Tag - santa barbara

Santa barbara, California

Santa Barbara is located in Southern California, about 90 miles of Los Angeles along the Pacific coast. Santa Barbara county is often referred as the ” French Rivera” because if its climate and geography.

Pelican II

Pelican @ the pier

If you walk to the very end of the pier and you will might see seals hanging out on buoys not far from shore. They make some great noises! Blue herons and pelicans hang out at the end of the pier, completely tame and unafraid of all the people. Kids love it so go enjoy seeing these great birds.

Santa barbara

Santa barbara

The shoreline park as its a wonderful spot to view dolphin and seals. Its surrounded by mountain ranges, palm trees and ocean views. Its fantastic for exercising in general or walking the dog etc Kids have a play park also to entertain whilst Mum and Dad keep a close watch. The parking is also free and come and enjoy.

Santa barbara seen from the pier

Santa barbara seen from the pier

Santa barbara seen from a boat

Santa barbara seen from a boat

Santa barbara

Santa barbara

Beach area-Santa barbara

Beach area-Santa barbara

Building on the pier

Warner Sea Center on the pier



Pelicans are protected species. Enjoy their company. There are few websites you can go report if you see people attacking these birds such as pelicanlife.org


Stearns Wharf

The views are spectacular from the pier- all the palm trees lining the beach with the Santa Ynez mountain range as the backdrop. Its just breathtaking! There are some touristy shops, restaurants, an Ice cream shop and a fortune teller. Check them out while you are there.

The Best Hotels and Resorts in Santa Barbara, California

The Four Seasons Biltmore, Credit: plazatravel.com

The Four Seasons Biltmore, Credit:

The friendly beach town of Santa Barbara is a popular destination for people around the world. Here are some of the best hotels to stay at while there.

Santa Barbara is also known as the American Riviera, as its mild temperatures and geography are similar to the French and Italian Rivieras along the Mediterranean. With its great weather and beautiful surroundings, it is easy to see why it has become such a popular destination for travelers around the world. It is also no wonder that there are so many luxurious and beautiful places to stay in Santa Barbara. Here are a few that top the list.

The Bacara Resort and Spa

Located right on the water, this spa and resort is a newer addition to Santa Barbara having opened in 2000. The Spanish styled resort sits on 78 acres of land, and has become a favorite destination for many celebrities due to its secluded location. Some of the amenities luxury resort include: a 42,000 square foot full-service spa with 36 treatment rooms, three signature restaurants, two-mile sandy beach just to name a few. The cost of luxury at the Bacara starts at $500.

The Four Seasons Biltmore

Another fine luxury resort, the Biltmore has a prime location nestled on the coast between Montecito and Santa Barbara. Across the street from the resort is Montecito’s Butterfly Beach, which is the perfect setting for a little rest and relaxation. This Mediterranean-styled gem was built in 1927 and continues to be a popular spot for those searching for upscale elegance.

The San Ysidro Ranch

Though the name may be mis-leading this retreat is very luxurious and has been a popular spot for decades. Hidden in the hills of Montecito, this retreat of private cottages has been a favorite among celebrities for years. President John F. Kenndey and his wife Jackie spent their honeymoon at this secluded location. It has been a favorite of the hollywood elite such as Cary Grant, Jean Harlow, and Groucho marx.

The Canary Hotel

A luxury boutique hotel located in downtown Santa Barbara, is favored for its proximity to State Street and other downtown attractions. Maintaining the common look of Santa Barbara the hotel is fashioned after Spanish style architecture, it is centrally located so that guest can enjoy all that the city has to offer, from shopping to beach lounging. Cruise up to the rooftop terrace for a dip in the pool and enjoy the views of the ocean and the riviera that surround the downtown location.

Whether one is searching for a romantic getaway or just luxurious weekend away, these hotels have more to offer than one could possibly imagine.

Santa Barbara Travel News- 2012

Summer in Santa Barbara, Credit:city-data.com

Summer in Santa Barbara, Credit:city-data.com

Spring has sprung, as they say, and summer is just around the corner.  Santa Barbara’s sundrenched coastlines and abundance of spring events and activities are beckoning to anyone ready to shake off a long, snowy or rainy winter season.  To further entice, I’ve included some exciting news on hotel openings and updates – we’ve been seeing a lot of activity!

