I guess I had never seen a live Ostrich or Emu and I found this delightful farm by accident on the way to Solvang. Entertaining critters and the little shop offers interesting souvenirs made of Ostrich and Ostrich egg shells.- but I did not have the heart to buy anything made of ostrich even though purchases probably support the live ones;(
Local vineyards offer wine tasting and vineyard tours. The wine is quite good at the vineyards I sampled and the variety of ways to see the vineyards is entertaining in and of itself. The Rideau Vineyard was my personal favorite- loved the wine and the southern flair not to mention the grounds are quite beautiful.
You like the old wild west movies? Well then Santa Ynez valley is the place you otta be and it's civil enough to take the kids.
Wine tasting, tour the old saloons or go horseback riding in the hills and you will feel like a real cowboy(girl) in no time a'toll. Home to a few famous folks like Bo Derek and Cheryl Tiegs
Solvang is predominantly a Danish community with what it calls "Quaint Old World" style. Lots of cute shops and eateries. Beware, however that Solvang runs about 20 degrees warmer than Santa Barbara despite only being about 30 miles inland. It was quite a shock, expecting the mild 70's like Santa Barbara, and finding instead a humid 90 degrees.
This is by all accounts a smaller zoo, but was it lacks in size, I think it makes up for in charm and… well… weird stuff. Although it is very visitor friendly and doesn’t take a whole day to walk thru, but only being a 3-minute drive from State Street, why not? Some of the more interesting animals are the Red Panda, Two-toed Sloth, Capybara, Lowland Gorilla, and a world famous Giraffe. This long necked mammal was featured in magazines like National Geographic (many years ago) for an abnormality in its neck. There is a HUGE kink in it. Apparently it is not genetic, and is not causing discomfort to the animal, nor are the other giraffes making fun of him, so they let it live in peace.
If you want a sure fire way to (almost) be kicked out, reach out and hold one of the sulfur crested cockatoos. They are (or were) located on an island of branches just (almost) out of arms length. The closer we leaned over, the more it was evident the bird wanted to play. It was a sweetheart and only wanted some attention and be petted, but the keepers of the zoo did not find this as amusing as we did. Apparently there have been people who have stolen these (expensive) birds, which is the reason they freaked out.
From U.S. 101, take either Milpas Street or Hot Springs/ Cabrillo Boulevard Exits to Cabrillo Boulevard, then turn toward the mountains at Ninos Drive
Adults (13 - 59): $8.00
Children (2 - 12): $6.00
Seniors (60+): $6.00
Or better known by the students as "U Can Study Buzzed"
In my opinion, UCSB is one of the most beautiful universities in the country, not in terms of architecture, (although that is drastically improving), but in terms of natural surroundings. It is the only university in the States that is located ON the beach. And yes, we do have a Surfing Team. And no, I don’t surf.
Also If you want something more on an intellectual side, stop by the U.Cenn (i.e Bookstore) during the day, and find out if there is a concert someone speaking you may like.
Michael Eisner and many Celebrities (many live here) and other industry big wigs had a convention at a very exclusive (expensive) resort my father helped get approved by the county.
Kind of funny the ecologist type tycoons are now staying there where 20 years ago before they were rich these would have been the people protesting the construction as well as the organization that arranged the event (Charlie Rose not included maybe, he interviewed 'Mr. Disney'). One of the main actresses had her wedding there also.
Ty of Beenie Babies or Babys fame bought the 2 other exclusive resorts or fine lodging places of maybe about the 6 or 10 there are here in this area.
Another noted place in the Fess Parker - hotel on the main waterfront area (Palm Park - note that no hotel except Ty's Biltmore is on the Pacific (10% is - Butterfly) as ALL are separated by pavement or wilderness brush (Barcara/Haskles Beach)
There are many beaches here as mentioned above. Some mainly only the locals 'know' about - will I tell!
Some are traditional nude beaches, though a gated community spot owner paid and sought semi-legislative approval of the county government for new beach access road improvement and his areas sea walls (Rincon) and the sheriff's dept to daily ticket people for the last 2 years ($50-70, status unknown now in spring 2001).
SB courthouse roof - 1100 Anacapa. Beautiful building and 360 degree view of SB from the roof tower.
Arroyo Burro ('Hendry's') beach - Take Las Positas to Cliff dr., Right on Cliff, straight on Cliff for less than a mile, Parking lot and sign on your left.
Douglas Family Preserve (the 'Wilcox Property') - Take Mesa Lane to Medcliff, Right on Medcliff and go straight until the end. There is another short trail from Las Positas & Cliff is more strenuous but even better.
Elings Park - There's a vehicle entrance on Las Positas near Cliff Drive. Nice, big, well appointed park and usually completely empty. We use the pedestrian entrance at the dead end of W. Valerio
Cold Spring Tavern 805-967-0066 on Stagecoach Rd and/or winetasting in Los Olivos - A Drive up Hwy 154 is a great day trip (be careful, 154 can be dangerous at night).
Mexican food like you've never tasted - La Superica - 622 N. Milpas: Cleverly disguised. Look for the unmarked building on the corner with a line of people waiting to get in...difficult to find and the menu can be intimidating at first, but a rather unique gourmet fast food experience. $$$
Try to visit Lotusland in Montecito, a beatiful garden with the largest varity of plants and trees, you have even seen. This beuatiful estate with this very nice garden was set up by a famous polish opera singer in the 1920. She took geat care of all here plants and now left us with this extraordinary treasure garden
Leave Santa Barbara via Highway 101 and KEEP DRIVING! The best part of Santa Barbara is the county itself....beautiful green pastureland, vineyards, antique shops, and most of all,, just open natural beauty.....
Santa Barbara has some of the most beautiful blossoming trees during my last visit. These trees are located everywhere with thick branches just filled with blossoms. They were so beautiful.
Horses the size of large dogs but horses none the less. It is free to look and pet, but I wouldn't attempt to ride (you may get kicked out for that- no pun intended)
I am not brave enough to blade in this arena but it is fun to watch the skate boarders in action. It is located on East Beach near the pier.
A BEAUTIFUL EMPTY BEACH...
Just a few steps away, is the waterfront, Stearns Wharf and the beach.