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Insider Tips

How to Experience Santa Barbara like a Local

Even if you're a local Santa Barbaran...or if you want to experience what the locals do...we have the perfect itinerary for you. Your day starts with fresh scones and the beach, and ends with amazing California cuisine. C'est magnifique!

  • Start your day with fresh-from-the-oven scones at Jeannine's American Bakery, a cheerful, bright and bustling local fave. Info: 3607 State St., 805.687.8701; 3305 State St., 805.569.3222; 1253 Coast Village Rd., Montecito; 805-969-7878.

  • Steal away to Arroyo Burro Beach County Park-locals call it "Hendry's Beach"-a secluded stretch of sand sheltered by towering cliffs. Then walk next door to the Douglas Family Preserve to explore trails adjacent to eucalyptus groves. You can even walk your dog off its leash in the preserve! Info: Cliff Drive, sbparks.org.

  • Meet local growers and sample what's in season at the Saturday downtown Farmers Market. (Also at other nearby Santa Barbara locations Tuesday-Sunday.) Info: 805.962.5354.

  • Take a break. Bring a book to Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens, a beautiful hide-away in a leafy residential neighborhood. Find a bench near the pond with koi, turtles and blooming waterlilies. Info: Santa Barbara and Arrellaga streets, 805.564.5418.

  • Meet friends for dinner at Opal Restaurant and Bar. The California menu emphasizes local bounty in a comfortable atmosphere. Good food, great wine, nice people-it's pure Santa Barbara. (Save room for dessert; the "Like Water for Chocolate Surprise" is worth every decadent calorie.) Info: 1325 State St., 805.966.9676.

 

Author: Maryann Hammers 


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