Santa Barbara, CA is a beautiful, clean, historic city on the west coast of California. It is about 95 miles north of Los Angeles; there are two main routes you can travel. One is up the 101 (the more efficient, quicker way); the other is Highway 1 through Malibu (beautiful and scenic, but slower). It makes a great weekend or weekday destination if you’re coming from Los Angeles.
The first occupants of Santa Barbara were the Chumash Indians. Next came the Portuguese explorers. But the first permanent European residents were the Spanish missionaries that built the Presidio. They also built the local mission system, which consist of 21 sites (stretching from San Diego to Solano, slightly north of San Francisco).
Santa Barbara is located on the Pacific Ocean, between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the shore and has a population of about 220,000 if you include the other local cities. Santa Barbara has beautiful architecture, gorgeous weather year round, great restaurants, friendly, happy inhabitants and fun things to do.
One of the best, free activities is to visit the beach. Santa Barbara is known for it’s clean, free beaches. One of the best is Arroyo Burro Beach (also known to locals as Hendry’s Beach). It features a large, easy to access parking lot, doggy beach, and an awesome restaurant called The Boathouse, where you can dine al fresco on local favorite dishes and drinks.
Another wonderful low or no-cost activity is the Funk Zone. This is near downtown Santa Barbara and you can ask anyone for directions. This district consists of wine-tasting rooms, cafes, galleries, and funky little shops with antiques, surfboards and more.
State Street is where all the action is in downtown Santa Barbara. There’s great restaurants, shops, and things to explore. One of the best is the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, a very striking Spanish-Moorish building surrounded by very lush gardens. These gardens have flowers, trees, and rows of international flags surrounding it. The courthouse has a sunken garden, docent-led tours, and a great view from the clock tower.
Come to Santa Barbara, CA and enjoy the real California. We are much more authentic, friendly and personable. 🙂