Exactly where Santa Barbara’s architectural soul lies is a tossup between the Courthouse and the Mission. The Courthouse opened in 1929, and it’s still in use. This stunning series of buildings in Spanish revival style take up a square block that includes a sunken garden, palm groves, and rare plants. Inside, the exquisite Mural Room is entered through leather-covered doors, and the historic murals reach to 25-30-foot ceilings. The ceilings themselves are beamed and coffered, intricately painted and lighted by massive wrought iron chandeliers. Stunning tile work is found throughout the Courthouse, and the 85-foot clock tower can be climbed for views across the city.