Baby Boomers’ Top 10 List for Things to Do in Santa Barbara, California
Santa Barbara is located 92 miles north of Los Angeles and 332 miles south of San Francisco. It is considered the northernmost part of Southern California and the southernmost part of Northern California.
It is also known as “The American Riviera” because of its dramatic mountains, sparkling seas, lush gardens, white-washed buildings, red tile roofs and abundant sunshine found in the Mediterranean Rivieras.
Furthermore, if you are planning a south to north drive of the world-famous central California coastline, then Santa Barbara is a great place to begin your journey.
We were recently in Santa Barbara, as it was the first stop of our 10-Day California Central Coast Road Trip, and thought you might benefit from a “Top 10” list of things to do from a baby boomer’s perspective.
Baby Boomers’ Top 10 List of Things to Do in Santa Barbara
Here they are in no particular order:
State Street is considered to be the heart of downtown Santa Barbara. It is lined with shops, cafés, museums, galleries, day spas and theaters. We spent a whole afternoon strolling these quaint shops.
If you find that you don’t have time to get out into the Santa Barbara Wine Country, then the Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail will be the perfect opportunity to sample the local wines.
The immensely popular movie “Sideways” put the Santa Barbara wine region on the map, and in particular the Pinot Noir varietal. This is a blasts and a “must do” in our opinion. Here’s a map.
This is a great way to view 22 architectural and historic landmarks within Santa Barbara. Within its 12 block radius, it includes the stunning County Courthouse, El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park and much more. Here’s a map.
The locals call it Hendry’s Beach -a place to meet for breakfast or a cocktail at sunset, stroll or jog the sandy shore, watch for whales, surf fish, or ride the wild surf.
Built in 1872, Stearns Warf is Santa Barbara’s most visited landmark. It is replete with shops, restaurants, and the area is a great place for people watching.
Montecito is the stomping grounds of Hollywood’s A-list. Driving along Park Lane and Bella Vista Drive will produce jaw-dropping views of palatial mansions with ocean views from mountain heights.
Santa Barbara is famous for its fresh as possible and local as possible cuisine. Here is the “sip & savor” on-line Santa Barbara restaurant guide, and here is our personal review from visiting restaurant Bouchon Santa Barbara.
Getting out to explore nearby cities is another must if you have time. We highly recommend Solvang (pictured left). This Danish village is packed with quaint shops and on Wednesdays has a farmer’s market to die for.
There are a great many art and historical spots to explore in Santa Barbara. This 116-page on-line Santa Barbara Visitor’s Guide will help you choose which are most appealing to you.
Now, in the unlikely event I haven’t covered something that wets your whistle, here is 101 Free Things to Do on the American Riviera (Santa Barbara).
I hope you enjoy Santa Barbara as much as we did. When you visit, please come back and share your experiences with us.