Santa Barbara Last Minute

Cabrillo Blvd in Santa Barbara

Cabrillo Blvd in Santa Barbara

Referred to fondly as the “American Riviera,” Santa Barbara, California has a population of about 90,000 lucky individuals who can call this coastal piece of paradise their home. With vineyards, beaches, hills, a variety of cultural and entertainment options and (to top it all off) perfect weather, there are few places that can compete with the splendor of this lush last minute destination.

Whether you’re a fan of outdoor activities like biking, fishing, swimming and hiking, or you’re more the type to enjoy a great restaurant or musical performance, Santa Barbara can accommodate your tastes.

You can start by heading downtown to take in the amazing Spanish Colonial style of architecture that gives the city character and sophisticated charm. While you’re there, you could catch a play or visit an art gallery. When your stomach starts to growl, don’t worry. There are over 600 restaurants in Santa Barbara, ready to satisfy your hunger with all sorts of culinary works of art. Fans of seafood will be especially thrilled with the menus at many local dining establishments.

Once you’ve eaten, take a stroll through the streets of downtown and watch the dimming light from the sunset mingle with the awakening lights of the cityscape. There is so much within walking distance in this city that you’ll find that your own two feet will take you to most place you want to go. Otherwise, you can hop on the free electric shuttle that runs every 10-15 minutes to the city’s most popular attractions. State Street dominates as a major hotspot, with lots of boutiques, cafes and shops calling this street home. Antique shops are also nearby, for those who cannot resist a rare vintage find.

While you’re exploring State Street, make sure to check out the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, which boasts nationally recognized collections. If you’re in the mood for an enlightening cultural experience, head to the Arlington Center for the Performing Arts. Not far away, at the Santa Barbara Historical Society/Museum, a collection of unique artifacts from the area’s dynamic history have been preserved and are on display for your education and enjoyment.

Of course, any last minute traveler knows that in a place as beautiful as this, a certain amount of time must be spent outdoors! At the Santa Barbara Harbor and Breakwater, rowboats and yachts alike gather and make small excursions into the sea. Shops and restaurants are found throughout the harbor, so there is plenty to see and do.

More than 700 animals await you at the Zoological Gardens, which is a treat for kids and adults alike. If you’ve still got some energy left, head to the fascinating Botanic Garden, which features 65 acres of native plants, including wildflowers, sycamore trees, cacti and hundeds of other varieties of flora.

The perfect end to this last minute trip would be a visit to East Beach, which has not only the lovely sand and gorgeous ocean view, but volleyball courts, sports competitions and a play area for children. Whether you visit this beach or another in Santa Barbara, you’ll see that nothing quite compares to the luxuriant feel of the beaches in this city.

With so much to offer, it’s hard to say no to a trip to Santa Barbara. Let the beautiful beaches, the warm weather and the unparalleled attractions lure you, and don’t resist!