Friday, January 21, 2011

California Friday - Santa Barbara

Joe and I at the SB Zoo last year

Santa Barbara is a beautiful city approximately 75 miles north of LA on the California coast. I've been there several times myself. I love the view of the ocean. The city is built on a set of gentle rising rolling hills overlooking the coastline. One of my favorite places to visit is the zoo. It's low-key and not very crowded. You can lazily stroll through it without feeling rushed and enjoy the animals.

Being a bit of a wino, I'm a sucker to visit the Santa Barbara Winery. I haven't been in a while, but I remember enjoying the reds and the ambience of the storefront. (Hard to now with a 4 year old.)

Santa Barbara is home to one of the missions, which were founded in the 1700's by the Franciscan monks that traveled up the California coast from Mexico. I visited the mission several years ago and was struck not only by it's beauty, but by its functionality.

Just a little about the mission's history. It was founded as part of the Franciscan Missions on 4 DEC 1786, on the feast day of St. Barbara. The intent was to convert the local native American tribes Рthe Chumash and Barbaernó. Over the years, the mission was devastated by earthquakes and rebuilt. The last time it was rebuilt was in 1927.

The city of Santa Barbara grew up between the mission and the coast. Presently, the mission still celebrates Catholic Mass. The local parish rents the mission from the Franciscans.

Whenever I visit the city, I try to swing by the winery and the mission.



  1. Hi Steph. Your little boy is so cute! I guess that I am a bit of a wino too. Just as you, I love to visit winery's.

  2. Santa Barbara, Saint Barbara. Duh. I am so slow sometimes. It's wonderful to see someplace warm and sunny right now. The wind and snow have been blowing here all day. We have several wineries in the area here, as well. Haven't been to them since motherhood, though...maybe this summer. I'll drag Loraine up here and we'll have some fun :)

  3. Zequeatta,
    Wineries are fun, aren't they? What's your favorite up in your area?

    When I was stationed in Romulus, NY near Lake Seneca, I didn't appreciate the winieries up there. You should go. It's a nice a day trip that's inexpensive. I'd love to hear your thoughts on them.


  4. Hi fellow RomVetter,

    I adore a big, bold red and have always wanted to visit Santa Barbara. Everytime I read about it, the place sounds like a fantastic locale for a getaway.


  5. Hi Steph,

    Being a native Californian myself, I've had the chance to go through Santa Barbra at least once and found it a very pretty city.

    As for the missions from what I remember most were started by Father Serra. Who walked down the length of California at the end of the days walk he's start another mission.


  6. Isis, if you ever get a chance to visit, hang out at the winery. You'll have fun. I love a big, bold red myself. I'm a Cab &Syrah lover.


    Yes, he did. Interestingly, according to my research, Father Serra had someone take over for him in Santa Barbara due to his failing health. The mission there has a very unique history in that the Franciscans always retained possession of it.