Santa Barbara, California - the American Riviera® is a captivating blend of colorful history, distinctive architecture, and legendary Southern California lifestyle. Tucked between the Pacific Ocean and the coastal mountains lays the small city of paradise; a comfortable mix of urban and rural lifestyles filled with creativity and cultural sophistication. Located in-between San Francisco and Los Angeles, Santa Barbara successfully merges the two "big city" cultures and splashes them with its own unique style. Notorious for its exceptional beauty, this unique diversity offers far more than simply aesthetic pleasures but complete soul renewal, relaxation, and memorable adventures. Santa Barbara is easily one of California's best kept secrets and an avid traveler's dream vacation.

Blessed with a Mediterranean climate, Santa Barbara basks in 300+ days of sunshine and an abundance of natural bounty, no wonder it's hailed as the American Riviera®. The numerous options of outdoor activities can compile quite the to-do list: kayaking, sailing, hiking, polo, whale watching, and an array of water sports are just some of the activities that draw lovers of the outdoors to Santa Barbara. Enjoy pristine beaches, camp-out on the Channel Islands, or spend the day golfing on one of the several championship golf courses such as Rancho San Marcos, Alisal Guest Ranch, Sandpiper, La Purisima, or Glen Annie. 

Although Santa Barbara is full of active pursuits, don't forget to relax! Unwind by taking a stroll through one of the outdoor paseos downtown, enjoy dining alfresco, or take the historical Red Tile Walking Tour of the city's spectacular architectural landmarks. Visit the Santa Barbara Farmers Market on Saturday mornings to enjoy the lively atmosphere and fresh veggies. Better yet, sample distinguished wines and golden countryside in the wine country. Home to over 80 wineries and vineyards, Santa Barbara wine country yields award-winning chardonnay and pinot noir varietals, and also produces outstanding merlot, cabernet franc, and Rhone varietals such as syrah. And if you want to take relaxation to the ultimate zenith, Santa Barbara boasts a plethora of reputable spa and pampering facilities.

The culture and attractions of Santa Barbara offer something for every type of traveler. Whether it's world-class art, eclectic shopping, architectural tours, or an exploration of the prominent Spanish and Chumash heritage, Santa Barbara exemplifies all that the central coast has to offer. Santa Barbara County is also home to three State Missions, which allow visitors to experience a piece of California history firsthand. With more than 50 museums and galleries, world-class performing arts and dance, a civic light opera and show-stopping symphony, the central coast is quickly emerging as a cultural empire.

It may be the culinary wonders of world renowned chefs, the cozy atmosphere of a welcoming community, or the simple pleasures of living life along the beach, regardless once travelers' discover this hidden piece of paradise they can't seem to stay away. Few destinations offer the opportunity to tailor your vacation to your lifestyle and interests, yet ensure relaxation and rejuvenation. Nowhere else can you blend your life with the Santa Barbara style, discover new experiences with each visit, or even transform from a tourist into a local. Santa Barbara has a way of casting into your heart and reeling you in for life. Visit the secret spot of the central coast and find your vacation here on the American Riviera®, our secrets can be your escape.

To plan your own personalized getaway visit to take advantage of Santa Barbara County's hotel specials, request a 2007 Santa Barbara County Visitors Guide Magazine, or to get more information call us at 805.966.9222.

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