Currently, we’re in the midst of Ecotopia, a celebration of the area’s eco-friendly offerings.  Ecotopia encourages eco-attentive travelers to experience Santa Barbara’s sustainable side by escaping to nearby parks and mountains, ditching the car and enjoying Santa Barbara car-free or partaking in farm-to-table cuisine.  We’ve been filling our blog, TheSBPost.com, with lots of great content, so be sure to check it out.

More than just a pretty face, our coastal town has long been recognized for its vibrant variety of art and cultural offerings.  The Santa Barbara Bowl, one of the most iconic outdoor music venues in the country, kicks off its 76th season with an all-star lineup that avid concert-goers won’t want to miss.

Santa Barbara Travel News & Story Ideas

The Hotel Report –From affordable inns and unique bed-and-breakfasts to luxury resorts and rustic ranches, Santa Barbara offers rooms to suit every style and budget. The following are the latest highlights from the hotel front:

    • The oceanfront Hyatt Santa Barbara (www.santabarbara.hyatt.com) (formerly Hotel Mar Monte) has just completed an extensive renovation encompassing all 127 guest rooms, meeting rooms and public spaces including the hotel lobby, landscaping and décor around the pool and deck area.
  • The trendy Canary Hotel (www.canarysantabarbara.com) located in the heart of downtown became a Kimpton property in late March.
  • The much-anticipated reopening of El Encanto, a Santa Barbara landmark that has long been recognized as one of California’s finest resorts, is scheduled for January 2013. Orient-Express purchased the property in 2004 (its first on the U.S. West Coast) and set about restoring it to the standards of style, design and service synonymous with the brand.  Upon reopening, the hotel will have 92 keys in a seven acre garden setting. Restored California Craftsman style buildings date from 1911 to 1918 and Spanish
    Colonial cottages date from the 1920s. The main building will retain many original features and will house a fine dining restaurant with views of the Pacific Ocean and Channel Islands, featuring local Santa Barbara County produce and wines.  A favorite hideaway for stars from Hollywood’s golden era, the redeveloped El Encanto will feature an infinity edge swimming pool, tennis courts, state-of-the-art event space, and a six room boutique spa. (www.orient-express.com.)
  • Just in time for summer, Bacara Resort & Spa (www.bacararesort.com) will conclude a full renovation of its guest rooms and refurbishments to key areas of the property by Memorial Day weekend.

GREEN SCENE – The new, 41-room boutique Hotel Indigo ( >www.hotelindigo.com) has opened downtown at 121 State Street, bringing a unique new lodging experience to Santa Barbara. A community crossroads that breathes life into a thriving and energetic arts corridor, the hotel boasts a modern, environmentally friendly design that includes a plant-filled living wall, green space and energy efficient elements. Located near the railroad station and Stearns Wharf at the gateway to the city, it’s just a short jaunt to attractions, fine dining and shopping. It also borders the Funk Zone, a hotbed of homegrown artistic production, known for its eclectic wall murals, ateliers, galleries, alternative exhibition spaces, and trendy artist shops, as well as the Urban Wine Trail.  The hotel houses the CAF Satellite @ Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara, curated by the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum (www.sbcaf.org), which provides exhibitions of thought- provoking artworks and site-specific, commissioned installations by local artists.  The inaugural exhibition entitled Open House will be on view through February 2, 2013 and presents artworks by Alejandro Diaz, Ann Diener, Stephanie Dotson, Rob Fischer, Francesca Gabbiani, Saul Gray-Hildenbrand, Nathan Hayden, Cyndee Howard, Jennifer Nocon, Zacarias Paul, Luke Stettner, Kirsten Stoltmann, Sandra Torres, and James Van Arsdale.

