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Distance between Santa Barbara and Santa Maria

Driving non-stop from Santa Barbara to Santa Maria

How far is Santa Maria from Santa Barbara? Here's the quick answer if you drive this relatively short distance without making any stops.

Nonstop drive: 64 miles or 103 km

Driving time: 1 hour, 14 minutes

Even though you can drive this distance straight through, it might be more interesting to stop along the way. You can scroll down to calculate how many hours it would take if you drive with stops.

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Flying non-stop from Santa Barbara to Santa Maria

Now let's assume you have a private jet and you can fly in the fastest possible straight line between Santa Barbara, California and Santa Maria, California. Because of the curvature of the Earth, the shortest distance is actually the "great circle" distance, or "as the crow flies" which is calculated using an iterative Vincenty formula.

Flight distance: 56 miles or 90 km

Flight time: 17 minutes

The straight line flight distance is 8 miles less than driving on roads, which means the driving distance is roughly 1.1x of the flight distance.

Your plane flies much faster than a car, so the flight time is about 1/3th of the time it would take to drive.

This is a relatively short flight in a private plane, but you might be planning to book a commercial flight. In that case, your travel time would really need to include how many minutes to get to your local airport, wait for security, board and taxi on the runway, land at the other airport, and get to your destination. Scroll down to see a more realistic calculation that takes into account all these factors to get a more accurate estimate of your actual flight time.

Santa Barbara to Santa Maria road trip

Let's say you're actually planning a road trip to Santa Maria, and you want to stop on the way to explore. If it's a real road trip, you might want to check out interesting places along the way, or maybe eat at a great restaurant. That's what Trippy is perfect for, helping you figure out travel plans in detail.

Road trip: 1 day of driving

With the full itinerary planned out, we can estimate your total travel time for this trip.

Travel time: 2 hours on the road


Start in Santa Barbara.

Drive for about 12 minutes, then stop at Chumash Painted Cave and stay for about 1 hour. Next, drive for another 20 minutes then stop at Cachuma Lake Park and stay for 1 hour. Drive for 15 minutes then stop in Santa Ynez and stay for 1 hour. Drive for 10 minutes then stop in Los Olivos and stay for 1 hour. Drive for 21 minutes then stop in Los Alamos (California) and stay for 1 hour. Drive for 23 minutes then stop at Boardwalk Ln and stay for 1 hour.

Finally, drive for about 10 minutes and arrive in Santa Maria.

To see all the details on this itinerary, including recommended restaurants, hotels, and things to do along the way, check out the full road trip planner:

Santa Barbara to Santa Maria airports and flights

In the quick calculation above, we assumed you had a private plane and just wanted to know the time in the air from city to city. But for most of us, we're going to be flying on a commercial airline (whether it's first class or coach). So that means we really need to account for all the extra travel time getting to the airport, waiting for our flight, and making it to the destination.

To give you a better estimate of real-life travel, we've put together a flight itinerary with actual airports. Eventually you'll be able to customize this plan, choosing your own airports and flights. But for now, here's an example we've selected to give you an idea of how traveling might work between airports.

Departure airport: Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (SBA)

Arrival airport: San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport (SBP)

With the airports selected, we can estimate the travel time to and from the airport, based on how far the airport is from downtown.

Getting to the airport: 25 minutes

Getting to your destination: 68 minutes

Now finally, let's look at an example flight from SBA to SBP and figure out how long it would take to fly including take-off and landing, and time to taxi on the runway.

Commercial flight time: 26 minutes

So now we can finally get an idea of the total travel time from Santa Barbara to Santa Maria including time spent getting to/from the airports, an estimated wait time of 2 hours at the airport for TSA security lines and waiting at the gate, and the actual flight itself.

Total travel time: 4 hours

To see the details on this flight plan, including recommended airports, airline, and route, check out the flight planner:

Plan a trip to Santa Maria

Trippy has a ton of information that can help you plan your trip to Santa Maria, California. Start by reading the Trippy page on where to stay in Santa Maria. A great place to eat might be El Tapatio. Trippy members can suggest things to do in Santa Maria like Santa Maria. Check out some of the questions people have asked about Santa Maria like What is your favorite restaurant in Santa Maria?. Click the button below to explore Santa Maria in detail.

How far is it the other way?

The distance is the same either way if you're flying a straight line (or driving the same roads back and forth). But for a real trip, there can be plenty of differences so go ahead and check the reverse directions to get the distance from Santa Maria to Santa Barbara, or go to the main page to calculate the distance between cities.

If you happen to know Santa Barbara, don't forget to help other travelers and answer some questions about Santa Barbara!

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At a Glance
without making any stops
total driving distance is 64 miles
driving time of 1 hour, 14 minutes
flight distance is 56 miles
flight time of 17 minutes
176 Santa Barbara travel answers
3 Santa Maria travel answers

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