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crispywheat2 Sep 12th, 2006 11:39 AM

Santa Barbara for a few hours??
I (along with my wife and 2 year old daughter) will be passing through Santa Barbara on my way to Cambria for a few hours next week. I plan on being there for lunch and a few hours before/after. Is there anything that shouldn't be missed if I have just a 4-5 hours??? What part of town should I focus on?? Recommendations for lunch??


DavLou Sep 12th, 2006 11:53 AM

Strongly recommend the Mission, as well as a most unique City Hall downtown.

laurenzo Sep 12th, 2006 12:28 PM

I mentioned the park in another post, but also check out the pier/wharf. There is a boardwalk along the beach you can ride bikes, walk, or rent those surreys. Have you seen those before? That is a fun thing to do! Also on the pier is a maritime museum. To get to the pier, you would head south on Garden from the park and you will run right into Cabrillo St., turn right and head west. You can't miss it. There is a cute park right by the pier, too, with a carousel your daughter may like. There are great restaurants up and down State St. as well (dead ends into pier) with many food choices. What are your favorite types of restaurants?

crispywheat2 Sep 12th, 2006 01:03 PM

Thanks again Laurenzo. Your recommendations have been quite helfpul.

I was thinking about visiting the pier, but also identified some good restaurants on State Street Is State Street to the Pier walkable?? We certainly don't mind walking if there is plenty to do or see.

Or perhaps we can rent a surrey as you suggest? Can you leave surreys on the street if you want to go inside to shop/eat?? (I live in NYC where you always have to lock your bike with a 20 pound lock even for a few mins!)

As for restaurants, would like something with seating outside where I could get a nice margaritam, mojito, etc! A Mexican, Tex-Mex place wouldn't be bad...Any recommendations?? Are there decent restaurants on the pier, or are those mainly on State Street, etc.?

Thanks again!

laurenzo Sep 12th, 2006 01:26 PM

Hello again :) Yes, State St. is walkable from the pier, but the busy part w/ all the restaurants is a good 3 long blocks uphill. If eating on State, you'll probably want to drive.

You can only ride the surreys on a specific route they give you, which is along the beach. I would still recommend doing so, as your daughter would probably love it. My kids love riding in those (Of course, mine are older now and have to help pedal!!) You can rent those by the hour.

I think there is a good Mexican restaurant right there on the corner at the end of State and Cabrillo, although I don't recall the name or if they have outdoor dining. I hope some SB locals chime in with help here. I wouldn't eat at the restaurants on the pier- they aren't that great. I will check into Mexican restaurants further up on State St. and let you know and hopefully you will get some other suggestions. By the way, the weather here is great right now :)

crispywheat2 Sep 12th, 2006 01:32 PM

Thanks Laurenzo! I appreciate the time you have given me!

I wish I was there right now! Hard to focus on work these last couple of days before vacation, esp. when I am still trying to plan.

I will def. rent a surrey. I could use the exercise anyway!

One more thing if you know. Mapuest tells me that the drive from Santa Barbara to Cambria is 2 1/2 hours. Do you know if that is accurate?? Just trying to figure when I need to leave SB for Cambria.

Thanks again.

laurenzo Sep 12th, 2006 01:37 PM

ok, checked on Mexican restaurants and it looks like on called Carlitos Cafe and Cantina is good. check out this website: and look at the reviews, plus it has outdoor dining!

Mapquest is close, probably more like 2 to 2 hrs, 15 min. It is a pretty drive, especially once you get on HWY 1 past San Luis Obispo. You will pass Morro Bay, Cayucos, and then to Cambria.

Enjoy your getaway to my neck of the woods.

crispywheat2 Sep 12th, 2006 01:47 PM

The restaurant sounds great! Thanks again! You have planned my day for me! I am sure that we will enjoy our trip.

cfntmpn Sep 12th, 2006 04:05 PM

I just spent 2 weeks in S. Barbara and posted a thread on this forum ~

I realize you are only spending a few hours in beautiful S. Barbara, but maybe it will give you some ideas!

pollyvw Sep 12th, 2006 05:34 PM

There is a beautiful rose garden across the street from the mission, a place that will give your daughter an opportunity to run around and you and your wife the change to enjoy the floral display.

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