THE “FUNK ZONE” FLOURISHES – Bordered by State Street, Stearns Wharf and East Beach, Santa Barbara’s “Funk Zone” is an eclectic, walkable neighborhood where working facilities like wine-production warehouses, surfboard-shaping shacks and fishermen’s vessels converge with sophisticated home design stores, gourmet purveyors, and more. Originally an industrial district, the entire waterfront area has emerged in recent years as a hot spot of fresh thinking, artistic expression, and interesting characters and is thriving with a new hotel, new wine-tasting rooms and shops (Municipal Winemakers, Sanguis, Silver, Conway Deep Sea Tasting Room, Corks n’ Crowns and La Tour Wine Merchants), surf shop J7 Surfboards, art galleries and alternative spaces, a burgeoning food truck scene, boutiques and even a chic private event space, The Loft (www.eventsattheloft.com). Meanwhile, mainstay attractions include the Santa Barbara Surf Museum, the Urban Wine Trail (www.urbanwinetrailsb.com), Blue Line Paddle Surf, >Segway of Santa Barbara and watering holes Reds and The Pub. The Santa Barbara Train Station is centrally located here as well, allowing for easy access to a car-free and carefree vacation.

AT YOUR FINGERTIPS – The Santa Barbara Conference & Visitors Bureau presents “NEXT: Santa Barbara,” a new mobile and iPad app that is the go-to resource for information on all things Santa Barbara.  The user-friendly, location-based app connects users with the entire vacation experience, whether in Santa Barbara or in the planning process, offering detailed listings for restaurants, wineries, events, arts and cultural offerings, accommodations, outdoor activities, retail shops, and much more. It also includes timely, money-saving deals from local attractions as well as “What’s Near Me” features, maps and photos.

The free “NEXT: Santa Barbara” app is available at the App Store and Android Market.  Learn more at www.NextSBapp.com. ON EXHIBIT – The Santa Barbara Museum of Art (www.sbma.net) presents Behind the Wheel (May 5 – August 12, 2012) as part of the Vantage Point California Photography Series.  This exhibition of So Cal photographers examines the enduring love affair between Southern Californians and their automobiles since 1925, when the world’s first “motel” opened just north of Santa Barbara. Chosen from the collection of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, these photographs explore the psychological place of the car in Southern California life. Whether in celebration, investigation, or incrimination, all of the photographs depict those unique mental states that can only be produced behind the wheel. Another major exhibition, Van Gogh to Munch: European Masterworks from the Armand Hammer Foundation and Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation, has been extended through 2012.

FAMILY FUN – Zoo Nooz: The Santa Barbara Zoo (www.sbzoo.org), which celebrates its 50th birthday this year, recently introduced “Michael,” a five-year-old male Masai giraffe who arrived from Parc Safari, Quebec, Canada, to start breeding as part of a cooperative program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).  The Zoo is making a transition from exhibiting Baringo giraffes to showcasing Masai giraffes, as part of a regional giraffe management program with other West Coast AZA zoos including those in Los Angeles and San Diego.

The Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort (www.alisal.com) is offering a Cowgirl Bootcamp, where wranglin’ cowgirls learn the fundamentals of barrel racing, roping, and trail riding.  The package includes three nights’ accommodation, cowgirl amenity basket, all meals, gourmet picnic lunch, hat shaping and archery lesson at Alisal Lake, line dancing instruction, daily horseback rides, lessons and a mini cattle round-up.

