Welcome to Santa Barbara County
Frankly put, this area is damn pleasant to putter around. Low-slung between lofty mountains and the shimmering Pacific, chic Santa Barbara’s red-tiled roofs, white stucco buildings and Mediterranean vibe give credence to its claim of being the ‘American Riviera.’ It’s an enticing place to loll on the beach, eat and drink extraordinarily well, shop a bit and push all your cares off to another day. The city’s car-free campaign has brought electric shuttle buses, urban bike trails and earth-friendly wine tours. Mother Nature returns the love with hiking, biking, surfing, kayaking, scuba-diving and camping opportunities galore, from offshore Channel Islands National Park to arty Ojai, in neighboring Ventura County. Meanwhile, winemaking is booming in the bucolic Santa Ynez Mountains, west of Santa Barbara, where over a hundred wineries vie for your attention.