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Santa Barbara

Introducing Santa Barbara

Is Santa Barbara California’s best-smelling city? The jasmine, orange blossoms, hyacinth and more certainly do their part. Certainly it’s fitting that Santa Barbara smells good, it’s that kind of place.

Sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and Santa Ynez Mountains, Santa Barbara is affluent and pretty, with red-tile roofs, white stucco and a seaside lassitude reminiscent of the Mediterranean. It’s a highlight of the Central Coast and you should not whiz by on Hwy 101 without stopping. The problem will be getting back on the road.

Five colleges in the area, including the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB), give the town a youthful vivacity and balance its yachting and retirement communities. Downtown Santa Barbara has outstanding architectural integrity, a masterpiece of a courthouse, noteworthy cultural institutions, superb shopping and seductive nightlife.