Nicknamed Riviera of America, Santa Barbara is a natural playground for the outdoor enthusiast
Characterised by beautiful beaches, majestic mountains, Spanish architecture and Mediterranean climate, Santa Barbara, nicknamed Riviera of America is the prettiest town in California. With a blue-sky all through the year, this natural playground for the outdoor enthusiast is just two hours from Los Angeles and is bisected by US Route 101 linking the city to San Francisco and Los Angeles. The beautiful adobe houses give Santa Barbara a Spanish character, but that is not the only reason why visitors find this place attractive.
Santa Barbara, you say?
The majestic Santa Ynez Mountain hugs this city that sits on a piece of California that juts into the ocean and beyond its shoreline, the adobe houses with their red-tiled roofs cheerfully climb up the mountain. If you are looking for a secret hiking trail or a garden, this is the place you must head to. Besides this, it is the place for movie hunters to go on the film-trail for Santa Barbara has famously provided the setting for some renowned films such as Sideways (2004), No Strings Attached (2011), It’s Complicated (2009) etc.
A stroll down Stearns Warf, a hike in the mountains or a dip in the forest pool yields much satisfaction, but the beach is where true love and satisfaction can be found and is the city’s chief attraction.
This American Riviera brings in visitors from all over the world for sea and great seafood. In addition to the city’s cultural assets, several iconic destinations lie within easy distance, like Mission Santa Barbara, a Spanish mission founded in 1786 and today maintained as an active place of worship, sightseeing stop and national historic landmark. Unusual as it may seem, a visit to the Santa Barbara County Courthouse is definitely a thing to do. Built in 1920, it is the grandest building in town and is actually a working courthouse with frescos, murals and Tunisian tilework while the views from the El Mirador Bell Tower are stunning.
A visit to this city can be undertaken as a day trip from Los Angeles and enjoy the best of cultural and social amenities of a bigger city. The approximately 90,000 local residents are extremely proud of their city’s roots and traditions. A surprisingly large number of festivals are also celebrated throughout the year.
By: Anjaly Thomas