This is a guest post by A Oh Dub from Wheels in the Sky. We’re swapping guest posts via Twenty-Something Bloggers. So without further ado, here are 10 reasons to love Santa Barbara, California.
- The Santa Barbara Mission: As a kid in California, you learn about missions in fourth grade, and SB’s is known as the Queen of the Missions because it’s so darn pretty. They hold mass there regularly and you can also tour the grounds for a bit of a price. Or you can be like my friend and me, and sneak in the exit pretending you’re looking for your mom! [nggallery id=3]
- The Hills: No, not the MTV version, but the mountainous hills that back Santa Barbara. They’re absolutely exquisite all year long — and full of awesome hikes if you’re the outdoorsy type.
- State Street: State Street has something to offer every traveler. It’s a shopper’s dream, a foodie’s desire, and can fuel people watching for hours. With stores lining State Street for miles — as well as a plethora of bars and restaurants — you might not be able to tackle it all in one day.
- The Gauchos: As a proud graduate of the University of California – Santa Barbara, I am a loyal supporter of UCSB athletics. The Gauchos (which is an Argentinean cowboy) offer 20 different sports to suit anyone’s fancy. The women’s basketball and men’s soccer programs are always good [and fun to watch]. When the soccer team won the national championship in 2006, the students in nearby Isla Vista (where everyone who attends UCSB lives), put the goal post in the ocean!
- Beach Cruisers & Bike Paths: All the students at UCSB, as well as a lot of the community, use their bikes as transportation and recreation. The bike du jour is a beach cruiser! Hop on one for a ride on the well-maintained bike paths that go all over SB. Can’t beat it.
- The Beach: Gorgeous beaches are all over Santa Barbara. The waves aren’t anything to brag about, because of where SB is geographically located, but it’s still great!
- Palazzio: This is my go-to restaurant that I always have to hit up when I’m in town. With family-style portions and a vast menu, it will be hard to choose just one thing to eat! My favorite is rotini with a Gorgonzola cream sauce. They also usually do a cheaper lunch version with individual sized entrees.
- Flip Flops: Thongs of any variety are the suggested footwear for the entire year. It’s taken me a long time to start wearing real shoes again after spending four great years in SB.
- Wine! Santa Barbara and the neighboring Santa Ynez Valley (about 30 minutes up the road) are home to some of the finest wineries in the world. The movie Sideways was filmed in nearby Solvang (a pleasant daytrip in itself) and lots of wineries offer free or low-cost tastings.
- The Weather: Santa Barbara runs a solid 75-85 degrees on a regular basis. Sure, they’ve got some morning fog and it can get cold (never below 50), but who doesn’t want to wear shorts and flip flops all year long?
Great, now I need to add Santa Barbara to my travel list! :)