Few places enjoy a location to provide you with so much scenery, history, food&wine, and of course memories as The Santa Barbara area!
(Let me first ask you if you have anything to share about this area, please do! Some of this is my first time for some of the experiences, so your comments are appreciated!)
A week in the region has allowed me to appreciate the diversity of the area. Not being a "Sun or water worshipper", does not diminish my appreciation for the awesome region.
Here was the Itenery, with a few photo's:
Arrival at Santa Barbara Airport from STL, via Phoenix:
This was most pleasant as avoiding LAX, was a major break for me. The SB airport is clean, pleasant and easy!
In Goleta, you can stay at the nearby CY, or go about 9 miles South to S/B! You will find the hotels in S/B to be on the expensive side. The CY, and The RI in Oxnard are a whole lot less!
Cruise ships are making Santa Barbara a wonderful place to visit from the ship! Sorry about the fog and haze, but this German liner was very pretty!
You may want to arrive by Amtrak, the SB station is central and you can easily walk to downtown shopping, or other places of interest from the station. I chose to visit the "Young America's Foundation" across the parking lot for a free tour of their Ronald Reagan Presidency.
Here are RR's ten favorite books, on display in the center! Much about the "Cold War" was most interesting. Likewise, a walk to Macy's, Nordstrom's, Sak's and more were most enjoyable!
The next day was spent at The Reagan Ranch. Not open to the public, but I was lucky enough to have a wonderful invitation and it was most memorable.
The Reagan Ranch is scenic, and very basic. This is looking at the home from the rear of the house, and a picnic was most enjoyable!
The next day was spent in Ventura, and the Ventura Marina is a great place to visit. You may want to go to the "Channel Islands" from here. The whales where out, and the Islands made for a lot of conversation! The shopping and dining at The Marina were most special. Here was one of my favorite places for just about any meal:
La Petite, is located at The Marina, is on the water, and shops are interesting to walk to nearby.
The next day was spent, changing hotels and moving to The RI, in Oxnard. Very clean property, but make sure you have good directions, as it is located in a peaceful, mostly residential part of town. Sitting on a golf course they have packages for guests who want to enjoy a round of golf while visiting. The afternoon was spent going to Simi Valley and seeing the Reagan Library, and Simi countryside. Very nice!
President Reagan is buried atop a wonderful location. If you go, try to visit during the week. Give yourself at least two hours and afternoons may afford a better chance to get a parking spot. The museum closes at 5 PM, so you will want to arrive before 3 PM!
The next day featured a two hour relaxing ocean drive down US 1 to Hollywood, via Malibu and Santa Monica. The visit was wonderful and the crowds were huge. Try to "Window" shop at least on Rodeo Drive!
Rodeo Drive has the "Best of the best"! You will see some wonderful people as well as fantastic cars parked as people shop! There are many tours that feature almost everything Hollywood has to offer!
The last day was probably my favorite, visiting Solvang was so quaint and special. They had just finished celebrating "Danish Day's", the third week-end in September, and this is a wonderful place to see. Plenty of shops, markets, and scenery. Will make it back here next year and spend more time! Had a wonderful dinner at "The Hitching Post" (Featured int eh movie "Sideways"!
Scenes like this are abound in Slovang!
In closing, if you have any questions, ideas, or comments on the above, please let other MRI or myself know! Hope you enjoyed!