"SANTA BARBARA" Top 5 Page for this destination Santa Barbara by travelgourmet

Santa Barbara Travel Guide: 664 reviews and 1,247 photos


Driving into Santa Barbara from Los Angeles, today, you see the Pacific Ocean with the Channel Islands on the left and the green hills of the Santa Ynez Mountains of the Los Padres National Forest on the right, as you navigate the two lane highway past the jewel of the area, Montecito, an enclave of multi-million dollar estates.

It is like a pacific paradise to see the tall palms and the sand beach fronting the ocean as you drive into Santa Barbara on Cabrillo Blvd. Resort hotels opposite the ocean, let you know that this is a special place filled with day and nighttime activities, shopping galore, gourmet restaurants, funky bars and nightspots down State Street, the main drag of Santa Barbara.

Above it all, sits the serene Mission named for Santa Barbara, and yes, the area was quite different when discovered and then first settled by the Canolinos who spoke Chumash, because this city has a long and colorful history. After the Canolinos, came the Spanish. The naming of Santa Barbara took place in 1602 by a Friar on board a vessel sailed by the Spanish explorer Vizcaino, whom upon reaching shore after stormy seas, gave blessings and named the area after Saint Barbara, whose feast date it was , Dec. 4,1602. It would be 180 years later, on April 21, 1782, the official date given of the city's establishment, as the Spanish Governor Felipe de Neva and Father Junipero Serra , a Franciscan friar, would enter the area and supervise the building of the Royal Presidio (Spanish fortress) and start building the mission. The " Queen of the Missions" was completed in 1786 by Father Fermin Lasuen, also a Franciscan friar who took over after Father Serra's death.

All this was witnessed by the native Canalino Tribe, mostly as the builders of the mission. Today, the Chumash decendents are mainly located in the Santa Ynez Valley, and decendents from everywhere else in the world make the Santa Barbara coast, home or a great holiday get-a-way.

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Reviews (25)

Comments (15)

  • Slapshot1's Profile Photo
    Apr 2, 2009 at 6:37 PM

    Wow Larry, Great restaurant tips for Santa Barbara,looks like I need to take a road trip and stop to eat on the way to Solvang!

  • Arkeolog's Profile Photo
    Apr 1, 2009 at 12:20 AM

    Hi Larry, great page on Santa Barbara. I liked your tips and photos. congrats. all the best.Bora

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo
    Jan 26, 2009 at 12:41 PM

    Excellently written tips on Santa Barbara -- very nice! Thanks for sharing, and by the way, we HAVE THE SAME BIRTHDAY!!! Yoohoo! That's why we're goodlooking...hehehehe

  • icunme's Profile Photo
    Jul 11, 2008 at 12:54 PM

    How did I miss this Santa Babs tour?? I just made up for it w/Latin Jazz, lobster bisque, and a good night Ave at the Mission. Lovely!

  • canuck68's Profile Photo
    Feb 14, 2008 at 8:51 PM

    I have always wanted to visit Santa Barbara so thanks for the tour Larry. I have a feeling it would be very costly to visit there. Your tips and pictures are very good.

  • goingsolo's Profile Photo
    Jun 13, 2007 at 5:41 PM

    Great page! We'll be visiting at the end of the month. Thanks for the information.

  • KimberlyAnn's Profile Photo
    Oct 6, 2006 at 8:07 AM

    Outstand tips!!! I don't know if I have to look anywhere else! We are planning a couple of weeks stay in Carpinteria State Park, and I have added a number of these to my custom travel guide. Thanks.

  • Joeplaboem's Profile Photo
    Sep 15, 2006 at 7:13 AM

    I remember this place very well we had a snack of seafood here. If i find my picture back of the restaurant i will mail it to you Erwin

  • Sue08080's Profile Photo
    May 24, 2006 at 5:43 PM

    Carmel and Santa Barbara...gorgeous!

  • MissyWQ's Profile Photo
    Mar 31, 2006 at 9:21 AM

    Thanks for mentioning my name on your travel pages. Believe it or not I found your site by google; "Margie Bang" See my Nurnberg page, I love your pages there.

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