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“Spectacular scenic ocean view - how to do it”

Ranked #17 of 179 things to do in Santa Barbara
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 9, 2014

I notice that some reviewers seem to have had a difficult time finding the scenic view. (Actually, Santa Barbara is full of them, but to my mind, driving along the ocean is at the top of the list.)

Coming from the south on Hwy. 101, exit at Cabrillo. Turn left and go under the railroad tracks. You will drive by the Santa Barbara Cemetery on your left. If you have time, this is worth a visit for the views and tombstones of interesting people who are buried there. Otherwise, continue driving on Cabrillo. You will notice the gates to the Hugette Clark estate on your left (the book "Empty Mansions"). On your right is the Bird Refuge and the Santa Barbara Zoo.( If you look quickly, you may see a giraffe or two!) Looking to your left you will see beautiful beaches, the ocean, and the channel islands off-shore. There are several public parking lots, as well as parking on the street. It's not hard to find at all!

You can continue driving past East Beach and Sterns Wharf, past State Street to Ledbetter Beach, or when you reach State Street, you can turn right and continue into town.

If you are coming to Santa Barbara on the 101 from the north, there are several ways to get to the ocean. You can exit on Carrillo and just follow the road as it changes to Meigs and then Shoreline, or you can exit on Castillo and follow the street until it runs into Cabrillo at the ocean.

Santa Barbara beaches are easily accessible, clean, and as I mentioned, there is parking either on the street or in lots. Enjoy your visit!

13  Thank KKGSB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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131 - 135 of 294 reviews

Reviewed March 8, 2014

We drove the Camino Cielo road east from rte 154 and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We stopped at Knapp's Castle along the road also. Since at times, you are riding the knife edge of the ridge line, you have amazing views both to the north and to the south. You can see the Channel Islands and the oil rigs out at sea. We were lucky and happened upon 6 para-sailors getting ready to 'leap' off the cliff edge and sail into town. To get back to SB, we took the Gibraltar Road down and back into Santa Barbara. It is an interesting drive down the ridge line for these flatlanders but takes you through the area burned by the Tea Fire in 2008, the Rattlesnake Cyn area. This road will take approx 2 hours.
We also took the Stagecoach road under the Cold Spring arch bridge and past the Cold Spring Tavern. This will take about 20 minutes, unless you stop for lunch at the Tavern on a weekend.
Both of these roads are fun to take and give you a real taste of the hills around Santa Barbara.

1  Thank Nancy F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2014

I love sunsets I have many pictures from many different places in the world but this was the most colorful. If you love sunsets this is one to see. Easy to reach from 101 take exit 94A

3  Thank Daniel L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2014

We were intending to either drive through Santa Barbara or only have a quick stopover but arrived early and were really taken by the scenery. We booked a decent room at the Best Western with a view of the harbour and then had a nice meal on the pier. Very relaxed and an ideal way to start our drive back up the coast from LA to San Francisco.

1  Thank MMarren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2014

Some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. Take a trip out to wine country. You will not regret it.

2  Thank MaryW0821
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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