Eighty miles West Northwest from Los Angles, nestled in between the towering picturesque San Ynez mountains and the beautiful Pacific coastline is the city of Santa Barbara. It is frequently called the American Riviera because of its matching like, mediterranean climate. In the downtown area you will see that it is built in the Mission revival style. The city was shaped by the Spanish and Santa Barbara has manage to preserved this style. Walking along State street in the downtown area you can take in a succession of vistas, from the mountains to the ever changing Pacific Ocean. Indulge yourself as you shop for treasure in world-famous galleries and chic boutiques. If you have a sweet tooth you will find chocolate shops hard to resist in Santa Barbara. If you enjoy chocolate from around the world, try, Chocolate Maya, on State Street. What could be better than a fine glass of California wine and a chocolate truffle as you sit and people watch in one of the outdoor Cafes. Take the time to plan the evening dining in one of the fine restaurants that Santa Barbara has to offer.
You can savor the culinary delights of the region or choose from an extensive choice of
options from sushi to hamburgers. Chase Park 233 E. Cabrillo Blvd.
This remarkable park has been well planned for children, as well as the adults, to enjoy. If you are traveling with young children, this park is a must see. If you are not traveling with children, it is worth the time to take a peek and have a picnic.
For the children, the park has a number of dynamic play structures. One is shaped like a ship. It is the perfect place for the little pirates to start a seagoing adventure. A lighthouse is nearby for the landlubbers to hide in from the wannabe pirating marauders. We were fascinated by the colorful carrousel that brought back childhood memories. The beach is across the street, and the park is near Stearns Wharf and nearby parking lots. They have an easy turnaround to drop off your picnic items and carrousel riders. The drop off is located behind the merry-go-round.
If you are visiting the park on the weekend, there are artists showcasing their wares. It tends to get a little crowed with the vendors and sightseers, but it adds to the charm of this impressive ocean side park
Santa Barbara beaches are an idyllic setting—most of them face south instead of west. The beaches are great for beachcombers or just relaxing places to sit back in your beach chair and do some “California Dreaming.”
Keep in mind even with the cool breezes off the ocean, the sun is hot.
Use lots of sunscreen, pack a hat, bring plenty of water to drink, and don’t forget your camera. Take a walk out onto Stearns Wharf,
one of California’s oldest working wharfs, and enjoy the sights and sounds with the ocean below your feet. Since this is a working Wharf, you may see the fishing boats off-load their catches.
This could encourage the fishermen in your family, and if so, Sterns Bait and Tackle can set you up with the gear you need.
If you are not a fisherman, there are colorful shops to wander through. Or perhaps you want a little ice cream as you enjoy the scenic ocean along with views of the mountains and shoreline of Santa Barbara.
When your fisherman returns, you can have lunch in an assortment of cuisines on the Wharf. As you savor your fresh fish, you can always talk about the one that got away. Be sure to stop at the Ty Warner Sea Center on the Wharf. The young or old scientist in your family will enjoy interacting with the exhibits. You don’t have to be a diver; if you want to see the Santa Barbara Channel, you can watch the video at the” Channel Theater” in the center. You can examine samples of seawater or listen to Whales at the Karaoke station and hum along!