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Difference between revisions of "Santa Barbara"

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*'''SOhO Restaurant and Music Club''' 1221 State St., jazz/live music club above Victoria Court.
 
*'''SOhO Restaurant and Music Club''' 1221 State St., jazz/live music club above Victoria Court.
 
Thursday nights are the official college night of downtown bars. The drinks are cheap, and UCSB is home to some the most attractive people in California (or the country, for that matter). Really any bar on lower State Street is Fun on Thursday nights to relive those college days.
 
Thursday nights are the official college night of downtown bars. The drinks are cheap, and UCSB is home to some the most attractive people in California (or the country, for that matter). Really any bar on lower State Street is Fun on Thursday nights to relive those college days.
 +
 +
'''Santa Barbara Wineries:'''
 +
*'''Andrew Murray Vineyards''' - 805-686-9604, 2901 Grand Ave, downtown Los Olivos.  In terms of Santa Barbara wine tasting, Andrew Murray is recognized as one of the better wineries in Santa Ynex for Syrah and other Rhone style wines.  Although Andrew Murray recently sold his vineyards, a five-year leasing agreement assures ongoing quality product.
 +
*'''Beckmen Vineyards''' – 805-688-8664, 2670 Ontiveros Road, Los Olivos.  They're open 11-5, and generally pour good wines.  Beckmen is among the smaller Santa Barbara wineries.  Their setting is pleasant, though they don't offer much view compared with other Santa Barbara wine tasting options. 
 +
*'''Brander Vineyard''' – 805-688-2455, Highway 154 at Roblar, Los Olivos.  One of the smaller Santa Barbara wine tasting rooms, among Santa Barbara wineries this is worth a stop if you're in Los Olivos. 
 +
*'''Bridlewood Winery''' – 800-467-4100, 3555 Roblar Avenue, Santa Ynez.  They're open 10-5 daily, and serve very good wine.  They have an excellent view and a large lawn...among the best stops while visiting Santa Barbara wineries.  Among their best wines is their Syrah, which has earned a 89 from Wine Enthusiast and a 90 from Wine Spectator.  They sell cheeses, meats, crackers, etc., which is handy for a picnic. 
 +
*'''Buttonwood Farm Winery & Vineyard''' - 805-688-3032, 1500 Alamo Pintado Road, Solvang.  Perhaps best known among Santa Barbara wineries for their excellent dessert wines.  They have a picnic area for your Santa Barbara wine tasting experience, and are open 11-5 daily. 
 +
*'''Curtis Winery''' – 805-686-8999, 5249 Foxen Canyon Road, Los Olivos.  The main tasting room and small lawn are very pretty, and the wine is good.  They are open 10-5 daily, and one tasting fee covers both Curtis and another of the Santa Barbara wineries, Firestone. 
 +
*'''Daniel Gehrs Wines''' – 805-693-9686, 2939 Grand Avenue, Los Olivos.  One of the numerous tasting rooms along the main street in Los Olivos...a different kind of tasting experience than other Santa Barbara wineries, in that you can walk from one to the next.  They've open later than most...11-6 daily.  They have a nice mix of wines. 
 +
*'''Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard''' – 800-841-1104, 6200 Foxen Canyon Road, Los Olivos.  Some of the best wine among Santa Barbara wineries.  They have a very large lawn which is well-suited for a picnic.  They welcome groups and have a separate tasting counter for private events.  They're open 10-5 daily.  They pour more whites than red, which may disappoint some. 
 +
