A trip to Santa Barbara, CA

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LaurenRose
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A trip to Santa Barbara, CA

Post by LaurenRose »

I've been invited to save the date for a wedding next summer in Santa Barbara - my nephew is getting married.
I live on the east coast and have never been to that part of CA, so it'll be a distance to travel and we've decided to take the opportunity to extend the trip to explore after the wedding.
Please make any suggestions for sights to see and things to do and places to eat within a day's distance in any direction.
Peace! and thanks!
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Kagord
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Re: A trip to Santa Barbara, CA

Post by Kagord »

Los Agaves in Santa Barbara has yummy Mexican food.
Point
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Re: A trip to Santa Barbara, CA

Post by Point »

The courthouse, the mission, the breakwater (Brophys or Breakwater resturant), whale watching, winery tours, Solvang, hiking, Carpinteria (The Spot), Shoreline Park, kayaking, rental bikes, Segway Tours, the Land Shark bus/boat,Golf, Stonehouae resturant, Litos MX diner.

And, arrange it advance: a tour of Lotusland
Last edited by Point on Mon Apr 01, 2024 9:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
sailaway
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Re: A trip to Santa Barbara, CA

Post by sailaway »

The views at Morro Bay are stunning, but in the summer the scenery between there and Santa Barbara will likely be quite brown.

Drive down to Ventura to take Island Packers out to the Channel Islands.

Look for festivals around visit.

It won't take much time, but I rather the like the Maritime Museum.
Former BH Lurker
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Re: A trip to Santa Barbara, CA

Post by Former BH Lurker »

Inland a bit from Santa Barbara itself are many wineries and two charming small towns: Los Olivas and Santa Ynez. We have enjoyed eating at SY Kitchen and staying at Hotel Ynez, a tastefully renovated classic motel.
newbh933
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Re: A trip to Santa Barbara, CA

Post by newbh933 »

The Santa Barbara Zoo is very nice and quite pleasant to stroll through. We used to take our kids there all the time when they were little. State Street is also good to walk along: lots of shops and restaurants. Caveat: It's probably been 20 years since the last time I was in SB.
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sailaway
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Re: A trip to Santa Barbara, CA

Post by sailaway »

newbh933 wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 9:10 am The Santa Barbara Zoo is very nice and quite pleasant to stroll through. We used to take our kids there all the time when they were little. State Street is also good to walk along: lots of shops and restaurants. Caveat: It's probably been 20 years since the last time I was in SB.
State Street is as lively as ever, and much of it is now pedestrian/bikes only.
newbh933
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Re: A trip to Santa Barbara, CA

Post by newbh933 »

sailaway wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 9:12 am
newbh933 wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 9:10 am The Santa Barbara Zoo is very nice and quite pleasant to stroll through. We used to take our kids there all the time when they were little. State Street is also good to walk along: lots of shops and restaurants. Caveat: It's probably been 20 years since the last time I was in SB.
State Street is as lively as ever, and much of it is now pedestrian/bikes only.
Nice!
Nobody knows nothing... and I know even less!
CletusCaddy
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Re: A trip to Santa Barbara, CA

Post by CletusCaddy »

I am in the area right now for spring break.

Lots of great restaurants in downtown SB.
Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens are gorgeous.
Montecito is where the truly rich and famous live (Harry & Meghan; Oprah).
Ojai is a cute little town worth the 45 min drive.
Solvang as well for a slice of Scandinavia in California.
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bltkmt
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Re: A trip to Santa Barbara, CA

Post by bltkmt »

I went to college there (UCSB) many years ago and return often to visit friends. Our go to spot on State Street was and remains Joe's Cafe. Strong drinks, decent food and a nice old school atmosphere.
syngameon
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Re: A trip to Santa Barbara, CA

Post by syngameon »

I have an unusual but exciting suggestion. Take a day to go to the Channel Islands National Park. There is a company called Island Packers that runs a boat service to the islands 2x a day, so you get there in the morning and they pick you up in the afternoon. I do this every time I am in the area. Lots of dolphins and sea lions and if you are lucky, whales. The islands have an endemic fox and the hikes will provide splendid views of the coastline and the cities. It's simply amazing.

p.s. The tours leave from Oxnard/Ventura.
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JMacDonald
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Re: A trip to Santa Barbara, CA

Post by JMacDonald »

Go Whale watching on the Condor in Santa Barbara:

https://www.condorexpress.com

I have done it several times.
Get lucky and see Humpbacks, Blue Whales, and usually Dolphins.
Best Wishes, | Joe
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Sandi_k
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Re: A trip to Santa Barbara, CA

Post by Sandi_k »

I lived there as a young adult, and still have family there. My recs:

Stay at a hotel on Cabrillo Blvd. The Fess Parker by Doubletree is a favorite, with a spa on site, plus restaurants, and easy walking along Cabrillo for food.

