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Planning your post-quarantine vacation? We recommend Santa Barbara, CA. Here are all the reasons to visit the city.

Plan your next vacation: Santa Barbara, CA landmarks you need to see

Heart of American Riviera, Santa Barbara is coastal town with a population of 90,000 that has Mediterranean charm, old Spanish architecture, long Pacific coastline, and enormous tourist offer with natural beauty, world-class cuisine and local craft breweries and winemakers.

High season is from June till September when the weather is warmest, and there are crowds of tourist swarming the beaches and landmarks. Summer in Santa Barbara brings almost no precipitation. The town is situated between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean making it a perfect hub for numerous activities.

If you want to experience the sunny Californian riviera make sure you have an ESTA American Visa, which all travellers from Visa Waiver countries need to have to come in the US. To get one, you will need to apply online, answer an extensive set of questions and pay a small fee. The administration usually takes up to 72 hours to process the application, and once you get the travel authorization, it is valid for two years.

The closest airport to Santa Barbara

Travelling to Santa Barbara for European and other foreign tourist destinations are most accessible through the air. The town does have an airport, but it does not operate many international flights. LA airport in Burbank is relatively close, and it is a hub for all international arrivals. Alternatively, you can fly to Santa Ana or Ontario/San Bernardino airports, but that will require a long drive to Santa Barbara.

The town is well connected to LA and other cities in southern California so that you can get a shuttle bus from LA airport or there is an Amtrak train that goes through the town four times a day.

Historic landmarks

Did you know Spanish founded the first mission in 1769? Back in the days, Spanish Franciscans established 21 California Missions long before the United States and the pioneers reached the sunny state. The Old Mission is preserved in its original condition with double bell towers and gardens. It is still an active parish catholic church and part of exceptional historic architecture.

Spanish-Colonial style dominates in what many thinks as the most beautiful public landmark, the Santa Barbara County Courthouse. The building is not as old as original Spanish mission architecture, but its 1929 clock tower, arches and garden follow the same style.

Downtown Santa Barbara has Presidio neighborhood which is the heart of European history in the town with Casa de la Guerra and El Cuartel, one of the oldest buildings in this part of the country. You can learn more about the illustrious history of the town in the Santa Barbara Historical Museum.

Santa Barbara breweries

Californian wines are well known throughout the world, but the state has an extremely potent brewing scene, which is a perfect getaway after a whole day of sightseeing. If you like traditional beers, the best choice is Pure Order Brewing Company in the downtown neighborhood. Hollister and Figueroa Mountain brewing companies are also top-rated destinations.

Santa Barbara has plenty of craft beer makers, and along with above mentioned, you could visit the Garden, Third Window Brewing Co., The Mill, Night Lizard and Lama Dog Tap Room.

Santa Barbara nightlife

Some of these breweries are nightlife hubs like Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. Famous Joe’s Café has been open since 1928, and it serves as a restaurant during the day, and bar in the nighttime. The Imperial and The Sportsmen are two other popular bars with quite the opposite settings.

Other nightlife options can include EOS Lounge where you can dance, just like in Indochine nightclub. Wildcat Lounge is another dancing club.

Tourist hubs like Santa Barbara have plenty of nightlife options to choose from. Beaches, hundreds of miles of hiking trails, cycling routes, Zoo, Aquarium, and many more natural, cultural, and historic attractions lure thousands of tourists every year.

Is Santa Barbara safe?

The coastal town of Santa Barbara is a relatively safe place to visit, with a low crime rate. It does have a substantial homeless population, but outside of that, this tourist and college town has an excellent level of visitor security.

Hopefully, you answered your ESTA questions, and travel authorization is almost approved. With ESTA approval, you can visit the US for up to 90 days, and you will not make a mistake choosing California.

Santa Barbara beaches

Leadbetter beach is well protected from the winds, and since Santa Barbara is facing the south, the whole town has excellent weather and exceptional beaches. East Beach is a 1.6 mile long beach close to historical sights and other popular attractions. Dog owners love Hendry’s Beach, and West Beach, Butterfly Beach and Mesa Lane are other famous beaches on the Santa Barbara coastline.

Bottom line

Santa Barbara has all the ingredients of a perfect tourist location. The majestic Pacific Ocean, superb sandy beaches, rich history with plenty of landmarks and lots of activities to offer. The central place of the Californian Riviera has excellent hotels and restaurants, it is perfect for shopping lovers, and you should try local beers and wines.

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