One of the best values in town, this hotel also comes with a bit of history: Built in 1962, it's the first-ever Motel 6. But rest easy—guestrooms have been updated with a contemporary look that features bold accent colors, flat-screen TVs, and wood-look floors. In Motel 6 fashion, there are no frills, but guestrooms are clean and comfortable, some furnished with microwave/refrigerator units. Situated a block from East Beach among more pricey digs, the motel is within two miles of the Santa Barbara Zoo, Stearns Wharf and the harbor, the Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail, and State Street shops and dining. The friendly staff is happy to offer tips and advice on activities. You can catch the waterfront-downtown electric shuttle a half block away on Cabrillo Boulevard. This bargain spot fills up quickly, so book months ahead if possible.