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Day trip from LA to Santa Barbara

Birmingham, Alabama
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Day trip from LA to Santa Barbara

Is it worth it? I have read it is about an hour and half drive. What should we do with just one day there?

Rancho Santa...
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1. Re: Day trip from LA to Santa Barbara

Absolutely. Santa Barbara made very different decisions about its growth decades ago. An earthquake in the early 20th century allowed them to impose some pretty strict building codes. As such, it is a very beautiful beach-side city. Very pretty. Lots of great places to stroll and while away the day. Plenty of excellent restaurants, too. .

One thing you might want to consider is taking Amtrak from Union Station. I've done this many times and find it a very relaxing way to visit Santa Barbara.

HTH.

Topanga, California
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2. Re: Day trip from LA to Santa Barbara

It is a 90 minute drive, if you time it to avoid traffic, which would be difficult to do...unless you leave at 5am and return at 10pm.

The Amtrak suggestion is quite a good one.

Newbury Park...
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3. Re: Day trip from LA to Santa Barbara

We make it back and forth easily in 90 minutes, especially once you hit Ventura County. Amtrak is an easy way, but will take much longer to get there. It is a beautiful city, good restaurants, etc. but it depends how much time you have and what you enjoy doing on whether it is worth the days drive up or not. There are some good wineries not far out of the city.

Topanga, California
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4. Re: Day trip from LA to Santa Barbara

juxie, with all due respect, Thousand Oaks is not LA.

Downtown LA to downtown SB is 95 miles. You do not make that drive in 90 minutes unless you carefully avoid traffic.

Newbury Park...
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5. Re: Day trip from LA to Santa Barbara

I realize that - I get to SB in 45 minutes from Thousand Oaks. I lived in the westside for years, worked in Santa Monica up until a couple of years ago and still have good friends who live in the LA area & often drive to SB and meet me there. Yes - traffic can be horrific, especially near the 405 / 101 interchange, but if you cut up the coast to Malibu Canyon or Kanan and then continue on the 101 it isn't bad.

Teaneck, NJ
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6. Re: Day trip from LA to Santa Barbara

My wife and I have made this trip a number of times from the West Side of LA (eg, Century City area) and it always takes 2 hours.

And I heartily recommend the trip. SB is a lovely city, very walkable, lots of great restaraunts & stores, wonderful marina with good food -- I esp. recommend Brophy Bros for fish. Stay away from the big mall they built and stick with the local stores which are far more interesting.

It is also well, well worth your time to just drive into the hills above the city. It's hard to get lost because after you get tired of going up you just head down. The views of the ocean are great and the homes will be very beautiful and different from what you are used to. My wife and I love to do this.

Santa Barbara...
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7. Re: Day trip from LA to Santa Barbara

New Jersery is right on all counts. Leave at 7am and you'll be in SB at 9 am - on time for breakfast at the Shoreline Beach Cafe. Take a table in the sand.

Getting lost in SB is actually fun. After bkfast, drive up the mountain behind Santa Barbara; or shop for clothing and antiques on State St; or walk out on Stearns Wharf and the Harbor Breakwater.

One idea is to drive the Gilbraltar Dr, Camino Cielo, San Marcos Pass Loop. Camino Cielo is a road that runs on the top of the Santa Ynez Mtns - great views of the city, ocean, and the SY Valley. From Santa Barbara find your way to Gilbraltar Dr. Go uphill and turn left (west) at Camino Cielo. It's 8 miles till San Marcos Pass, where you could turn right (north) to go to Solvang and the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley, or turn left (south and down hill). to complete the loop.

You'll be back in SB around late afternoon, where I recommend a stroll along State St. Depending on your interests, we have plenty of antique shops; or try clothes shopping at Territory Ahead (the flagship store is better) or the Blue Bee; or try reviewing the history of SB by walking the Red Tile Tour, a must is to walk up into the Clock Tower of the Courthouse. An Art Museum is also along the tour.

Or walk the Lil' Toot Loop. Walk out onto Stearns Wharf and take the Lil' Toot boat taxi over to the Harbor. Walk out on the Breakwater for a different view of the City and Harbor.

Other attractions include the Mission, the Childs Estate Zoo, the Botanic Garden and the many beaches. We have wine country, Lake Cachuma, and an Indian casino, and a faux Danish village.

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8. Re: Day trip from LA to Santa Barbara

Yes, it is worth it. Go to Stearn's Wharf and enjoy the views from the end of the pier. The SB Shellfish Co. is very good for their lobster bisque and lobster dinners. We ended up eating there 3 times our last visit.

Shopping on State Street is fun and Olie e Limone is a great place for dinner if you like Italian food. It's one of our favorite places on the CA coast. Have fun! :)

Birmingham, Alabama
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9. Re: Day trip from LA to Santa Barbara

Thanks for all the responses. We will definately fit this in. Its amazing what my husband and I can get in but it still be fun and not rushed. I will pass on the Amtrak though. We did that in Seattle and it takes way to long and goes way to slow in my opinion.

Thanks again.

10. Re: Day trip from LA to Santa Barbara

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