Sip wine, spot whale and surf waves in California’s pretty riviera
Tree-lined streets slope gently down to the coast. Terracotta-topped buildings nestle amidst manicured gardens. Refreshing sea breezes cool the perennially balmy weather. On a Santa Barbara holiday, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re by the Med. This city is aptly nicknamed ‘The American Riviera’, and a worthy stop on your California itinerary.
Like the Mediterranean, Santa Barbara is home to superb wine. Don’t just take our word for it, though – the proof is in the pinot. We can take you on the famous urban wine trail, stopping off at the city’s eclectic tasting rooms. Or tour around some of the more-than-200 wineries which make the most of the ideal growing conditions here.
Aside from wine, Santa Barbara’s other major attraction is its inviting shoreline. Take in the views from popular pier Stearns Wharf, the curving Cabrillo Bike Path, the bustling Santa Barbara Harbor and the green and pleasant Shoreline Park. As you gaze over this sweep of the Pacific, you may be lucky enough to spot whale breaching – more than 30 species frequent the Santa Barbara Channel. To get your feet sandy, there are several beaches to choose from, with Butterfly Beach, East Beach and Arroyo Burro Beach being our stand-out favourites.