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Santa Barbara: The American Riviera

Santa Barbara has always been one of my favorite day trips in Southern California. The Spanish architecture and beautiful setting between the mountains and ocean creates an atmosphere that never fails to regenerate my spirit.

Santa Barbara is about an hour’s drive north of Los Angeles. It’s easy to visit by train, as you can take a shuttle from the Amtrak station to the zoo or down State Street. The train station is also within walking distance of most of Santa Barbara's attractions, including Stearns Wharf on the ocean and State Street, Santa Barbara’s main street that’s made for an afternoon stroll. Poke into shops along the way and sample one of the many quality restaurants. If you get tired of walking, hop on the shuttle that passes by every ten minutes.

It’s worthwhile for a new visitor to visit the courthouse and view the beautiful murals depicting California’s early history. Then take the elevator to the top of the 83-year-old structure for a spectacular 360-degree view of the area.

The city was rebuilt after a huge earthquake destroyed most of the buildings in 1925. Spanish Revival architecture, with its white walls and picturesque courtyards, was the result. The old El Paseo on the 800 block of State Street was Santa Barbara’s first shopping center after the earthquake and is my favorite setting of courtyards and shops.

While in Santa Barbara, I love to visit the Botanical Gardens. This is a great place to take a stroll in a beautiful natural environment. Although out of walking range from downtown, it’s a worthwhile stop if you have a car. The Gardens have been divided into different sections paralleling the flora of the state: redwoods, meadows, manzanita, chaparral, canyon and so on.

Before you leave S.B., be sure to stop by the Mission. It was the tenth mission built by the Spanish but it's sometimes called the Queen of the Missions because of its beauty.

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Santa Barbara has always been one of my favorite day trips in Southern California. The Spanish architecture and beautiful setting between the mountains and ocean creates an atmosphere that never fails to regenerate my spirit.

Santa Barbara is about an hour’s drive north of Los Angeles. It’s easy to visit by train, as you can take a shuttle from the Amtrak station to the zoo or down State Street. The train station is also within walking distance of most of Santa Barbara's attractions, including Stearns Wharf on the ocean and State Street, Santa Barbara’s main street that’s made for an afternoon stroll. Poke into shops along the way and sample one of the many quality restaurants. If you get tired of walking, hop on the shuttle that passes by every ten minutes.

It’s worthwhile for a new visitor to visit the courthouse and view the beautiful murals depicting California’s early history. Then take the elevator to the top of the 83-year-old structure for a spectacular 360-degree view of the area.

The city was rebuilt after a huge earthquake destroyed most of the buildings in 1925. Spanish Revival architecture, with its white walls and picturesque courtyards, was the result. The old El Paseo on the 800 block of State Street was Santa Barbara’s first shopping center after the earthquake and is my favorite setting of courtyards and shops.

While in Santa Barbara, I love to visit the Botanical Gardens. This is a great place to take a stroll in a beautiful natural environment. Although out of walking range from downtown, it’s a worthwhile stop if you have a car. The Gardens have been divided into different sections paralleling the flora of the state: redwoods, meadows, manzanita, chaparral, canyon and so on.

Before you leave S.B., be sure to stop by the Mission. It was the tenth mission built by the Spanish but it's sometimes called the Queen of the Missions because of its beauty.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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