Ahhh……Santa Barbara…this popular tourist destination has been one of our favorites for many years located on the Pacific Ocean with the Santa Ynez Mountains as a backdrop. Beyond the Santa Ynez Mountains is the Los Padres National Forest and Channel Islands National Park is located 20 miles offshore. “Santa Barbara” was named by Sebastian Vizcaino when he sailed over the channel waters in 1602.
Located 4 hours north of San Diego, 4 hours south of Carmel, Santa Barbara has often been called the “American Rivera” due to its Mediterranean climate. The population is around 88,000 people with education, technology, health care, finance, agriculture, manufacturing, and service sectors. With a small airport and the Amtrak located right in town, visitors can drive, fly or take the train.
Santa Barbara Style: For centuries this temperate, inviting locale has glowed with subtle but unmistakable light– a beacon of warmth beside the profound blue of the Pacific. From the Chumash, whose predecessors can be traced to 11,000 b.c.e., to the present-day resident, vacationer, and tourist, diverse and countless peoples have been enchanted and enraptured by Santa Barbara’s spell. Click here for more info.
The Mission in Santa Barbara was established Dec 4, 1786 by Father Lasuen (Padre Juperio Sera had died 2 years prior). Known as “The Queen of the Missions, it was the tenth of the California missions to be founded by the Spanish Franciscans. The Mission was established to make contact with the California native indians, the Chumash, who lived along the coast from Malibu to San Luis Obispo. In 1812, an earthquake almost completely destroyed the Mission and it was rebuilt in 1820.
The California Missions: Discover the fascinating history of California’s missions. From 1769 to 1823 Spain established twenty-one missions in Alta (or upper) California. These twenty-one missions were charged with converting the natives to Christianity, and provided an important strong-hold for Spain in Alta California. Click here for more info.
One of the best places to visit 35 miles north is Santa Barbara Blueberries at Restoration Oaks Ranch is a
Hiking & Backpacking in Santa Barbara & Ventura: Hiking and Backpacking Santa Barbara and Ventura fills a huge gap in coverage of this great hiking and backpacking destination, leading the reader through the varied terrain of the forest’s southern districts, from the fern-clad grottoes of the Santa Barbara frontcountry to the sweeping vistas and granite-clad ridges of the Chumash Wilderness. Click here for more info.
For years, my husband had wanted to golf Rancho Santa Marcos in the hills of Santa Barbara, so it was the first golf course on our destination list. After arriving, we discovered how bad the drought was affecting central California as the course was completely brown with the exception of a few greens. Thru the valley, large oak trees that had been there for generations were all dying from lack of water. One of the largest campgrounds and the source for 200,000 people on the southern coast of Santa Barbara county, Cachuma Lake, was disappearing.