The Dish On Santa Barbara Food & Wine.
    • The latest arrival to the Urban Wine Trail is Sanguis (www.sanguiswine.com), a Santa Barbara based winery that focuses on creating limited production blends of Rhone and Burgundy varietals.  The new facility – open by appointment only – signals a decidedly modernist and minimalist aesthetic with Japanese-Modern leanings. Owner/ winemaker Matthias Pippig’s artwork is on display in the foyer, where guests are often received for a sit-down tasting with both Matthias and co-Vintner Jamie Kinser.
  • The newly opened Cielito Restaurant & Taqueria (www.cielitorestaurant.com), located in the historic La Arcada complex, showcases authentic regional Mexican cuisine and South American flavors at their finest by Chef Ramon Velazquez. Emphasizing fresh seafood and seasonal offerings, Cielito endeavors to write a new story for Mexican food in Santa Barbara by celebrating the richness and diversity of Mexican cuisine in a tapas-style format. The adjoining Cielito Taqueria offers fresh, handmade, on-the-go items.
  • Petros, an upscale, modern Mediterranean restaurant complete with open-air patio recently opened its doors on State Street across from the historic Arlington Theatre. The California Hellenic menu balances classic Greek cuisine with dynamic Mediterranean ingredients and haute stylings. Owner Petros Benekos – who runs successful locations in Manhattan Beach and Los Olivos – has
    created an exotic oasis with geometric fountain, fireplaces, and two bars, as well as a colorful array of citrus trees.
  • Café Luck at 18 E. Cota Street has reopened as The Pan.  While the cozy French-inspired décor remains, the new menu features a gastropub-inspired selection of reasonably priced burgers and sides along with wines and beers.
  • Blue Agave (www.blueagavesb.com) has launched The Wurst, a lunch and late-night backdoor counter serving up curry, Thai, and chili wursts, a chicken brat, a kielbasa, and a veggie dog. Everything is hormone- and preservative-free, and plans are in the works to begin making their own sausages and sauerkraut.
  • Now open in Montecito’s upper village, Pierre Lafond Montecito Wine Bistro (www.pierrelafond.com) is a casual and kid-friendly California bistro showcasing the culinary art of chef Nathan Heil. The fare is complemented by sommelier Don Hull’s extensive wine list featuring local wines along with the best from around the world.
  • After quickly becoming a popular stop on the Urban Wine Trail during its first year and recently expanding into a new, larger tasting room (located in the former Divers Den industrial building with views of the beach), Municipal Winemakers (www.municipalwinemakers.com) recently launched a series of monthly workshops, co-hosted by local espresso bar The French Press, on the basics of fine coffee and wine appreciation.
  • Through the summer, Downey’s Restaurant (Zagat Survey’s top rated Santa Barbara restaurant, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, www.downeyssb.com) will offer a “Taste of Santa Barbara” four-course tasting menu showcasing the very best from the local farmers’ market, poultry farms and fishermen.

ADVENTURES FOR AFICIONADOS – Craving Adventures (www.cravingadventures.com) is a sort of “epicurean adventure” purveyor recently founded by Caroline Connor and Eve Somer-Belin, two local ladies who are passionate about food, wine and outdoor adventure. Inspired by travel, Craving Adventures crafts customized itineraries pairing Santa Barbara’s best flavors with unique palates and interests.  With a focus on everything local, they will create a personalized experience in food and adventure and take care of everything including planning meals, activities and transportation. From cooking lessons to salsa dancing, stand-up paddle boarding to spa, or mountain biking to beer tasting, guests can enjoy a Santa Barbara experience all their own, complete with local insight and personal touches.

Santa Barbara On a Budget:

Save money and cash in on fun with inexpensive lodging options, car-free convenience and low- or no-cost activities in Santa Barbara. Affordable family-owned inns and unique bed-and-breakfasts offering value-added amenities are plentiful, even in beachside areas.  Visitors can leave their vehicles at home with the city’s walkable downtown and waterfront areas, abundant bike paths, affordable electric shuttles, pedicabs, and award-winning public transportation. Amtrak currently offers 20% off travel to Santa Barbara on the Pacific Surfliner and San Joaquin, and visitors who leave the gas guzzler at home can enjoy remarkable savings throughout the destination via SantaBarbaraCarFree.org. To stretch vacation dollars even further, 101 Free Things to Do on The American Riviera® (www.SantaBarbaraCA.com) means plenty of exploring without spending a dime.

