AT#481 – Travel to Santa Barbara, California

Travel to Santa Barbara, California

Hear about travel to Santa Barbara, California as the Amateur Traveler talks to Heather Simon from about the “American Riviera”.

“Santa Barbara is incredibly beautiful. It’s called the American Riviera because of the weather and because it’s a beach with mountains right next to it. Three things to know about Santa Barbara is that it’s incredibly historic, there’s a huge native American history there. The second thing to know is that there was an earthquake in the 20s that basically leveled the town and so that’s why when you go to Santa Barbara it all looks like that Spanish colonial revival [style] because after that earthquake they built all the buildings downtown exactly the same, with the red tile roofs. and the other thing is that it is a south facing beach, so if you look on the California map and you see a section that faces south, that’s Santa Barbara.”

Heather starts us at the mission in Santa Barbara which is the “queen of the missions”. When the Spanish came into California they built a series of missions a days ride away from each other extending up from Baja California to the Sonoma mission north of San Francisco. The missions became a center of life for the Spanish and were built to convert the local native populations. The Santa Barbara mission is still a working church. She recommends both the mission and the natural history museum nearby for learning more about the native Chumash culture.

Santa Barbara sits on a narrow Strip of land between the mountains and the sea. The mountains near Santa Barbara go up to 4000 feet. Replace to get a view of the area is from the courthouse clock tower.

No trip to Santa Barbara would be complete without a visit to the beach. The beach downtown also has a wharf filled with tourist shops. Listen to the show to hear what Heather thinks is the “one good restaurant” on the wharf. East Beach is filled with beach volleyball and lined with artists selling their art. Heather also recommends the Santa Barbara zoo where the giraffes have the “best view in Santa Barbara”.

We then head up into the Santa Ynez valley, promoted by the movie “Sideways”, which is the home to a number of wineries and also the home to mesquite grilled BBQ. The Santa Ynez valley is also home to the touristy but tasty Danish town of Solvang.

We talk about hikes and nightlife, festivals and fog, lavender fields and pea soup. Find out why so many people escape from Los Angeles over a long weekend to this beautiful city by the sea.

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Show Notes

Well Planned Travel

Santa Barbara

Museum of Natural History

Old Mission Santa Barbara

Native Americans of Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara Courthouse

Santa Barbara Museum of Art

Stearns Wharf

Santa Barbara Shellfish Company

East Beach

Santa Barbara Zoo

Funk Zone


Biltmore Hotel


Carpinteria Bluffs

Santa Ynez

Cold Spring Tavern

Los Olivos

Lavender Fields

Fess Parker Wines

Chumash Casino Resort


Mission Santa Ínes


Pea Soup Andersen’s

The Hitching Post 2

Tar: A Santa Barbara Beach Tradition

Hendry’s Beach

Santa Barbara Boathouse

Shoreline Park

Rattlesnake Trail

Arlington Theatre

Santa Barbara Orchid Estate

Santa Barbara Fiesta

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on the episode Travel to Kyrgyzstan – Episode 478 we heard:

We are a family of five that are currently backpacking along the Silk Road for a year. Currently we are at Kyrgyzstan, so it was extra special to hear this podcast while traveling here.

While in Bishkek, we came upon a newly started walking tour twice a week called the “Bishkek Walks” (can find it on Facebook page) which tells the history of the people, building, events in Bishkek for the past 2000 years. It was very informative and we got to see photos in the past and compared to the present as we walked around downtown Bishkek. We also got to hear about the recent 3 revolutions (1991, 2002, 2010) and get a sense of what the future lies for the people here.

This podcast was right on and we had much laughs as we listen to the insightful comments from Eric!

Su Family (Jonathan, Annie, Olivia, Nathan, Joani)

Travel to Santa Barbara, California

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