*'''Firestone Vineyard''' - 805-688-3940, 5000 Zaca Station Rd., Los Olivos.  Perhaps the most common stop in a day of Santa Barbara wine tasting.  They are open 10-5 daily, and serve consistently good wines.  Firestone opened in 1972 and has become one of the leading Santa Barbara wineries.  Their tour is perhaps the best in the region.  Firestone is set on a hill with great views, making it a perfect picnic spot.  Firestone has three distinct picnic grounds.  The one on the east side of the parking lot and slightly downhill has the best view. 
 +
*'''Foley Estates Vineyard & Winery''' - 805-688-8554, moving west of Hwy. 101 but currently at 1711 Alamo Pintado Rd., Solvang.  This winery offers modestly priced wines that are often bargains among Santa Barbara wineries.  They're open 10-5 daily. 
 +
*'''Gainey Vineyard''' – 805-688-0558, 3950 E. Hwy 246, Santa Ynez.  One of the premier tasting experiences among Santa Barbara wineries.  They attract a large crowd, but it's worth dealing with both for their wine and delightful grounds that are a perfect place to end a day of Santa Barbara wine tasting.  They also have a nice tasting room reserved for wine club members.  They're open 10-5 daily. 
 +
*'''Koehler Winery''' – 805-686-8484, 5360 Foxen Cyn Rd, Los Olivos.  They're open 10-4 daily and have a nice picnic area.  They are located on a small hill with decent view.  They are among the least crowded Santa Barbara wineries. 
 +
*'''Lafond Winery & Vineyards''' – 805-688-7921, 6855 Santa Rosa Road, Buellton.  This is the high-end sister winery to Santa Barbara Winery.  They're open 10-5 daily.  Lafond has among the prettier views among Santa Barbara wineries.  They are on the west side of the valley, which is significantly cooler than the east side, and thus maybe not a good first stop on a cool day. 
 +
*'''LinCourt Vineyards''' – 805-688-8381, 343 N Refugio Road, Santa Ynez.  This is low-priced sister winery to Foley, but unfortunately not particularly good among Santa Barbara wineries.  They're open 10-5 daily, and they do offer a pleasant picnic area. 
 +
*'''Los Olivos Vintners''' – 805-688-9665, 2923 Grand Avenue, Los Olivos.  Another of the tasting rooms in Los Olivos, as an alternative to the Santa Barbara wineries to which you have to drive.  They're open 11-6 daily, and also have a small picnic area. 
 +
*'''Mosby Winery''' – 805-688-2415, 9496 Santa Rosa Road, Buellton.  Perhaps not among the best of the Santa Barbara wineries. 
 +
*'''Qupe''' – 805-937-9801, 2531 Grand Avenue, Los Olivos.  Qupe is based at the Bien Nacido Vineyard in Santa Maria, but like many Santa Barbara wineries, it has its tasting room in Los Olivos.  Open 11-6 daily. 
 +
*'''Sanford Winery & Vineyards''' - 805-688-3300, 7250 Santa Rosa Road, Buellton.  One of the Santa Barbara wineries featured in Sideways.  They have a small but delightful tasting room, and excellent wines.  They're open 11-4 daily. 
 +
*'''Sunstone Vineyards & Winery''' – 800-313-9463, 125 Refugio Road, Santa Ynez.  Open 10-4 daily, Sunstone has a nice patio area with a fairly good view.  Sunstone Winery overlooks the Santa Ynez River, and has one of the more pleasant settings among Santa Barbara wineries.  They have good wine include Viognier, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and others.  Their reserve tasting costs a few dollars more, but is worth it. 
 +
*'''Zaca Mesa Winery''' – 800-350-7972, 6905 Foxen Canyon Road, Los Olivos.  Zaca Mesa is one of the northern-most Santa Barbara wineries.  They have rather pretty grounds, though only a limited view.  They’re open 10-4 and tastings are free for groups under 10.  Zaca Mesa's grapes are grown on the winery property in Foxen Canyon.
  