Upcoming Events
    • Ongoing: 1st Thursday – an evening of arts and culture in downtown Santa Barbara on the first Thursday of every month. santabarbaradowntown.com
  • Ongoing: Santa Barbara Arts and Crafts Show – an al fresco showcase of local artists’ works every Sunday along Cabrillo Boulevard steps from East Beach. >santabarbaraartsandcraftsshow.com
  • April 20-23, 2012: Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Festival Weekend – Sip and savor world-class pinot noirs and chardonnays in a simple, down home atmosphere at the Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Festival. This much anticipated event attracts wine lovers from near and far for an opportunity to meet local vintners, taste their wines and enjoy great food and music over a long spring weekend in April. sbcountywines.com
  • April 21–22, 2012: Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival – Often considered the birthplace of the modern environmental movement, Santa Barbara’s “Ecotopian” roots run deep, especially at the city’s nationally acclaimed Earth Day Festival. From a cutting-edge green car show to over 200
    exhibitors, Santa Barbara’s Earth Day Festival draws thousands of eco-minded attendees each April. sbearthday.org
  • April 27–29, 2012: Santa Maria Valley Strawberry Festival – The annual event highlights the beginning of the Strawberry Season as well as the importance of the strawberry industry to the local economy. It also strives to showcase both the variety and taste of local berries. 60,000 attendees expected. santamariafairpark.com
  • April–Nov., 2012: Santa Barbara Bowl Season – For a ceiling of real stars, catch a show at this spectacular naturally formed amphitheater nestled in the foothills. As the largest coastal city between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the Santa Barbara bowl attracts big-name musical talent during the
    April-through-November season. This year’s show schedule features Radiohead, Florence + The Machine, Beck, Bon Iver, The Beach Boys’ 50th Anniversary Tour, Sugarland and more. sbbowl.org
  • May 26–28, 2012: i madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival – The plaza of the Old Mission is transformed with 200 colorful street paintings created by 400 artists. imadonnarifestival.com
  • June 2, 2012: Los Olivos Jazz and Olive Festival – Spend a Saturday afternoon in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley, tasting wine from twenty five local wineries, listening to world-class, professional jazz musicians, and sampling thirty different olive themed dishes prepared by local chefs. >losolivosrotary.org
  • June 18–Aug. 11, 2012: Music Academy of the West Summer Festival – Every year, talented young musicians attend the prestigious Music Academy of the West Summer Festival to hone their crafts. The students perform in more than 200 concerts and “masterclasses” – ensemble “lessons” that are open to the public – held in venues throughout town, including the Academy’s Mediterranean-style “Miraflores” estate in Montecito. musicacademy.org
  • June 22–24, 2012: Summer Solstice Celebration – This signature festival features more than 1,000 parading participants, extravagant floats, whimsical costumes and creatively choreographed dancing ensembles. From its beginnings as a small parade featuring street artists,
    the Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Celebration is now the premier Santa Barbara County arts event, drawing crowds of over 100,000 spectators from around the world. solsticeparade.com
  • June 30, 2012: Santa Barbara Wine Festival – Swirl, sip and savor at this alfresco event where 70 Central Coast wineries pour tastings alongside savory and sweet culinary delights. A summertime favorite, the festival takes place at the picturesque Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History under a canopy of oak trees and among wooded walking trails. sbnature.org/winefestival
  • July 19–21, 2012: California Wine Festival includes three days/nights of tasting events throughout downtown Santa Barbara and on the waterfront. californiawinefestival.com
  • July 28–29, 2012: Santa Barbara Greek Festival dishes out the sights, sounds, aromas and flavors of Greece at Oak Park. santabarbaragreekfestival.com
  • Aug. 1–5, 2012: Old Spanish Days Fiesta – Santa Barbara’s largest annual celebration started in 1924 and features parades, rodeo, dancing and more. oldspanishdays-fiesta.org
  • Throughout Oct. 2012: epicure.sb – An annual celebration of cuisine, libations and culture, epicure.sb presents signature festivals,
    cooking classes, winemakers’ dinners, seasonal menus, epicurean-inspired art exhibits and many more ways to taste the very best of Santa Barbara! epicuresb.com
  • Oct. 5–7, 2012: California Avocado Festival – Take a bite out of “Avofest,” an epicurean, entertaining and educational trifecta with delicious food, live music, kids’ activities, arts and crafts, and the world’s largest bowl of guacamole. avofest.com
  • Oct. 2012: Celebration of Harvest – Celebrate the 2011 harvest at Rancho Sisquoc Winery with wine tastings from 110+ wineries and delicious bites crafted with locally sourced ingredients by the area’s best restaurants. sbcountywines.com
  • Oct. 13, 2012: Santa Barbara Harbor & Seafood Festival – Reel in the fresh-caught fun at the thriving Santa Barbara Harbor with delicious seafood specialties, cooking demonstrations, interactive maritime education, children’s activities, boat rides and more. harborfestival.org
  • Oct. 20–21, 2012: California Lemon Festival – Squeeze every last drop of fun from this family-friendly festival with kids’ rides and activities, the annual Goleta Fall Classic Car Show, a pie-eating contest, lemon-infusd food tastings and more. lemonfestival.com

