We crossed the road at the bottom of State sStreet to see the Amtrak Station but after a wander around with nostalgic memories of stations like this one in old Hollywood films we discovered an even older relic of Santa Barbara behind the railtrack.
It was a most amazing tree. The spread of its branches reach right across the road and it is said to be capable of sheltering 1000 standing people under its shade.
The information plaques told us it is over 120 years old and known as the Moreton Bay Fig Tree.
Said to be the largest tree of its kind in America, the trunk measures 38 feet in circumference. It was the first tree to be officially recognised by the City, in 1970, as having notable historic interest.
The tree is protected by a low rail and prominent notices ask visitors not to damage the tree by climbing, swinging on its branches or walking over its massive roots. We were sad to see a large group of American youths doing all of those things. Happilt no visible symtoms of serious harm are visible on the great bulk of this enormous specimen.
The Old Spanish Days (or simply Fiesta, as locals call it) is an annual festival that occurs the first week of August. Now nearly 100 years old, the festivities have become a rather integral part of the city's culture and traditions.
Although Old Spanish days is celebrated throughout Santa Barbara in many different areas, the most happening and interesting location is in the De La Guerra Plaza. Here you will find a stage where live music and traditional Spanish dance is performed all day; many vendors selling everything from delicious authentic Mexican and Spanish meals to margaritas and assorted desserts; and busy open-air marketplaces selling beautiful (yet slightly expensive) clothing and jewelry. The festivities start early in the morning and continue late into the night, and draw both tourists and locals.
I had a really good time here and the bouncers were just fine. They even let us stay longer while all other people had to leave the night club. We warched a quarterfinal between Sweden and Senegal in the World Cup (football). But the bad thing with the rules here and in California is that they closed so early. They closed it 02.00. Too early.
The first time I went, we did the SB Wine tour and my girl friends and I had a great experience. This time we did the Santa Rita Hills Wine Tour and it was even better! Our tour guide, Dan, gave us tons of historical background and all the wineries were fabulous. The tours are perfect for a girls day out or with your significant other. My boyfriend and I are planning on doing a kayaking tour next time...can't wait!! =) I recommend Captain Jack's to anyone who is looking for an awesome experience in SB!
Beautiful winery just North of Santa Barbara. Well worth the drive. Tasting Fee $10.00 per person (check the paper or tourist books for coupons), and you even get to keep the coonskin cap logo glass! Average of 6 wines poured for each tasting.
For those who don't know, Fess Parker is an actor who most famously portrayed Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone on the 1950's TV shows. He and his family own and operate the vineyards.
Tasting Room & Visitor Center Open
Monday- Sunday from 10 AM until 5 PM
The beach at Santa Barbara is one of the better ones located in a city. It hasn't been overdeveloped and doesn't have a lot of cheap tourist shops or ugly, late 20th century hotels facing the ocean. It is a wide, soft, sandy beach, perfect for taking a walk, watching beach volleyball, taking in the sun or testing the water for a quick swim.
The wharf is good to check out places to eat and buy some postcards. It too, hasn't been overly developed and doesn't have the almost circus atmosphere of the wharfs in San Francisco or Monterey further north.
This is a really good beach, a little off the beaten path and favored by locals. Officially named Arroyo Burro Beach but known as Hendry's, it's a ten minute drive along the Coast from downtown Santa Barbara heading north. If you want to enjoy a walk and a quiet scene, this is the place to go.
The beach is surorunded by towering cliffs and a curving coastline. Surfers like it here, along with dogs and their owners. There's a restaurant and snack bar here (The Boathouse, in another tip I've got), outdoor showers, restrooms, free parking, and a grassy picnic area.
There are other things to do nearby. Elings Park is a half mile up Las Positas - popular with hang gliders and paragliders. Just next to the beach is the Douglas Family Reserve, which has great cliffside terrain in all of Santa Barbara that is great for hiking.
I dont usually go to the beach while I am in Santa Barbara but that will change. There is so much to do here. So many activities going on here .The harbor of Santa Barbara developed because the Channel Islands have provided a haven from severe weather. The waterfront area grew up around that harbor and is currently a working harbor with a very productive fishing fleet. It also hosts five parks, a wharf, numerous restaurants, quaint shops and a walking/biking path that stretches almost five miles.
There are sail boat everywhere.
Golf at Sandpiper. It is the most beautiful location right on the water north of Santa Barbara. I've been to Pebble Beach and it is fabulous. This place is wonderful in it's own way with five holes right on the water. They do have a par three that you hit down hill toward the water which is reminiscent of a similar Pebble Beach hole. This is a little more affordable golf course and you don't have to stay at an expensive resort to play there!
Like I said, unfortunately the sun does not set on the ocean in Santa Barbara, but there are still plenty of cool areas to take pics where the sun is setting and the beautiful glow of the skys of the aftermath. Very peaceful and soulful I might add. Go around the beach area for some amazing colors after sunset. If you are lucky enough you might even be there for a full moon! What a great photo op!
Santa Barbara is all things glamourous, boating in no exception. The marina and beach area is full of great areas to cruise around on a sailboat looking cool and being the envy of schmucks like me in my Walmart clothes photographing you. It is a very cool atmosphere, heading west once State st meets the beach. Can't miss the harbor.
I would not rate the beach very highly that runs right into State St. There is alot of seaweed and those flying gnats. The water is cold and the waves are lame. BUT it is a pretty good people watching place, with lots of the typical California volleyball action, hottie blondes and the like. Also a very mellow vibe, and like I said, just a little walk from downtown, so the convenience factor is high.
Just a nice place to layout without being a party animal for a while.
The Condor Express is one of many that offer whale watching. Auto Club offers a discount on Whale Watching with Sunset Kidd Sailing. However, they only offer Whale Watching from February thru Mid May and they told me they don't go too far out from the coast because of the size of their boats. We are particularly interested in seeing Blue Whales that are currently in off the California coast at this time. Cost is $88 a person and was well worth it!
Santa Barbara boast in having some of the nicest beaches and I must say they do. They were not very crowded that day and they looked pretty darn clean. They do suggest you bring lots of water, sunscreen, and bring shoes or sandals to walk in just incase you come across some oil, ok did I mention this is California still. We still have issues with that and not proud of it! Still, for the most part everyone respects the area and trys to maintain somewhat of a balance with nature the best they can. So please remember to pack up your discards with you!
this view is one of the most stunning in santa barbara. you basically rent a car or walk up the embarcadero, past the boats, up the hill, on shoreline drive, until you hit shoreline park. the park has benches, is shaded in some areas, and there are stores not too far from it. there are kids flying kites, people walking dogs and a general feeling of getting out of the touristy area of the embarcadero.
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