Aug 25

Santa Barbara Day Trip

By Andrea Lloyd

Santa Barbara Day Trip

Santa Barbara Marina

Coasting along the PCH has to be one of the most peaceful feelings in the world. Never mind the kids screaming and yelling in the back or the two dogs stuffed in their Aunts lap or even a Camry full to capacity with no space for even feet. Someone could be driving in a limousine for all that matters; the nature that passes by at sixty five mph north can make even the craziest of rides seem placid.

Destination downtown Santa Barbara, mission accomplished and then some. Parking is a pain, most would say, but not if they know where to go. There is a large parking lot just north of the pier and the toll for the day is beyond reasonable for the convenience. It’s just a short walk along the boardwalk, past all the docks and you are at the beach. This beach is the perfect spot for the children, no giant waves pounding and no wildlife causing nuisance, just calm waters. Sit and relax in the sand, pull out your favorite read and enjoy the scenery.

Santa Barbara Dog-Friendly Beaches

Santa Barbara Dog Friendly Beaches

Stearns Wharf is a short walk from the beach, with several restaurants and boutiques. Meet and touch the marine life of Southern California at the Ty Warner Sea Center. Finish your visit with a delicious ice cream and get ready for more fun.

Rent a two or four seat surrey at Fun Rentals on Cabrillo Boulevard. Amazingly, all the humans, animals and bags that stuffed the Camry also fit into the surrey (more appropriately stuffed the surrey). There is a basket in the front for normal humans to put their bags, but if you had to drag along two lazy dogs, then they fit just as well. I will say it is harder than it looks and a few rest stops maybe necessary if not everyone pedals their fair share. This is definitely an experience that should not be passed up though. Santa Barbara’s boardwalk and Wharf can entertain for hours.

There is much more to the city than just its wonderful beach though. The Santa Barbara Zoo is a cozy and quaint little zoo, often rated the best small zoos in the nation and does not draw the crowds like the L.A. Zoo. A first-class view of the various creatures that call this little park home is almost guaranteed.

Go up State Street for a shopping experience like no other in Southern California. There are endless boutiques and retail stores to choose from, a movie theatre, Performing Arts theatre and a nightlife that is the envy of even L.A. State is lined with old-growth trees that provide escape from the heat, if there is any. The ambiance is incredible.

Day Trippin’ in Santa Barbara should be a priority for all Southern California residents.


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