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Santa Barbara Travel Guide

Inside Scoop From Santa Barbara Locals

Santa Barbara with Tweens: A Perfect Family Day

Getty Images A perfect family vacation in Santa Barbara with tweens is as...Read More

Adventures in Santa Barbara -- If You Dare

With the Sierra Madre Mountains on one side and the crashing Pacific Ocean on the...Read More
Santa Barbara OVERVIEW
In 1925 an earthquake devastated Santa Barbara and destroyed much of the city's eclectic architecture which, ultimately, turned out to be a blessing. A far-sighted city government, perhaps anticipating that Santa Barbara travel would one day be all the rage, focused on replacing the damaged structures with Spanish-Moorish style buildings. Thanks to that foresight, the city is now characterized by white adobe structures, red tile roofs, hand-painted tiles, cupolas and towers and the result is breathtaking. Santa Barbara calls itself the American Riviera (and they’re not kidding—it’s trademarked), which is entirely reasonable and explains why a Santa Barbara vacation is attractive to so many travelers. The mild Mediterranean-type weather, palms, cerise bougainvillea and hillside houses with the ocean stretching out below, all echo the French and Italian rivieras. Santa Barbara is a place where visitors can attend the symphony, take in one of the country’s best small art museums, or catch ...See More the latest, most daring in theater or pop music. Local chefs draw their inspiration from what’s available at the Farmers Market, and put careful consideration into wines to pair with their dishes. There are public beaches a short walk from the center of town, and miles of hiking trails in the mountains. It’s a quick drive to the many wonderful wineries of the Santa Ynez Valley. Santa Barbara is known for its emphasis on green technology. It’s no wonder people find the residents friendly, but a bit smug. They’ve kind of got it all.See Less
BEST IN Santa Barbara TRAVEL
from our Editors
  • Four Seasons Resort, The Biltmore
  • Four Seasons Resort, The BiltmoreThe Biltmore first threw its doors open in 1927, and it remains the top Santa Barbara hotel and the locals' landmark...
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  • Santa Barbara Botanic GardenOn days when there’s not too much marine layer, it’s possible to see the Channel Islands from spots in this 65-acre...
  • AOL Travel Editors test hundreds of travel experiences at all price points. See their recommendations and make the most of your trip...
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