Breakfasts: Chad's on Cabrillo (be prepared for a wait) or Jeannine's.

Lunch: Longboard's (on the pier) or Lito's (authentic Mexican diner food)

Happy Hour: Shoreline Cafe (literally, on the beach, across from SBCC, and casual); or El Encanto Hotel's patio ($$$, but great view).

Dinner: The Boathouse at Hendry's Beach; Brophy Brothers, Harbor Restaurant, SB Shellfish, Bluewater Grill.
jackrabbit14
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Re: A trip to Santa Barbara, CA

Post by jackrabbit14 »

Lots of good suggestions here.

Get a drink of two at Harry's Plaza Cafe.

Dinner at Chuck's Steak House for sure.

Great Mexican food at Playa Azul and La-Super Rica taqueria.

If you really like prime rib, visit the Tee-Off. Old school in all aspects.
fasteddie911
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Re: A trip to Santa Barbara, CA

Post by fasteddie911 »

Ojai and Hearst castle.
PoemMan
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Re: A trip to Santa Barbara, CA

Post by PoemMan »

Be a local:

1) Grab a breakfast burrito at Super Cucas on the Mesa (Cliff Drive)
2) With that burrito, take a relaxing walk along Shoreline Park and take in the ocean and view of the harbor and Stearns Wharf, Montecito, Summerland and further down the coast to Ventura County
3) Drive along Cabrillo Blvd past the harbor and end up the (Andree Clark) Bird Refuge
4) For lunch, enjoy Tino's Italian Grocery (W Carrillo St), the next generation's location (not as "local" as the original location on Olive St, but the food should be as good)
5) Take a drive to the Botanical Garden in the foothills
6) Depending on the time, head back into town and wander around the County Courthouse, the architecture is stunning
7) Find a local dive for dinner or at any of the other suggestions

Caution: don't call California "Cali", the locals will immediately know you're not local!

PoemMan
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Jeepergeo
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Re: A trip to Santa Barbara, CA

Post by Jeepergeo »

LaurenRose wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 7:13 am I've been invited to save the date for a wedding next summer in Santa Barbara - my nephew is getting married.
I live on the east coast and have never been to that part of CA, so it'll be a distance to travel and we've decided to take the opportunity to extend the trip to explore after the wedding.
Please make any suggestions for sights to see and things to do and places to eat within a day's distance in any direction.
Peace! and thanks!
Hit the wineries. There are a number of nice wines coming from the region. To the north towards Santa Maria, the wines are fantastic and less pretentious than those closer in to Santa Barbara.

Consider a B&B, there are several really nice ones in the SB area. IMHO, the Fess Parker hotel is way over priced, but it's practically on the beach.

Market Night in San Luis Obispo is amazing, but at the north end of your stated drive limits. The drive to SLO along the coast is beautiful, and so is the inland route along the lake. Dinner at the SLO market night is fun and inexpensive with lots of great choices.

Vagrants are a huge problem in Santa Barbara, so be forewarned. They are not enough to not go, but they are pests.
sfchris
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Re: A trip to Santa Barbara, CA

Post by sfchris »

I was kind of disappointed in SB itself when I visited last year. It seemed like everyone was there to get drunk and I don't drink. Lots of wine and breweries. And what you get for $400 in a hotel should shock you (you get very little).

So I do think leaving the area for a day trip is a good idea.
Last edited by sfchris on Tue Apr 02, 2024 12:23 am, edited 3 times in total.
Firemenot
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Re: A trip to Santa Barbara, CA

Post by Firemenot »

Solvang is nearby. Danish town. Good wineries in surrounding St. Ynez Valley.
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