 
==Sleep==
 
==Sleep==

Revision as of 07:19, 4 April 2006

Santa Barbara [1] is located geographically less than 100 miles from hyper-metropolitan Los Angeles but feels light years away from the noise and congestion of its huge neighbor to the south, which helps explain why the upper crust of Southern California have long favored the coastal retreat as both a getaway destination and the perfect place for a second (or sometimes first) home. With a temperate climate and lush natural environs, the "Riviera of the West" is perfect for a day trip, with its wide, perfect beaches, highly rated wineries, and a large variety of shopping and dining choices, or a much longer stay, with a highly active local culture of volunteerism and fund-raising (not to mention the very high number of wealthy people) that enables the town of just 90,000 residents to enjoy the sort of cultural and social amenities that are usually found only in much larger cities.

Although the common perception of Santa Barbara is as a playground for the rich and famous, the reality is more middle-America than you might think, with an average income only slightly higher than California as a whole, and a diverse ethnic makeup and heritage. Notable for its California Mission-style architecture (a long-standing local ordinance ensures that all commercial construction follow the Mission theme, which results in a plethora of red-tiled roofs and faux adobe supermarkets), local residents are intensely proud of their city's roots and traditions, and a number of hugely popular festivals throughout the year celebrate the many cultures found within the city limits.

Contents

Get in

Santa Barbara is served by a relatively small, but popular airport, Amtrak train station, and Greyhound bus lines.  Santa Barbara Municipal Airport, small but charming, provides access to LAX through a shuttle service that flies between the two airports several times per day. There is also service to San Fransisco, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Denver and other destinations. The airport itself is located in the city of Goleta. Amtrak, housed in a historical landmark on lower State Street, provides service on both the Pacific Surfliner route (San Luis Obispo to San Diego) and the Coast Starlight (Seattle to Los Angeles). The Greyhound station is also located in downtown, near the local bus transit center.

If arriving by car, be aware that there is only one major highway in or out of Santa Barbara, US 101; downtown Santa Barbara can be accessed via the Garden St. exit, while the beaches can be found off the Cabrillo St. offramp. Traffic patterns here are almost the complete opposite from the famous Los Angeles grid lock as the 101 can come to a grinding halt on Sunday afternoons

Get around

There are numerous methods for getting around once in Santa Barbara. The city limits are cozy enough that simply walking from one destination to another is quite possible, but there is also a healthy public transit system in place here. The Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District (SBMTD) runs buses all over Santa Barbara proper, as well as neighboring Goleta and Montecito. Their website lists all current routes and fares. The SBMTD also runs a special shuttle service between downtown and the waterfront, leaving every fifteen minutes during the day. Along the waterfront, many businesses offer bicycle or inline skate rentals for exploring the beach areas, and "rickshaw" taxis are also a common sight.

Budget and Hertz outlets are present at the airport terminal for easy car rentals, but several other rental agencies are located in Santa Barbara; call around for best rates.

See

For a city the size of Santa Barbara, the number of "must-sees" is quite astonishing.  This is only a partial list:

  • Santa Barbara Mission, 2201 Laguna St. (from downtown State St., turn east onto Mission St. and follow signs pointing toward the Mission,) (805) 682-4149. Self-guided tours available daily from 9am to 5pm. Known as "The Queen of the Missions," Santa Barbara's "Old Mission" is a superb example of California's Franciscan Spanish architecture. The tenth California Mission to be constructed, Mission Santa Barbara today is both a scenic wonder and a fine anthropological study of original native culture in the surrounding area. Well worth a visit, be sure to take note of adjacent pottery kiln and tanning vat ruins. $4 for adults. http://www.sbmission.org/home.html
  • Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, 2559 Puesta Del Sol Road (follow signs from SB Mission). Open 10am to 5pm daily. (805) 682-4711. This large, well-presented natural history museum is - literally - a hidden treasure. Highlights include eleven exhibit halls focusing on regional natural history, and a life-size Blue Whale skeleton. $6 for adults. Admission is free on the last Sunday of every month except September. http://www.sbnature.org/
  • Stearns Wharf, located at the end of State Street along the Waterfront. This picturesque 1872 wharf - the longest deep-water pier between Los Angeles and San Francisco - has tons of history. Badly damaged several times by fire, Stearn's Wharf has been repeatedly rebuilt and restored and today features more than a dozen shops and restaurants, and one of the best views in California from the end of its pier. The Wharf was also once owned by Hollywood legend James Cagney. Free. http://www.stearnswharf.org/
  • Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1130 State Street. Open Tuesday-Sunday 11am to 5pm. (805) 963-4364. A remarkably well-provisioned museum considering the size of the town it resides in, Santa Barbara's main art museum features a strong collection of Roman antiquities, as well as an impressive lineup of classical European and modern art. Frequently rotated exhibitions are among the strongest in California. Adults: $7. Free admission on Sunday. http://www.sbmuseart.org/
  • Santa Barbara Zoo, 500 Ninos Dr. Open 10am to 5pm all year except for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and some private events. (805) 963-5695. Small but well-represented with over 600 animals, the zoo has provided entertainment for all ages since 1963 and is the largest zoo between Los Angeles and San Francisco (unless you count the Monterey Aquarium). Adults 13-59: $9. Children 2-13 and Seniors 60+: $7. Children under 2: Free. http://www.santabarbarazoo.org

Do

Although Santa Barbara is an atypical coastal town, it offers the typical Southern California variety of outdoor activities, from surfing to whale-watching.

