Santa Barbara was the next stop on my “Los Angeles to San Francisco Road Trip”. My goal for the road trip was to go via the Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1) as much as possible. The drive from L.A. to Santa Barbara is not more than two hours but due to my PCH stubbornness it took more than three. And since I left L.A. early afternoon, I reached Santa Barbara later than I wanted to which didn’t leave me with much time to explore.
When I added Santa Barbara to the GPS I didn’t get a PCH route option so I decided to wing it, which might partially explain why I got lost twice. On a straight highway, yes… The PCH is great only between LA and Point Mugu State Park as it goes past tons of beaches and beautiful scenery. But this section is only 50 km. After that, all the way to Santa Barbara it’s quite dull, especially after merging with 101.
It was all worth it though, once I got to Santa Barbara,. I stayed at the Harbour House Inn, a gorgeous little inn only 2 minutes walking from the waterfront. Since I had less than 24 hours in Santa Barbara, I wanted to make the most of it so I headed right away towards the beach to catch the sunset.
Although on the west coast, Santa Barbara’s sunset gives the impression that it takes place in the east because the sun lowers under the mountains surrounding the city. I had a couple hours so I headed first to go to the Stearns Wharf, which is the oldest working wharf having been built in 1872.
After exploring the wharf, I went to Breakwater and my timing was perfect as the sunset was starting to create beautiful colours over the harbour and its many boats. I reached Breakwater right as the sun was starting to hide under the mountains.
I ended the evening with a wonderful dinner at Santa Barbara FisHouse, which was conveniently located only 5 minutes away from the inn. On my list to try I had seafood and wine of course. Both were fantastic. And since I am a huge fan of breakfast food the next day I went to Sambo’s On the Beach, one of the last remaining restaurants from the famous chain.
Santa Barbara is quite famous for a few other things including wine tours, gorgeous hiking trails, and nightlife. Since my time was so limited here, I didn’t get to explore any of them. But even so, I absolutely loved the glimpse of what the city has to offer. I consider it to be the trailer for next time. And yes, I already have the list ready!