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
1 Pack a picnic and walk through the Douglas Family Preserve on a bluff over the ocean or take one of many hiking trails in the Santa Ynez Mountains, like the Hot Springs Trail (you can get hiking information from the Visitors Bureau).
2 This is your last day, so spend the afternoon taking in State Street’s shops.