  • Beaches, along the Waterfront. Santa Barbara's most popular beach, East Beach, is a pristine stretch of blindingly white sand framed by postcard quality palm trees, surrounding hills and nearby harbor. For less crowded beachcombing, try nearby Leadbetter Beach, or further up the road, isolated Arroyo Burro (known to locals as Hendry's Beach,) where dog lovers bring their pets to frolic in a no-leashes-needed surfside dog park. Hendry's Beach is also home to a nudist beach, where one can often see a frolicing nude man pass by (no kidding I saw that on a field trip from Santa Barbara City College ). Even more isolated is Butterfly Beach, tucked away in a cove beneath the high-toned Biltmore Hotel in Montecito. http://www.totalsantabarbara.com/beach.shtml
  • Golf, Santa Barbara has numerous private and public golf courses located in and around the city. Hidden Oaks, Twin Lakes, and Ocean Meadows are 9 holes courses that provide budget prices for a round of golf. For those wishing to play 18 holes without spending a lot, the Santa Barbara Golf Club located at 3500 McCaw. provides reasonably priced rounds. For those wishing to spend more, Sandpiper Golf Course, located north of Goleta on Hollister, or Rancho San Marcos, located about 15 miles up the 154 provide a world class golf experience.
  • Hiking, from the Mesa to the Santa Ynez Mountains, the unique geography of Santa Barbara provides amazing opportunities to see panoramic views and abundant wildlife. Hiking guides and maps are easily obtained at any local bookstore, well-equipped newstand, or selected stores in tourist-heavy locations such as downtown. Examples include the Douglas Family Preserve, a great off-leash open space that often serves as the backdrop for numerous weddings, and East Camino Cielo Road off of Highway 154, which has several spots one can park and find a little trail to hike on, or even just sit and enjoy the view.

Buy

Santa Barbara is a shopping paradise. State Street alone offers more than a mile stretch of everything from trendy boutiques to popular chain stores like Borders Books and Barnes and Noble. El Paseo (812 State St.,) on downtown State Street, is an upscale mall that bills itself as "California's First Shopping Center," while lushly themed and nearby Paseo Nuevo (651 Paseo Nuevo) offers Nordstrom's, Macy's, and more then 50 specialty shops. Whatever you're looking for, you'll likely find it on State Street. There is plenty of parking downtown with the first 75 minutes free in most lots (except at the beach). A good bet is the parking structure on Ortega. Walking or taking a bus in is also a good bet, but taxis are extremely expensive.

Eat

Latin-themed dishes are, quite logically, the order of the day in Santa Barbara, and the town's Mexican food ranks with any other town in California. The town's elevated cultural status attracts high-powered chefs from all over the world, and the selection and sheer variety of local fare is quite astonishing for a community of 90,000.  Here are just a few of Santa Barbara's culinary choices:

