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Santa Barbara

A Revamped Mattei’s Tavern Brings Serious Food Whimsy to Santa Barbara County

Mattei's Tavern. Photo by Kara Block

The town of Los Olivos in Santa Barbara County used to be little more than a stage coach stop — a resting place for cattlemen and miners and cowboys. It still feels that way, in spite of the region’s growing reputation for fine wine.

A Family Visit to Danish-Influenced Solvang

downtown Solvang

In the 20-plus years I’ve called California home, I’ve heard Solvang thrown out there more than once, but had never been. My husband has entertaining memories of being dragged.. I mean taken.. antiquing with his parents when he was a kid. So when a family get-together looked to drop us in the center of the Danish tradition-based town, a family-friendly challenge was born.

Night at the Drive-In, Santa Barbara Style

Night at the Drive-In, Santa Barbara Style

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.

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