Last weekend was a long weekend in the US. As usual we did not make any plans and scrambled to make a trip to Santa Barbara at the very last moment. It is a beautiful town with great energy, casual&relaxed lifestyle, scenic beaches and beautiful Spanish architecture. With almost two days gone in travelling, we had very less time to spend in the city. But we made the most of it and thoroughly enjoyed our stay.
We took the Amtrak from San Jose to Santa Barbara - the train journey to and fro was very relaxing and an experience in itself. Scenic Pacific shores, lush green fields, beautiful mountains makes the 7-8 hours ride worth it. Met some people on the train who were familiar with the city and suggested some of the must visit places we could cover in a day.
Some of the places I would definitely recommend in Santa Barbara -
1. Old Mission Road/Laguna Street - Beautiful church, cemetery, museum. Every weekend they have some fair/activity going on with music, food and artistic events
2. The Santa Barbara/ State Street - you cannot miss this; it's the heart of the city; there are many trolley buses that go up and down the street; each ride is 25 cents.
3. Arlington Theater - This is on State and Arlington Street. It has some old, historic architecture and beautiful interiors; don't miss to see the ceiling with twinkling stars. Just to have this experience, we decided to watch a movie; but I wouldn't recommend a movie there. The seats are not very comfortable and the screen not too big. The theater has a single screen with limited show timings. Also the movie playing when we went was Men in Black 3 - ouch! I slept through the show!
4. Beaches - Of course you cannot miss the beautiful beaches - Butterfly, the East beach, Goviota beach to name a few
5. Court house/ City Hall - As you walk along the State Street you can visit the points of interest like the City Hall, the Court House. With the beautiful Spanish Architecture, we were completely mesmerized
6. Parks - As you walk uphill, from the main city towards Mission, you will come across couple of beautiful parks. A huge fig tree is another attraction of one of the parks. Also, not to forget the authentic Spanish houses
Used photoshop to make this collage of pictures.