  • La Super Rica Taqueria, 622 N. Milpas St., (805) 963-4940. Once tabbed "Best Mexican Food in the Country" by the New York Times. You won't come here for the atmosphere. There is no sign on the building, and seating is first come-first served, but you'll be happy you stood in the long line forming outside the door once you taste what's served up here. $5-$15.
  • La Salsa Mexican Grill The chain that started the "Fresh-Mex" trend started here in Santa Barbara. Enjoy the amazing fresh salsa bar (one of the few that offers a true habenero salsa), trans and saturated fat free fresh tortilla chips, amazing fajitas and breakfast burritos.
  • Panino, 834 Santa Barbara St., Good variety of sandwiches
  • Café Buenos Aires,1316 State St., Good Argentinian beef; the empanadas are great, the outdoor dining is nice in almost all weathers-it has heaters
  • Arigato Sushi, 1225 State St., Very good sushi.
  • Los Arroyos, 14 W. Figueroa St., off State, 962-5541; 1280 Coast Village Rd., Montecito, popular and very good Mexican food.
  • Lucky's, 1279 Coast Village Rd., Montecito, Steakhouse with some of the best food in town in a prestigious setting.
  • Chuck's of Hawaii, 3888 State St., 113 Harbor Way, 564-1200, A great cut of beef -- try anything with artichokes.
  • El Encanto Hotel,1900 Lasuen Rd. on the Riviera, Great view of the city and the ocean. A romantic getaway restaurant.
  • Super Cuca's Taquería,2030 Cliff Dr., 966-3863; 626 W. Micheltorena St., big burritos.
  • Cold Spring Tavern, 5995 Stagecoach Rd., Stop for lunch on your way out to wine taste -- off the 154. Great location and great food. Fun atmosphere on weekend nights with live music.
  • Rudy's Restaurant, Six in town, one in Paseo Nuevo. Very good tamales, chimichangas and burritos.
  • The Palace Grill,8 E. Cota St., fun Cajun food with great service.
  • Elements, 129 E. Anapamu St., Great view of Courthouse with innovative food.
  • Montecito Café, 1295 Coast Village Rd., Montecito. Try the coconut cake.
  • Chads, 625 Chapala St., American cuisine with very good appetizers. Go for happy hour and stay for dinner.
  • Four Seasons Biltmore Hotel, 1260 Channel Dr., Montecito, when on an expense account, grab brunch here.
  • Pascucci,729 State St., Santa Barbara's best affordable Italian food.
  • Cajun Kitchen, 901 Chapala St., 1924-A De la Vina St. Very popular breakfast and lunch place.
  • Brophy Bros., Breakwater at the Harbor, great seafood, known for clam chowder, the setting cannot be beat.
  • Your Place, 22-A N. Milpas St., Good Thai food.
  • The Habit, 216 S. Milpas St., 962-7472; 628 State St., 892-5400. Stop by for a sidewalk burger.
  • The Natural Café, 508 State St., outdoor, sidewalk dining that is healthy and good. If there is a vegan/vegetarian in the group, they will be happy here.

Drink

In addition to Santa Barbara wine tasting, the region is also full of bars. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your preference), the vast majority of them cater to crowds of students from the nearby university. You won't find many dive bars here, and expect to pay a dollar or two more per drink than you would in your typical San Francisco or LA bar.

  • Rooftop Bar at Hotel Andelucia, Carillo St. and Chapala. Top of Hotel Andelucia. Great sunset bar as you overlook the mountains, the mesa and the harbor. Very nice.
  • The James Joyce, 513 State Street. (805) 962-2688.  Open 10am-2am daily. Yes, it's an Irish pub, or "A Traditional Irish Bar." Free peanuts, a fireplace and dixieland jazz bands on the weekend. Guinness flows freely. http://www.thejamesjoyce.com
  • Dargan's Irish Pub & Rstrnt18 E Ortega St, Sportsbar with Irish music. Good Lambstew.
  • Santa Barbara Brewing Co. 501 State St., Microbrewery, TVs. Decent food.
  • Sharkeez, State Street. This sportsbar has a lot of TVs.Well drinks are usually around $1 on Thursdays.
  • Elsie's, 117 De La Guerra. Neighborhood place, pooltable. Good music, outdoor smoking, no liquour.
  • Wilcat Lounge,15 W Ortega St. Danceclub.
  • Joe's, State Street. Stiffest drinks on State St. Have a couple at the beginning of the night.
  • Roy's Carrillo and State. Good "off State St." bar. Serves great food late at night -- focus on local ingredients. Price fix menu with everything at around $25.
  • Bogart's In La Arcada off Figeroa and State. Serves a good pour of Guinness. Tucked away.
  • SOhO Restaurant and Music Club 1221 State St., jazz/live music club above Victoria Court.

Thursday nights are the official college night of downtown bars. The drinks are cheap, and UCSB is home to some the most attractive people in California (or the country, for that matter). Really any bar on lower State Street is Fun on Thursday nights to relive those college days.

