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Filed under: Activities & Attractions, Historic Places & Landmarks, Nature & Wildlife, Outdoor Recreation & Hiking, State & National Parks, Uncategorized

Two Hours in Santa Barbara, California!

November 6, 2011 by · 3 Comments 


Old Mission Santa Barbara

Last week when I was in Santa Barbara for the Alaska Media Road Show, I had about two hours to myself before my departure back to Seattle.  Early that morning,  I decided to call the concierge and arrange for a quick tour of this seaside town.

I wanted to get a feel for Santa Barbara and needed to do it quickly. Within minutes, the concierge had arranged for Dee Tours to come pick me up and show me around. I often take the guided tours whenever I am in a new city. I’ve done this with my children in London and Washington, DC and have found it to be a very effective way to get grounded quickly. This tour in Santa Barbara was equally effective.

I was picked up at the hotel and my guide immediately started giving me the inside scoop of this town, which is known as the American Riviera. The weather wasn’t particularly clear and beautiful so I didn’t get great photos, but I did get a good understanding of the town’s history and it’s current trends. We stopped by the El Presidio de Santa Barbara and the Old Mission Santa Barbara. I was so very short on time that I couldn’t take a tour, but I did snap some photos of the beautiful historic mission.

I also stopped at the Visitor Center where I was hooked up with information on many of the sites and scenic tours in the area.  Here’s a quick list of links to help you if you want to plan a quick day trip to Santa Barbara this winter. When I specifically asked about campgrounds in the area, they told me that camping wasn’t allowed in Santa Barbara but they suggested Carpinteria State Beach. They also handed me a typed list entitled, “Camping in Santa Barbara.” Other options listed there include, Refugio State Beach  (23 miles north) and El Capitan State Beach (20 miles north.)

Santa Barbara Downtown

Old Mission Santa Barbara

El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park

Visit Santa Barbara

Photo by Melissa A. Trainer

–Melissa A. Trainer


3 Responses to “Two Hours in Santa Barbara, California!”
  1. Sage says:

    Too bad you only had two hours to really get to know Santa Barbara. It is a city that demands a few days because there is just so much to do and see. I recommend taking a hike or go lounge on the many beaches. Watch a show if you can or go to a restaurant with a type of food that is new to you. These are all ways to for sure get a feel for what that city is made for. Besides it being so beautiful, Santa Barbara has so much history, it is fascinating to learn about. I learned a lot on my last trip in town, about the mission, Spanish settlers and the big earth quake of the 1920s. I stayed at the South Coast Inn ( Loved it!

  2. Corie says:

    Two hours is so not enough time to spend in Santa Barbara. There is just way too much to do, you need at least a couple days! Sage got it right, hiking and beaches are an afternoon in itself! I can spend a good week in Santa Barbara and feel like not leaving after it! The food is out of this world good and so is the wine tasting and shopping (favorite!) I cannot wait to go back, it should be a good time. Planning on staying at the Sandman Inn ( I love how budget friendly and the great location.

  3. Stan says:

    Corie has the right idea! Two hours is far from enough! I hope between now and then you were able to come back and dedicate at least a few days to checking out Santa Barbara! All the shopping, restaurants and beaches to explore, you need at least a week and I am bound to bet you will love every minute of it. The food will have you coming back all the time and the views will stay with you for a lifetime, this is at least what keeps me close by! The South Coast Inn ( is my hotel of choice. Nice and close to UCSB!

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