On Friday afternoon, my family and I went on a spontaneous weekend getaway to Santa Barbara. It was my first time there, so I didn't know what to expect. I had an itinerary list of places to go in the city, but didn't expect much from it. About an hour and a half into the drive, we decided to take a pit stop by a beach just off the freeway called Seacliff, that was 20-30 minutes away from Santa Barbara. It was peaceful as not many people were around. We got to sit by the cliff for a couple of minutes to see the waves roll by beneath us. And then just like that, we were off again to our final destination!
I was in love with Santa Barbara the minute we stepped off the freeway. With its Mediterranean architecture all around the city, I couldn't stop taking pictures every minute or so (not exaggerating at all). The weather there is much cooler than LA, which I'm a big fan of and everyone there is so nice! So genuine and friendly. I could definitely see myself living there. Now, let's get on with the post, shall we?!
After checking in to our hotel and changing my outfit, we headed out to a park nearby that had the most gorgeous gazebo and a pond (you know how I love ponds) filled with ducks milling around and a few turtles too! As you can see, we found a cheeky little duck and turtle who thought the Olympics was still ongoing! Sorry pal, you're a week too late. How cute are they though?! For a second there, I was so sure that the turtle was a statue, but then it moved its head and feet, haha!
We stayed there for a 20 minutes or so as the park's not that big. Alas, a good ol' visit and one that I checked off of my itinerary. Definitely go this park if you ever find yourself in SB!
Address: 1500 Santa Barbara St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Passing through the courthouse and not going in would've been my greatest mistake in this trip! The great thing is, when a beautiful buildings comes into my peripheral vision, it won't go amiss and I need to go in ASAP and check out what it's like inside. This is no ordinary courthouse! Honestly felt as if I was in Spain or Mexico. It is has a beautiful architecture and has no fee to go in either! A great unexpected visit as this wasn't in my itinerary. Not only did we get to soak in how beautiful it is from the inside and out, but we got to to the top floor and get an aerial view of the city. It was a magical view and one that I'll never forget in a long, long time.
Address: 1100 Anacapa St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Last but not least, we took a stroll through the pier and wasn't disappointed by the view that we got from it. It was quite a walk and I was exhausted (and cold) by the end of the day, but again, I have no regrets because the view was oh so worth it! Also got a cheeky scoop of ice cream, because um why not?! The pier wasn't so crowded, which is fine by me as we got to stroll through peacefully and breathe in the ocean air a little longer. We passed by an old guy who created a friggin' mermaid out of sand and it took him 8 hours long!!! Crazy talented, kudos to him.
Address: 217 Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Feeling peckish after the stroll that we had by the beach, we then headed out for dinner in a restaurant called Holdren's in State St. The whole vibe of the restaurant was great, unfortunately the food was just plain average for me. Alas, it was a great visit all in all and it felt great to be able to try out new stuff every once in a while.
The day ended quite sorrowfully for me as we all discovered a dog cooped up inside a car for two whole hours with the engine running and we couldn't do anything about it! Breaks my heart to see its tiny little face looking through the window, waiting for its owner to come back. I don't know how it's doing, but I really hope he/she is back home and back in its rightful place.
End of Day 1! I basically clonked out the minute I arrived at our hotel as I was knackered to the bone.
Which one is your favorite place in Santa Barbara so far?
Much love, Ashley xx
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, by Ashley Christabelle