Santa Barbara Wineries:

  • Andrew Murray Vineyards - 805-686-9604, 2901 Grand Ave, downtown Los Olivos. In terms of Santa Barbara wine tasting, Andrew Murray is recognized as one of the better wineries in Santa Ynex for Syrah and other Rhone style wines. Although Andrew Murray recently sold his vineyards, a five-year leasing agreement assures ongoing quality product.
  • Beckmen Vineyards – 805-688-8664, 2670 Ontiveros Road, Los Olivos. They're open 11-5, and generally pour good wines. Beckmen is among the smaller Santa Barbara wineries. Their setting is pleasant, though they don't offer much view compared with other Santa Barbara wine tasting options.
  • Brander Vineyard – 805-688-2455, Highway 154 at Roblar, Los Olivos. One of the smaller Santa Barbara wine tasting rooms, among Santa Barbara wineries this is worth a stop if you're in Los Olivos.
  • Bridlewood Winery – 800-467-4100, 3555 Roblar Avenue, Santa Ynez. They're open 10-5 daily, and serve very good wine. They have an excellent view and a large lawn...among the best stops while visiting Santa Barbara wineries. Among their best wines is their Syrah, which has earned a 89 from Wine Enthusiast and a 90 from Wine Spectator. They sell cheeses, meats, crackers, etc., which is handy for a picnic.
  • Buttonwood Farm Winery & Vineyard - 805-688-3032, 1500 Alamo Pintado Road, Solvang. Perhaps best known among Santa Barbara wineries for their excellent dessert wines. They have a picnic area for your Santa Barbara wine tasting experience, and are open 11-5 daily.
  • Curtis Winery – 805-686-8999, 5249 Foxen Canyon Road, Los Olivos. The main tasting room and small lawn are very pretty, and the wine is good. They are open 10-5 daily, and one tasting fee covers both Curtis and another of the Santa Barbara wineries, Firestone.
  • Daniel Gehrs Wines – 805-693-9686, 2939 Grand Avenue, Los Olivos. One of the numerous tasting rooms along the main street in Los Olivos...a different kind of tasting experience than other Santa Barbara wineries, in that you can walk from one to the next. They've open later than most...11-6 daily. They have a nice mix of wines.
  • Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard – 800-841-1104, 6200 Foxen Canyon Road, Los Olivos. Some of the best wine among Santa Barbara wineries. They have a very large lawn which is well-suited for a picnic. They welcome groups and have a separate tasting counter for private events. They're open 10-5 daily. They pour more whites than red, which may disappoint some.
  • Firestone Vineyard - 805-688-3940, 5000 Zaca Station Rd., Los Olivos. Perhaps the most common stop in a day of Santa Barbara wine tasting. They are open 10-5 daily, and serve consistently good wines. Firestone opened in 1972 and has become one of the leading Santa Barbara wineries. Their tour is perhaps the best in the region. Firestone is set on a hill with great views, making it a perfect picnic spot. Firestone has three distinct picnic grounds. The one on the east side of the parking lot and slightly downhill has the best view.
  • Foley Estates Vineyard & Winery - 805-688-8554, moving west of Hwy. 101 but currently at 1711 Alamo Pintado Rd., Solvang. This winery offers modestly priced wines that are often bargains among Santa Barbara wineries. They're open 10-5 daily.
  • Gainey Vineyard – 805-688-0558, 3950 E. Hwy 246, Santa Ynez. One of the premier tasting experiences among Santa Barbara wineries. They attract a large crowd, but it's worth dealing with both for their wine and delightful grounds that are a perfect place to end a day of Santa Barbara wine tasting. They also have a nice tasting room reserved for wine club members. They're open 10-5 daily.
  • Koehler Winery – 805-686-8484, 5360 Foxen Cyn Rd, Los Olivos. They're open 10-4 daily and have a nice picnic area. They are located on a small hill with decent view. They are among the least crowded Santa Barbara wineries.
  • Lafond Winery & Vineyards – 805-688-7921, 6855 Santa Rosa Road, Buellton. This is the high-end sister winery to Santa Barbara Winery. They're open 10-5 daily. Lafond has among the prettier views among Santa Barbara wineries. They are on the west side of the valley, which is significantly cooler than the east side, and thus maybe not a good first stop on a cool day.
  • LinCourt Vineyards – 805-688-8381, 343 N Refugio Road, Santa Ynez. This is low-priced sister winery to Foley, but unfortunately not particularly good among Santa Barbara wineries. They're open 10-5 daily, and they do offer a pleasant picnic area.
  • Los Olivos Vintners – 805-688-9665, 2923 Grand Avenue, Los Olivos. Another of the tasting rooms in Los Olivos, as an alternative to the Santa Barbara wineries to which you have to drive. They're open 11-6 daily, and also have a small picnic area.
  • Mosby Winery – 805-688-2415, 9496 Santa Rosa Road, Buellton. Perhaps not among the best of the Santa Barbara wineries.
  • Qupe – 805-937-9801, 2531 Grand Avenue, Los Olivos. Qupe is based at the Bien Nacido Vineyard in Santa Maria, but like many Santa Barbara wineries, it has its tasting room in Los Olivos. Open 11-6 daily.
  • Sanford Winery & Vineyards - 805-688-3300, 7250 Santa Rosa Road, Buellton. One of the Santa Barbara wineries featured in Sideways. They have a small but delightful tasting room, and excellent wines. They're open 11-4 daily.
  • Sunstone Vineyards & Winery – 800-313-9463, 125 Refugio Road, Santa Ynez. Open 10-4 daily, Sunstone has a nice patio area with a fairly good view. Sunstone Winery overlooks the Santa Ynez River, and has one of the more pleasant settings among Santa Barbara wineries. They have good wine include Viognier, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and others. Their reserve tasting costs a few dollars more, but is worth it.
  • Zaca Mesa Winery – 800-350-7972, 6905 Foxen Canyon Road, Los Olivos. Zaca Mesa is one of the northern-most Santa Barbara wineries. They have rather pretty grounds, though only a limited view. They’re open 10-4 and tastings are free for groups under 10. Zaca Mesa's grapes are grown on the winery property in Foxen Canyon.

