RM and I are flying to Santa Barbara after Christmas for a week in sunny California for the second time this year. Our time in Yosemite in October completed an item from our bucket list. We lived in the City of Angels from 1984-1986 and experienced a lot of what the wide array of options California offers but we never spent time in the many beach communities north of the city. Why Santa Barbara? Well, it is called The American Riviera and it is Santa B.
The town itself has less than 100,000 residents with moderate year-round Mediterranean climate of 60-80 degrees. There are over 25 beaches that stretch 100 miles with scenic shoreline. We will be following the Urban Wine Trail with the city’s 36 wine tasting rooms accessible in the walkable downtown. There is also the Santa Barbara Taco Trail welcoming us into a foodie’s haven. We will nosh on tacos at Julia Child’s favorite Taco Stand called La Super Rica Taqueria. Cash only.
We are staying at a modest and affordable Marina Beach Motel only 37 steps from the beach. Many options were too pricey for us frugal travelers. The motel offers a free continental breakfast and our room has a kitchenette as well. We will rent a car so we can drive up Pacific Coast Highway, visit the quaint town of Los Olivos, and check out the Santa Ynez Wine Country. I hope the motel is clean and well-maintained as advertised.
There is evidently a lot to do in Santa Barbara near our hotel. There is Stern’s Wharf and historic downtown including State Street. The locals are proud of their McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream. Wondering if it contends with our local favorite, Melt? It has certainly been around a while — since 1949. I will let you know.
As RM and I do on nearly every trip, we find a great coffee shop, an interesting bookstore, and simple moments to cherish. Walking a warm beach sounds divine. For New Year’s Eve, we dine at The Lark in the Funk Zone which is billed to be a “vibrant arts district and home to local surf shops, galleries and the popular Urban Wine Trail.” The restaurant is a favorite of local food critics and offers a shared dining experience which we are unsure of the meaning. I hope we don’t end up doing the dishes.
C2 and her fiance (did I mention we are planning a wedding for June?) will join us for many of the days from the frigid upper midwest so we can share our love of the California sunshine with them too.
So, like, I am sure we will have a dope time, like totally epic. Getting my California talk down now.
Happy Holiday traveling to you and yours whether traveling locally, in the states, or abroad.