10 Things That Make Me Happy About Santa Barbara

July 23, 2009

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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.


  1. 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]
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. 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!
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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!  :)

  • Stella
    June 12, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    I could make a list of 100 things that I love about Santa Barbara but these 10 pretty much hit the nail on the head. My favorite on your list is the Gauchos. I am also a proud graduate of UCSB- how I miss the glory days! If only I could go back and relive it all, not living in IV but everything else! State Street was so much fun on Thursday nights on College Night. Old Town Tavern on Wednesdays! The beaches, the surf, the food, the people, it all made for a great experience.

  • Loreal
    February 7, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    I’ve been meaning to make a blog about my travel and Santa Barbara would for sure be on that list! So many fun things to do there I can barely even remember them all. Which is just another reminder to get out there and love my college town proudly! Gauchos for life! Love staying at the South Coast Inn whenever I’m there. Beautiful lay out and so close to Campus.

  • Nikki C.
    January 7, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Cute blog girl! I’ve been meaning to make a blog about my travels around the country but especially about the cool cities I got to visit in California. Santa Barbara being one of them, it was the cutest city ever! So much life and culture, I cannot wait to visit again one day with friends. When I was there I discovered so many nicks and crannies of the city. Glad I went on bike tours around the city! I also stayed at the Sandman Inn. Cute and affordable! Poolside was the place to be for my time spent there.

  • Lona
    November 11, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Santa Barbara is one of the best cities to travel to if you are seeking much needed peace and quiet. I go there all the time to escape the madness of LA and just soak in the beauty that surrounds this city.

  • Adele
    September 21, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    I love Santa Barbara! Such a great city to visit and enjoy. I was just there actually and the weather was superb and so was shopping downtown! I always try to escape the city and visit SB! I stayed at the South Coast Inn. So elegant and the perfect place to escape all of the city noise!

  • Cathy
    July 10, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    OMG I love Palazzio! Their portions are so big and everything is amazing. And Danielle, I stayed at The Sandman Inn last year when I came back to visit some friends and lovvveeed it! Great hotel and a great price too.

  • Danielle Levett
    May 22, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    I’m a recent graduate of UCSB and I miss Santa Barbara/ Isla Vista so much. Such a great place to attend school and just live for a few years. You totally named a few of my favorite places in SB. Shopping on State Street, The Mission, etc. I also loved hiking and long car rides in the back hills of Montectio and Sumemrland. Now whenever I visit I come and stay at the Sandman Inn ( A great hotel at a good price (hello budget friendly!). I recommend it to anyone who is looking to come visit this great town and looking to cut a few corners when it comes to costs.

  • Tabitha
    August 25, 2009 at 9:54 am

    Found this through a search on 20SB for Santa Barbara and I can vouch for almost all of those great points! I’ve only lived here for about a year, but I absolutely love it — and Palazzio is DEFINITELY the greatest Italian restaurant in the States, hands down.

  • Ben Burleson
    July 24, 2009 at 9:55 am

    I shouldn’t admit this, but it can get down near freezing for a day or two in the winter! Usually it stays above 32, but I’d be surprised if there isn’t at least one night a year below 40.

  • Susan
    July 24, 2009 at 4:44 am

    Great post! I spent a long weekend in Santa Barbara, it was amazing.