Santa Barbara – California’s Coastal Gem
Santa Barbara is one of California most famous coastal cities. It has a rich history dating back from the first Native American settlers 13,000 years ago through the 18th century when the Spanish settled and up until now as it continues to attract millions of visitors per year.
Santa Barbara is easily accessible by the world famous 101 Freeway which hugs the southern California coastline. Santa Barbara is is half way between San Francisco and Mexico and a pleasant drive from Los Angeles.
There are activities for just about anyone in Santa Barbara and when you get there you will see just about everyone enjoying one thing or another. It is a relaxing place where you set your own pace and take time to enjoy what you’re doing.
There’s no rushing anyone in Santa Barbara.
One of the best attractions in Santa Barbara is the zoo. The Santa Barbara Zoo is one of the best in California. It isn’t very big, but what it lacks in size it makes up for with amazing exhibits and the cool ocean breeze.
Another great attraction is The Old Mission Santa Barbara which is a from of the Spanish period. It is a beautiful place to stop and take in some of the history. The mission houses some of the most unique example of indigenous native American & Spanish décor. Also be sure to check out the amazing murals and paintings.
Being right on the Pacific coast you can take advantage of some amazing whale and dolphin watching in Santa Barbara. Charter boats can take you right to them or you may get lucky as many do and spot dolphins, sea lions, and more right from the beach.
A fun way to get your own up close look is to rent a kayak from the friendly and helpful vendors on the beach. Most vendors will rent you a 2 person kayak for about $40 an hour and it is a great way to relax and enjoy the ocean.
A great place to Kayak is near Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara. Dolphins and other aquatic wildlife are always swimming near that stretch of beach.
Aside from the kayaking you can catch a great lunch at the Bella Vista restaurant located at Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara. The Italian-inspired California coastal restaurant offers some of the best views of the ocean with an amazing menu which includes their own cured meats and the very delicious lobster omelet.
The restaurant has not 1 but 2 double-sided fireplaces, a garden fountain, and a raised outdoor terrace with a beautiful and romantic fire pit in the center. The flooring is made of beautiful Giallo reale slab marble from quarries near Verona Italy and amber shard pebble border strips from Malaysia. The amount of details in design and quality of materials alone is reason to stop in.
Bella Vista is also the only restaurant in Santa Barbara which is licensed to cure it’s own meats and the charcuterie plate is the most popular appetizer on the menu. Don’t forget to try something from the great wine menu.
The Bella Vista restaurant is also home to one of the most widely celebrated Sunday brunches in the United States, and with those amazing views of the ocean it’s not very hard to believe.
If you are thinking about visiting California or driving along the coast, don’t think twice about taking a couple of days to stop into Santa Barbara.