Considered the northernmost point of Southern California and the southernmost point of Northern California, Santa Barbara spans 100 miles of pristine coastline. Santa Barbara is known as The American Riviera® thanks to its Spanish-Revival architecture, rich heritage, world-renowned food-and-wine scene, stunning natural beauty and near-perfect weather. Courtesy of  Gena Downey, Director of Communications, Santa Barbara Conference & Visitors Bureau and Film Commission

Visiting The Channel Islands National Park

Channel Islands National Park

Channel Islands National Park

Channel Islands National Park consists of 5 islands off of the coast of Ventura in California;  Its about 70 miles North of Los Angeles and are a great gateway spot when trying to escape the city life for a day or two. However, the chain of islands itself consists of 8 land masses. The 5  islands run from East to West that make up the  national park are: Anacapa- the closest to the mainland, San Miguel, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa Islands. The park also consists of over100,000 acres of submerged lands. The park was designated as a National Park in 1980. It is open year round, with the offices closing on thanksgiving and Christmas. The Channel Islands are unique because it has more endangered species that only exist within this park than any other unit of the National Park Service. This means that survival of these fauna and flora depends entirely on our ability to protect their habitat.

Anacapa Island:

Anacapa consists of 699 acres and is a great place for whale or bird watching. The average rainfall is less than 10 inches per year. The slopes on Anacapa are the primary nesting ground for California Brown Pelicans. Arch Rock is a 40 foot high landmark on the island. There are rugged steep cliffs surround the island. It appears that there are no trees and no dock for boats to anchor. Visitors have to climb the ladder to get to the island. It is recommended that you get the permission of a park official before you go to the island due to the delicate natural balance needed protecting the migrating pelicans. If you take the Island Pakers’ boat ride, you would be just fine. There is one main area on the island known as Frenchys Cove;  the most popular lunch spot on the island, The island is home to the biggest breading colony of Gulls in the world and it is fully equipped with trails which might take an entire day to explore.

San Miguel Island:

San Miguel Island has 9,325 acres, (37.74Km2) to it. It’s the 6th largest of the 8th Channel Islands. It is the winter home to almost 50.000 elephant seals. They come to breed and leave the baby seals on the island. The island is scattered with archeological sites. The island has a campground, miles of hiking trails, and beaches and offers Ranger-led hikes, marine-mammal observation, beach exploration, and bird watching. It is recommend you stay on the trails if you hike the island. Many participate to hike the 7- mile hike to point Bennett to observe the sea lions. There are few remains of trees. The island is flat and it is the closest to the open seas. The island doesn’t get the protection from the sea as the others do, the wind typically blows across the island at a speed of 25 mph.

Santa Barbara Island:

Santa Barbara Island has 639 acres and has miles of trails to explore; it’s the smallest of the eight Channel Islands. The island is good for bird watching. The highest peak is Signal hill. Santa Barbara Island is home to a large sea lion rookery and seabird nesting colonies. It is also home to the largest breeding colony for Xantus’s Murrelet, a threatened seabird species. It is listed as vulnerable because so much of its breeding takes place on such a small and isolated island.

Santa Cruz Island:

Santa Cruz Island consists of 60,645 acres with a landmass of varied features. This is the largest of the Channel Island National Park. The island is occupied with great scenic beauty with tall trees, two rugged mountain ranges, deep canyons, a wide central valley, springs and streams, the worlds biggest sea caves, 77 miles of craggy coastline cliffs, tide pools and expansive beaches and visitors may observe wildlife, hikes  such as potato harbor hike and Scorpion canyon.

Santa Rosa Island:

Santa Rosa Island is made up of 52,794 acres( about 83 sq. mi), making it the second largest island of the park. Its situated about 26 miles  off the coast of Santa Barbara. It’s the home for the spotted skunk and well over 195 species of birds. This island is teaming with exotic wildlife and also more than 600 archeological sites have been mapped. The Island has a landing strip that makes the only island would be able to handle small airplane traffic.

The Channel Islands are a beautiful place to visit with all of the oceanic recreations one could normally wish to participate in.


Wikipedia, Nps.gov