December 5, 2001
Paseo Nuevo Mall is a very cool outdoor mall on very cool State Street in downtown Santa Barbara. It is in the heart of (and probably is the heart) of Santa Barbara's shopping district.
They have dozens of specialty shops and major department stores such as Nordstrom and Macy's in a beautiful outdoor European emporium setting, that is very colorful with flowers and banners everywhere, and fountains and benches that provide beautiful places to rest and relax.
As with the whole downtown area, Paseo Nuevo Mall has mission-style architecture, and is freshly decorated for Christmas. There are red tile roofs, and colorful tile used along walls, storefronts, around fountains, and lining the stairs to the upper level.
On the upper level, there is a performing arts center with the Contemporary Arts Forum (closed during my visits), plus you are treated to birds-eye views of the mall and its colors and architecture.
Many of the non-chain boutiques were nice to explore, but there are also several restaurants and art galleries, all on State Street only 2-3 blocks from the Holiday Inn Express (see other journal entry). For me, the main attraction was the beautiful courtyards, fountains, color and architecture. Even if you don't need to shop, Paseo Nuevo Mall is worth a look and a few pictures. They also have a camera shop with one-hour photo processing that I used on several occassions.
Paseo Nuevo Mall is located in downtown (Old Town) Santa Barbara at the corner of State and de la Guerra Streets (although they have several entrances and beautiful marquis around its 2-3 square blocks). To get there, take Highway 101 or Cabrillo Street to State Street and turn east toward the mountains, go about 5 blocks, and it will be on your left. Their phone number is 805-963-2202.
From journal Santa Barbara