I really appreciated my visit to California, but if I had to choose my favorite place it would be... Santa Barbara.
Maybe because we spent there the sunniest day in California, maybe because it is really nice, this would be MY beach if I decided to swim in California
Santa Barbara is the quintessential Southern Californian town. Framed by the Santa Ynez Mountains and mighty Pacific, its setting could not be much prettier. Add to this some beautiful historic Spanish-style buildings and a small town feel and one cannot be blamed for not wanting to move on. As much as Santa Barbara is a tourist town with fine eateries, pedestrian shopping and sights, it is even more a place you find yourself saying is one you would like to call home.
This beautiful historical structure is gorgeous and was founded in 1782, by the Spanish who built four of these Presido's, "Fortresses or garrisons" to protect against the wilderness. The chapel served the local town people as well as the converted natives. Yet, over a 100 years the presido did not with stand the ravages of time. Earthquakes, development of the local town tooks its toll on many of the original structures. At least finally in 1963 the historical societies stepped in to preserve and restore what they could and then that is when the park services stepped in to manage the ongoing projects. Only three major structures survived, such as the Presido Chapel, post office, some living quarters.
Open daily 10:30am -4:30pm
Donation of $4
Guided tours are available by contacting 805-965-0093
California State Historical Marker No.636
Santa Barbara was a nice surprise for a quick stop over.
Gas price was higher than average. Pretty pots of flowers lined the main streets.
Famous celebrities like Bob Hope and Ronald Reagan had their ranches here.
Went to the beach. Nice but just another beach along the Californian coast facing the Pacific Ocean. Could see that there are offshore platforms on the way to Santa Barbara.
Photo 1: Parade
On one particular Saturday, we happened to chance upon this parade taking place. I don't recall it what it was for, but it was a pleasant surprise nonetheless.
Photo 2: Santa Barbara Mission
Founded in 1786 by the Franciscan friars, the Santa Barbara Mission is labelled the "Queen of the Missions." It was the tenth built by the Spanish and is the most visited of the chain of missions in the state. It is the only one in California to have been in continuous use since it was established.
Photo 3: County Courthouse
This handsome building is the County Courthouse, which was built in a Spanish colonial style. It is still in use today and provides the visitor with panoramic views from the clock tower.
Photo 4: Dinner @ the Bay Cafe
Taken during a dinner with fellow VT'ers campy012 and ognini at the Bay Cafe to which Chef Fabio so graciously comp'd us with port wine and shared with us his life's story. What a yummy king crab dinner that was!
Such a charming destination, Santa Barbara is a great place for a romantic weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. Just a couple a hours from LA County, Santa Barbara is a neat town with a large student population (from UCSB). As such, there's an informal feel to this architecturally Mediterranean-style city. Again, a popular place for a couple's retreat.
What a big surprise!! I thought it would just be one stop of many, for gas, for food, just to have seen it - but Santa Barbara turned out to have an exciting shopping street, very relaxed atmosphere, pretty beach just minutes from the city center and sooo much sunshine it felt like a dream.
There are some interesting buildings like the mission, the courthouse, zoo, wharf, but I didn't go into any of them, just wandered around the streets and into some of the shops (a 2nd hand cd shp for example!!).
The guidebook said SB is a city "for the newly wed and the nearly dead". For me it was one of the best stops on my way up the California coast!
Santa Barbara lies about 1.5-2 hours north of LA, making it an easy day trip from LA. As its located along highways 1 and 101, it's also easy to stop here if you are travelling between LA and San Francisco.
In 1925, almost the entire city was destroyed by an earthquake. After that, an ordinance was passed that all new construction must be done in the typical Spanish Colonial style, reflecting Santa Barbara's importance as one of the CA's mission towns. This Spanish architecture makes the city strikingly beautiful, especially because of its stunning location squuezed in between the mountains and the sea. Additionally, there are no highrises here, because no building may be taller than the court house, which is 4 stories high.
When visiting Santa Barbara, be sure not to miss the following:
1. The Mission
2. The Courthouse
3. The view from the tower of the courthouse
4. Stearn's Wharf
5. The zoo.
6. The botanical gardens.
7. State street dining and shopping.
Fore more info about Santa Barbara, click here for the website.
Southern California weather, but far enough away from LA to be nice. SB is one of my favorite cities, and not only within California. I lived here for 5 wonderful years… most of which I should have been studying, but the weather and people are just too pretty to spend it in the University library. It was a rough life.
Sitting on the Ocean about an hour norht fo Los Angeles, Santa Barbara has a reputation as a playground for the rich. its got many sights, great beaches and good network of bike trails.
Isla Vista: the home of some 15,000, 18 to 24 year olds who have to take on the daunting task of residing next to the only US University that is bordered by an Ocean.