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If you are searching for a new destination to visit this summer, head to Santa Barbara in California. Santa Barbara is a city on the southern coast of the Golden State, and is sometimes referred to as the American Riviera thank to its Mediterranean feel. It is only about a two-hour drive from Los Angeles, and can easily be incorporated as a stop on your road trip if you are already visiting the West Coast. Santa Barbara has something for everyone. From nature to the downtown area and beaches to hills, there are unlimited ways to spend your day. Adventure through this California city, and sample its cozy, beachy, charming, and historic hotels and inns.
Explore the Beaches
Image via Flickr by Extra Medium
Santa Barbara has a total of 10 beaches to explore. Stay at The Inn at East Beach, where you will be at the center of it all. Volleyball and rollerboading are popular sports at East Beach. If you need a break from the sun, there are restaurants and businesses located only a few steps away. Also check out Leadbetter Beach if you’re into more games and action. There, you can enjoy windsurfing, try a catamaran, surf the waves, or enjoy weekly sporting events. The Eagle Inn is convenient to West Beach, where you can take a Hawaiian outrigger lesson.
Take a Stroll Down Stearns Wharf
If you enjoy piers, then you must visit Stearns Wharf, a famous pier at the harbor. Here you can enjoy the outdoors by taking a ride on the Water Taxi. Restaurants are open day and night, offering beautiful ocean views and the perfect atmosphere for socializing. If you enjoy learning, visit the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History’s Sea Center located on the wharf, where you can engage and educate yourself on local marine life. If you want stay right outside the Wharf, choose Hotel Milo Santa Barbara or Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara, both only two blocks away.\
Spend Time With Nature
Parks are plentiful in Santa Barbara, whether you want to relax in the hills, near the beach, or just find a spot hidden away from traffic for a quick picnic lunch. Many of the city’s parks offer acres of woodland for hiking, running, picnicking, or hosting a party.
From Santa Barbara, you can also catch a ferry to Channel Islands National Park, a group of five islands off the mainland. There, you can get away from the sounds of the city, and experience a truly wild setting unlike any other. With more outdoor activities than the parks in the city, you can choose from diving, kayaking, boating, camping, or even dolphin and whale watching.
Find History in Downtown Santa Barbara
Head northwest to the Old Mission, where you can learn about the city’s fascinating history. Here, you can spend hours admiring the architecture of the old buildings, museums, churches, cemetery, and gardens. You can see the ocean from up the hill, and choose your next stop as you enjoy panoramic views of Santa Barbara.
This post is part of the #Hipmunkcitylove project.