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SANTA BARBARA

THE AMERICAN RIVIERA

Santa Barbara experiences a warm-summer Mediterranean climate (the area was home to the Chumash tribe of Native Americans, complex hunter-gatherers who lived along the coast and in interior valleys leaving rock art in many locations including the Painted Cave.

If you like history the Presidio of Santa Barbara Mission Santa Barbara known as “the Queen of the Missions,” was founded in 1786. The Mission and Painted Cave are both in what is now the city of Santa Barbara. This stretch of coast along southern Santa Barbara County is sometimes referred to as “The American Riviera.”

The Santa Ynez Mountains, an east–west trending range, rise dramatically behind the city, with several peaks exceeding 4,000 feet. The dominant architectural themes of Santa Barbara are the Spanish Colonial Revival and the related Mission Revival style, Santa Barbara contains numerous performing art venues, including the 2,000 seat Arlington Theatre, the largest indoor performance venue in Santa Barbara. S.B. also serves as the premise for the annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

The Bolero Theatre is both a historic building and favorite venue for small concerts; and the Granada Theater is the tallest building downtown. The Santa Barbara County Courthouse, a red tiled Spanish-Moorish structure, provides a sweeping view of the downtown area from its open air tower. Santa Barbara International Film Festival, another local non-profit, has also become a major draw bringing over 50,000 attendees during what is usually Santa Barbara’s slow season in late January.

What’s Brewing on the California Central Coast?

    By Donna Polizzi Breweries and Tap Rooms are popping up all over the Central Coast. According to California Craft Brewers Association, more than 850 craft breweries call California home. That’s more than any other state in the nation.  Locally, you can experience some of the best. Personally, I have always been a wine…

Getaway to Goleta, CA

By Donna Polizzi Tourists are far more familiar with Santa Barbara and many people don’t know that the neighboring city of Goleta has much to offer. It is located 20 miles South of Solvang, and State Street’s main shopping and dining area in Santa Barbara is only 7 miles away. While exploring for Keys 2…

Stars and the Star-Struck…

By Donna Polizzi Visitors continue to flock to Hearst Castle and the Santa Maria Inn, just as they did in the heyday of Hollywood. Living on the Central Coast is living the dream. The mountain and ocean views are simply awe-inspiring. It’s no wonder tourists flock from around the world to visit Santa Barbara, San…

presquile wine orcutt, ca

With Wines, Vines and Bucolic Vistas, Santa Maria Valley Is a Sight to See

By Donna Polizzi Having lived on the Central Coast since the mid-1980s, I’ve come to realize that every city in our region has treasures to be enjoyed. That is if you know where to look. Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo have always received favorable recognition for many reasons, and justifiably so. What many people don’t realize,…

How sweet it is…top bakery selections

Since 2009, the Brown Butter Cookie Company has been serving up delectable treats. When put this sweet and salty cookie in my mouth, it made my taste buds do the tango!

Nature’s Majesty – Monarch Butterflies on the Central Coast

By Blake Lewolt Imagine walking 3000 miles with no signs, no map, and no compass, traveling between 50 to 100 miles a day. That is exactly what Monarch Butterflies do every single year. Monarchs are the only species of butterfly that, (like birds) make a two-way migration every year. A true enigma lies in their…

Getting Funky in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone

When it comes to seasonal parades, cultural festivals, nature preserves, fantastic restaurants or outdoor shopping, Santa Barbara sets the standard. I never grow tired of the spectacular scenery, amazing weather and friendly, laid-back people.