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Santa Barbara – Buggie Rental

Santa Barbara Buggie Rental

Gimme a toot toot, gimme a beep beep! I have seen these little motorized buggies going up and down State Street for a couple months and could not resist them any longer. On a sunny Sunday in June, I convinced boyfriend to do an hour rental at SB Buggie. You can book ahead, but if you are local, you may be able to get a discount in person. We booked online at $45/hour, which seems to have changed…? We thought an hour would be fine.

The location is in an empty lot in the Funk Zone of Santa Barbara. The Funk Zone is the classic example of gentrification. Back in the day (long before I arrived), the Funk Zone was a dangerous warehouse district. Now it is thriving with an upscale restaurant, wine tasting rooms, surf gear shops, and office buildings. It is still a little rough around the edges, but that is what gives the area its own charm. I will be writing more about wine tasting in the Funk Zone soon, so be sure to subscribe to our blog!

We arrived 10 minutes before our scheduled hour, but had to wait as one of the owners was buckling a family into a pair of buggies. After signing some paperwork, we picked a white buggie with hot pink writing. After a brief demonstration, we were off! Off the bat, we decided to head up to Chase Palm Park and test the buggie on a large hill. It felt a little sluggish, but made it up.

  At a Glance:

  • Rating: 3, would like to do it again soon
  • Intensity: Sun dress and sandals
  • Duration: Hourly rate, but based on preference
  • Cost: $45/hour locals, $65/hour normal
  • Location: Santa Barbara, Funk Zone
  • Restrooms: No bathrooms available

  Highlights:

  • Adorable buggie
  • Exploring Santa Barbara from a different vantage point

  Recommended for renting a buggie:

  • Water
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunnies
  • Sense of adventure

Next, we decided to head toward the SB Mission and rose garden. About three quarters of the way there, we started noticing our buggie making a few odd sounds. After another block or so, we came to a complete stop. We tried everything, but could not get it going again. After pulling into the shade, we called up the number on the side of the buggie and explained our predicament. After another 10 minutes or so, one of the owners came rolling up in a blue buggie. He tried starting the buggie himself, without luck and told us to take his blue buggie for as long as we wanted. Although hesitant to take his only ride, we hopped in and were off… again! (This is why we have blue buggie in the header image and the white one just above - lolz. The white one was insanely cute.)

The blue buggie with white writing had more power from the onset – we could feel and hear it take on the hills without any issues. Being locals, we decided to take the buggie to a secluded spot with a great view. Online, SB Buggie has different routes available, going to really neat areas. If we didn’t know the area, I would definitely had made boyfriend stick to the routes shown because there are some pretty gnarly hills in Santa Barbara that I wouldn’t exactly trust the buggie on.

By the time we got back to the rental office, it had been closer to 1 hour and 45 mins. I would say maybe go for 2 hours if you are going to follow one of their routes and maybe only 1 hour if you are going to stick to the coast line and downtown State Street. If I were going to do it again, I would go for 2 hours and follow one of their routes. Also, the owner who we took his buggie had somehow beat us back the Funk Zone!

Although touristy, I ALWAYS have a fantastic time renting electric or motorized little vehicles to ride around for an hour or so. When was the last time you had a whopping good time in an hourly rental vehicle?

Happy travels,

Hanna



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