk up and down State Street during the day to do some shopping, and then come back at night to eat at one of the many restaurants.
If you plan on eating lunch in between your shopping adventures, then I highly recommend Lilac Patisserie. The best review I can give it, is that when we were standing outside and peeking through the door trying to decide if we were going to eat here or not, a stranger told us “you should definitely eat here if you have never tried it before” and then she opened the door and walked right in, so of course we had to follow her lead.
Plum Goods is a really cute shop with a lot of “classy gift” items, as I like to call them, such as wood carved coasters, hand crafted jewelry, adorable mugs, coffee table books, cook books, etc. The only picture I took at the store was of these mishear lyric coasters that I thought would be a funny gift for someone.
There are a ton of the Rocket Fizz stores across the US, so it is not something unique to State Street, but I always have to stop into this store every time I see one of them. I must have a thing for vintage lunch boxes, old fashioned candy, and glass soda bottles lined up on a shelf.