The nine-acre Alameda Park, also known as Alameda Plaza, is a center piece for many city-wide celebrations, such as the Summer Solstice Parade, Earth Day, and more. It is ideal for many functions because it occupies two blocks, has plenty of open space and has a complete range of facilities. Technically Alameda Park is two parks: Alameda West and Alameda East because it covers two square blocks that are divided by an active street. It is one of the city's oldest parks, established in the 1800s and includes more than 70 species of trees, many of them rare. These horticultural treasures include the soapbark tree, the white ironwood, and the bunya-bunya tree, just to name a few.
- Features: Alcohol Not Allowed (except in pemitted beer gardens during festivals), Parking On Street, Picnic Site, Playground, Popular Event Venue, Reservable Areas, Restrooms
- Dog Policy: Dogs Allowed On Leash
Alameda Park also includes a bandstand, a gazebo, picnic sites, and more. Even though it is close to downtown and the Alice Keck Gardens, you can usually find plenty of parking and a picnic table if you come early. Restrooms are available though they are way too small for the number of people who use them and the women's restroom line can be long at times.
Kids love this downtown park. It is also home to Kids World, the most popular playground in Santa Barbara. The 8,000 square-foot Kids World at Alameda Park has swings, slides, castle towers, turrets, a large spectator area for parents, and two reservable party sites. Alameda Park is an ideal destination for a lazy afternoon spent reading, napping, playing soccer or Spikeball with friends. Whether the kids need somewhere they can expel their energy or you just prefer a day spent among the tall trees, Santa Barbara's Alameda Park is the perfect destination.
Next to Alameda Park on the north side is Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens, named after Alice Keck Park (yes, her last name was "Park") who donated the property. Across the street on the west side is Our Lady of Sorrows Roman Catholic Church, one of the oldest churches in California, dating back to 1782.
Portable barbecues and camp stoves that are self-contained, enclosed with a lid, and raised at least six inches off a surface may be used on any permanent picnic tables at this park or by permit such as a rental or special event. If there are no permanent picnic tables available at this park and it is not a permitted event then no barbecues are allowed at this park. Barbecue users must remove hot coals and ash from the park, unless a hot coal-disposal receptacle is provided.
Set aside by a municipal ordinance in 1853, Plaza Alameda originally comprised two blocks between East Sola and East Victoria Streets, adjacent to the southeast of the park's present location. In 1868, an ordinance was passed that stated Plaza Alameda would occupy the land that it does today. In 1874, picket fences were installed around the plazas and trees were planted within the park. A Park Board was formed in the early 1880s. In 1888 a petition was granted to erect a band or music stand in the park. Parks Superintendent, Dr. Augustus Boyd Doremus, personally planted countless trees and shrubs for which the park remains famous today. A plaque was erected in 1929 in his honor, which is located at the northeastern corner of East Sola and Santa Barbara Streets.
From the 101 freeway take the Garden Street exit and turn towards the mountains. Alameda Park will be on your left between Sola and Micheltorena streets. There is usually plenty of free parking nearby. If there is an extraordinary amount of parking available that might mean that it is street sweeping day and that you will be ticketed if you park on that deliciously empty street.