A January 2002 trip
to Santa Barbara by Hal1026
Quote: Santa Barbara retains its quiet appeal to inhabitants and travelers alike: surfers, retirees, dotcommers and movie stars have found it to be a haven from the higher paced lifestyle of L.A. or San Francisco. Its mix of locals creates a unique city character, while its dramatic location and variety of outdoor activity make it memorable to every visitor.
Hotel | "Four Seasons Biltmore"
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 10, 2002
The Biltmore Santa Barbara, a Four Seasons Resort
1260 Channel Drive
Santa Barbara 93108
Attraction | "Mission Santa Barbara"
To get there, you can walk the half-mile from State St. up Mission St. and Mission Canyon, or take the Santa Barbara Municipal bus that runs up the hill.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 14, 2002
Old Mission Santa Barbara
2201 Laguna Street
Santa Barbara, California 93105
Santa Barbara is a very complete city, in the sense that it has all the facilities and services a traveler might need to comfortably get in, around and out. Transportation wise, there’s an Amtrak station, a municipal airport served by regular carriers, a freeway passing through that can whisk you up from Los Angeles in little over two hours. Its local geography makes it compact enough to not have to do extensive driving in order to see a lot if you don’t want to. You can keep yourself pretty much on foot while in the downtown area with just short hops in your car; making a day of it downtown will allow you to see the municipal buildings of note, much of the local gallery and art scene, coffee houses and nightlife, and sites like the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. If you have time left over, you can head up into the hills to explore such landmarks as the Mission, the vistas overlooking the city and waterfront from the hills behind it, or head north to Goleta and explore the beach and small town scene there. University of California – Santa Barbara has a beautiful campus in the Isla Vista district adjacent to the north end of town. Neighborhoods like Montecito and Carpinteria are south of the city and worth their own exploration of at least a half day. Take in the surfing scene at the state beaches fronting Carpinteria, then head back into Montecito and more spectacular views from the hills above it. When you descend toward more level ground near the oceanfront, there’s a commercial area with several fine restaurants and then the Biltmore, the grande dame hotel of the region which is also a popular place to sit outside and have lunch on their terrace overlooking the Pacific.
While many people come to be active, many others still come simply to relax and unwind, an ideal activity in itself in a city which has everything except frenetic pressure to it. So indeed, take time to plan and prepare for a favorite activity—on the water, on land, on wheels—but also leave yourself the space to do nothing more than drink in the dramatic mountains, gorgeous views, rolling waves of the Pacific bearing in a surfing native, and the gulls circling over their frisky dolphin brethren in the blue waters up and down the serene coastline of Santa Barbara.
RESOURCES and LOCATIONS:
Santa Barbara Conference & Visitors Bureau – Tel: (805) 966-9222, toll-free 800-549-5133; www.santabarbaraca.com
Adventours-Inc. – Corporate group adventure touring on land and water in the Santa Barbara region. Tel: (805) 899-2929; www.adventours-inc.com
Surf Country – Surfboards, apparel, repairs, rentals, lessons. Tel: (805)-683-4450