Whenever I arrive somewhere new, I like to go walking and exploring with my family to help us get our bearings. Especially if the getting there took some time in a car or plane. The drive from San Francisco to Santa Barbara is a little less than 6 hours - long but doable for a traveling family. Picturesque and pedestrian-friendly, Santa Barbara is a great place to park the car and get some fresh air while seeing the town.
When most folks think of California beaches, thoughts of Southern sun soaked places like Malibu, Venice and Manhattan Beach typically come to mind. They’re all great destinations, but there’s more to be had at California beaches than a great tan. Visitors willing to trade a swimsuit for a sweatshirt will find reward and maybe even treasure in Mendocino County.
I remember riding by the drive-in movie theatre in my hometown as a young kid, craning my neck to catch a glimpse of whatever was playing on the big screen. The theater, like most across the country, closed before I was old enough to actually watch a movie from the comfort of my parent’s car. Every now and then in your travels you pass by a big screen just off the highway, but I’d never come across one still nightly lighting up the screen until my kids and I rolled into Santa Barbara.
Quick, name three California beaches. What are they? Odds are that most, if not all of them are Southern California beaches. Mission, Huntington, Coronado, and Malibu are likely to be a few that first come to mind. But what about California's Central Coast beaches? Less developed and with a climate that is cooler than Southern California, the beaches of California's Central Coast often get overlooked. Here are three of the Central Coast's best beaches.
Spring has arrived and for many families it’s the only motivation they need to get outside and soak up some Vitamin D. Heading to the beach is a popular activity, which is no surprise, really, considering Northern California has so many beautiful stretches of sand to choose from. But every now and then you discover a shiny gem that reminds you how lucky we are.
Surfers, rolling hills dotted with vineyards, adobe buildings, and oil rigs in the distance off the coastline; these are some of the things that may come to mind when you think of Santa Barbara County. But what about windmills, pastries as big as your head, stagecoaches, and Native American caves? This and much more make up what is a fusion of cultures in Santa Barbara County, only adding to the unique melting pot that is California.
City dog owners often face the predicament of what to do with their faithful companion when they want to make a quick escape. Dog hotels and boarders are a good solution, but costly. Dog-obsessed friends are another remedy. But really, what those puppy dog eyes want is to go with you. So get out of town and take them. Along the coast and in the mountains, dog-friendly hotels abound, here's some of them, and fun activities and places to eat while you guys are there.