Santa Barbara is only a one hour drive away from Van Nuys CA– close enough to visit for a day, yet far enough to feel like a true vacation. Santa Barbara has plenty to do for the whole family. From shopping to whale watching to visitng any number of galleries, Santa Barbara has something to offer all ages and interests. Here are some of the highlights:
Santa Barbara Maritime Museum
On the waterfront at the harbor. The mission of the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum is to preserve and celebrate coastal California’s maritime heritage and present it to the public in an interesting and exciting way. 113 Harbor Way (805) 962-8404 www.SBMM.org.
Whale and Dolphin Watching
Available until November. Several companies offer the chance to see these magnificent mammels off the coast of Santa Barbara.
For those who love to shop, State Street is a must. The immaculately maintained heart of Santa Barbara offers high quality retailers, unique boutiques and gift shops, as well as a large selection of restaurants. We can recommed Left at Albuquerque for excellent Mexican food, friendly service and a lively atmosphere. 700 State Street.
Arlington West (Sundays Only)
This sombre tribute to the 3000 plus fallen troops of the Iraq War overlooks Santa Barbara Harbor. Every Sunday since November 2003, dedicated volunteers set up crosses on the beach, each baring the name of a soldier lost in the war. As the size of Aarlington West continually increases we are reminded of the human cost of war.
Santa Barbara Mission
Be sure to stop by the Mission. It is easy to find, just drive up Mission Street until you see the beautiful church and active monastary. The gift shop has in depth information on all of California’s historic missions, so take the opportunity to learn about California’s history in this genuinely historic environment. There is something to learn and admire whether your interest is in religion, history or architecture, and the Mission is a diverting introduction to California history for children.
How to Get There
Go North on the 101 until you get to Santa Barbara. Or take the train! For Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner timetables visit www.amtrak.com