Three Things Not To Miss in Santa Barbara

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With a dramatic setting on the Pacific coast, nestled between mountains and ocean, Santa Barbara, California routinely delights architecture enthusiasts, culture vultures, wine aficionados and beach bums alike. Close enough to Los Angeles for a day trip, yet far enough to retain a distinct identity, Santa Barbara's residents know just how lucky they are, and are happy to welcome visitors.

Joining us today is our local Santa Barbara guide, Meredith, with some tips on how to spend your time visiting her lovely coastal city.

Tell us a bit about yourself! My name is Meredith and I am from Santa Barbara, California. Not only does the city have an interesting history, many of the buildings and vistas should not be overlooked by tourists. I became a guide to ensure that should a traveler contact me, they would become extremely familiar with all that Santa Barbara is and how it became that way.

What do you love about where you live? There are two main reasons I love Santa Barbara; the location and the buildings. Santa Barbara has beautiful mountains with many different hiking trails that give travelers amazing views of the Pacific Ocean, Channel Islands, and the many beaches. Most of the buildings were built in the Spanish Colonial Revival Architectural style after the 1925 earthquake, and in these buildings lie more treasures to be visited such as museums, shopping malls, and theatres.

What 3 things do you tell travellers not to miss when they visit Santa Barbara? The three things not to miss when travelling to Santa Barbara would be the Harbor, the Courthouse, and the Mission. Besides the hundreds of boats in the harbor there is the stunning Maritime Museum and a variety of restaurants to choose from. There is also a walkway that will take you to the boat entrance from which you can feast your eyes on a view of the city from 200 yards offshore. The courthouse was built to look like a Spanish Moorish Castle. Visitors can climb or take an elevator to the top of its tower and enjoy a 360 degree view of the city. The Mission is the "Queen" of the 21 California Missions and offers a splendid tour inside its walls.

Do you have a favourite restaurant to recommend? Many countries are represented in Santa Barbara at various restaurants, but travelers won't want to miss the Mexican food at Playa Azul, one of the local favorites. It's on Santa Barbara Street, two blocks away from the main road, State Street. The margaritas are the best in town as well.

Any tips for celebrating a special occasion in Santa Barbara? If one is in Santa Barbara between April and October, it would be a great idea to attend an outdoor concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl. Tucked into a corner of the Riviera, it provides the most majestic outdoor venue in California - a great place for a special date night.
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