Sleep

Santa Barbara has a huge number of hotels and motels, ranging from Motel 6 to Fess Parker's astonishing Doubletree Resort. One thing you won't find here are dive hotels; you have to go to Goleta for that.

  • Hotel Santa Barbara, 533 State Street, (800) 549-9869, Hotel Santa Barbara. European-style hotel smack in the middle of Santa Barbara's busy downtown shopping area. $129-$219, ask about midweek specials.
  • Holiday Inn Santa Barbara Goleta Hotel, 5650 Calle Real, (805) 964-6241.
  • The Eagle Inn, 232 Natoma Avenue, (805) 965-3586, Fax: (805) 966-1218, The Eagle Inn. The Eagle Inn provides very comfortable lodging near West Beach, Stearns Wharf Pier and Marina, and the main shopping street. In-room double size Sanijet whirlpool tubs, fireplaces, and scenic balconies.

Get out

Although Santa Barbara is somewhat geographically isolated, with only one major route in or out of the city, the surrounding area is rife with fascinating side-trips.

  • Solvang. Located approximately 40 miles north of Santa Barbara in the Santa Ynez Valley, Solvang is a gingerbread town. What must have started several decade back as a small "Little Denmark" tourist trap has grown into an entire town and surrounding community obsessed with its own overwhelming Danishness. Every sign, roof, light post and pothole is Danish-themed here, and reports of wandering bands of drunken men in plastic Viking helmets are firmly founded in reality. Take Highway 101 north/west to Buellton (the home of the original Pea Soup Anderson's), exit at the Highway 246 offramp and follow the destination signs to Solvang. If you're up for a twisty drive, take Highway 154 (also known as the San Marcos Pass) back to Santa Barbara at sunset and enjoy an unforgettable view.
  • Lake Cachuma. Lake Cachuma Recreation Facility is located approximately 20 miles north of Santa Barbara and offers RV hookups, tent camping, and yurt camping. The Lake also provides fishing, boating, sailing, and lake cruising. No swimming and/or body contact with the water is allowed because the lake is used as a reservoir by the city of Santa Barbara. The Lake's location along highway 154 (the San Marcos Pass) makes it an excellent rest stop on the way up to Solvang from Santa Barbara.
  • UCSB. The University of California at Santa Barbara is located in the village of Isla Vista (near Goleta), roughly 10 miles north of Santa Barbara. Surrounded on 3 sides by ocean, the campus is the site of what was once a military base used during World War II. Much of the campus, especially the areas near the beach, is undeveloped open space, and includes a man-made lagoon. Head to the UCen or the nearby college town of Isla Vista for food. From downtown, take Highway 101 north to Highway 217, and go past the airport exit.



This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!


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