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1 day in Santa Barbara

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Dublin
posts: 178
1 day in Santa Barbara

On the 2nd July, we a family of four will be staying in the quailty suites san Louis obispo. The next day we will be driving to santa Monica. We intend the main stop to be Santa Barbara. We do have all day and are in no rush to santa Monica. We would like to have a nice day and see and get to know the place in such limited time. Any ideas/suggestions on what to do ?

Manhattan Beach...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach
posts: 15,833
reviews: 3
1. Re: 1 day in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is a beautiful coastal town. Many people go to Stern's Wharf in the middle of town, right off State Street. You can drive your car right on, and park, and there are several good places to have lunch with views of the harbor and ocean. The SB Shellfish at the end is casual as is the Harbor House. Near the wharf you can rent bikes or surrerys for a family of 4 to pedal along the beach.

There are 21 Missions in CA and one of the most beautiful is located not far from downtown. State Street is lined with shops and restaurants. The SB Zoo is also worth a look. You can feed the Giraffes from a platform, take a train around the property.

Santa Barbara...
posts: 611
reviews: 34
2. Re: 1 day in Santa Barbara

As for things to do in Santa Barbara, I would recommend:

(1) Stern's Wharf (where State St. meets the ocean). Its a nice place to walk and see a beautiful view of Santa Barbara from the water and if you are here on a Sunday, I would highly recommend walking along Cabrillo Blvd for our famous Art Walk. Its a beauiful walk and more than 100 exhibitors seeling hademade crafts and art objects within 150 feet of the ocean, its very nice and I would say it is a "Don't miss"

(2) There is always shopping/people watching along State St. Lower State St is our downtown, historical, shopping and entertainment district. Walking the Red Tile Tour or along State St is popular and will allow you to see a lot of Santa Barbara;

(3) Our beatiful and historic courthouse (it has amazing "Santa Barbara" architecture, a room with beautiful murals and a beatuiful tower which you can take an elevator to the top of for a beautiful view of the city) and its only one block off State St. and takes about 30 minutes to look around;

(4) If beaches are your thing I would recommend Butterfly beach is top notch for both people watching and swimming with East Beach being a close second;

(5) For families, I alway recommend our zoo. It is very nice and well kept. It is small but fun. My kids love it and, best of all, only takes about 3.5 hours to see the entire thing;

(6) The Santa Barbara Mission is historic and interesting. Self guided walking tours are $3 and take about 1 hour; and

(7) Perhaps a tour, Whale watching aboard the Condor (www.condorcruises.com/) is great. Also you could try the fully narrated, amphibious tours of Santa Barbara depart daily from Cabrillo Boulevard at Stearns Wharf aboard the "Santa Barbara Land Shark." (www.out2seesb.com).

Santa Barbara, CA
Destination Expert
for Santa Barbara, Channel Islands National Park
posts: 710
reviews: 15
3. Re: 1 day in Santa Barbara

I think you could make a fun day out of just strolling around downtown and along the shoreline. If you want to do something a little more adventurous, but could hike a few of the area trails or kayak along the waterfront. You can even rent kayaks in the harbor and at a few of the beaches.

This is a list I put together a few years ago, it has some good suggestions. sbadventureco.com/blog/…

Have a great trip! -Suz

Santa Barbara...
posts: 1,773
reviews: 1
4. Re: 1 day in Santa Barbara

Have you thought of your driving route into Santa Barbara, and what you might like to do on the way? You have to choose between two ways to drive. Highway 154 splits off of Hwy 101 south, for an easterly short cut, of sorts, through the Santa Ynez Valley, by the towns Los Olivos, and Santa Ynez and over the San Marcos Pass into Santa Barbara. You'll see vineyards, wineries, cattle and horses, rolling oak woodland, Lake Cachuma and some awesome views coming down the pass. Hwy 154 is a mountain road that requires the driver's attention. If you enjoy rugged outdoors, Paradise Rd and the Santa Ynez River are a unique back country diversion. You can rent kayaks at Lake Cachuma. Gamblng is available with quick side trip to the Chumash Casino near Solvang. The Santa Ynez Mission is situated overlooking a very pretty landscape, also near Solvang. The historic Cold Spring Tavern is on top of the San Marcos Pass.

The other route into Santa Barbara is to continue all the way on Hwy 101 through the Gaviota Pass, and then along the Gaviota Coast, next to the ocean. The coast here is best seen driving north, but driving south makes it a little easier to stop off at nearly never crowded beach parks like Gaviota, Refugio, and El Capitan. The hills will be brown in July, but the ocean should be comfortable for swimming. Refugio is a favorite, easy to reach small sandy cove, gentle water. It would be fun to schedule a horseback ride at Circle Bar B Ranch.

...lots of great ideas, given, for Santa Barbara itself. ...lots of great restaurants in town.

South of Santa Barbara, if there is still daylight, consider driving the PCH into Santa Monica.

rockymountainrec.com/lakes/lake-cachuma.htm ... http://www.circlebarbstables.com/ ........ www.santabarbara.com/dining/best_of_sb/

Sydney, Australia
posts: 464
reviews: 8
5. Re: 1 day in Santa Barbara

I will be there for a day and a half in June and was considering the Santa Barbara Trolley - it's like a Hop on Hop off type of tour I think.

6. Re: 1 day in Santa Barbara

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