Share the Love in the Golden State sharethelove_keyframe_-_youtube_5

Share the Love in the Golden State

Share the Love in the Golden State
Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Wine Country have bounced back beautifully from recent challenges—now is the perfect time to visit

California is a profoundly resilient destination—something you can see for yourself in Visit California’s new spot, “Share the Love.” In the wake of wildfires and mudslides that impacted Santa Barbara early in 2018, restaurateurs, winemakers, hoteliers, and others have worked tirelessly to make sure visitors can once again enjoy a magical experience. Similarly, business owners in Ventura County and Wine Country have rebounded from wildfires and are open for business.

Locals are eager to share their California love, and if you’re looking for a way to help, please visit. Here’s a quick look at some of the dreamy destinations featured in the “Share the Love” commercial.

The Santa Barbara Waterfront provides breathtaking views and abundant activities—the perfect way to start a perfect day. If you want to get out on the water, head to Santa Barbara Harbor and rent a kayak, stand-up paddleboard, or perhaps a Jet Ski. (Whale watching excursions and water taxis are available too.) Santa Barbara’s newest lodging option, Hotel Californian, is just steps from the Harbor and offers stunning views on its rooftop bar.

Nothing beats oceanfront dining, and The Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach is so close to the Pacific you’ll feel like you can reach out and literally catch a wave. Whether you’re in town for a few days or a few weeks, you’ll be spoiled with the many culinary options available in Santa Barbara. Be sure to try Loquita, Blackbird, and Smithy Kitchen + Bar, and then ask locals for their recommendations when you’re wandering around the paseos or sipping Pinot Noir in one of the urban wine tasting rooms.

Speaking of wine, no Golden State vacation is complete without a stop in Sonoma County and the Napa Valley. Located within the Rutherford appellation in the eastern Napa Valley, Quintessa offers an exclusive Wine Country experience that includes panoramic views, acclaimed wines, and the sort of personalized customer service that stays with you long after your visit. Across the Mayacamas Mountain range in Sonoma County, Kunde Vineyards features four distinct tasting experience options, including a Mountain Top Tasting 1,400 feet above the valley floor.

If you’re heading to Wine Country during the summer months, consider the Secret Garden Tour at the Hill Family Estate, an idyllic way to drink in the scenery and sample some great vintages. And don’t miss out on the region’s burgeoning distillery scene: Spirit Works Distillery in Sebastopol creates bespoke vodka, gin, sloe gin, and whiskey, and a tasting room tour will give you a new appreciation of what goes into your glass.

Wherever you find great wine, fantastic food is sure to follow—and that is certainly the case in California Wine Country. Acclaimed chef Christopher Kostow nailed his line during filming at The Charter Oak in St. Helena; he always seems to get it right at his family-style restaurant that celebrates local bounty and a deceptively simple approach to cooking. When you’re in town be sure to try Acacia House, the latest offering from celebrity chef Chris Cosentino, as well as The Fremont Diner, a delightful roadside joint known for its folksy fare.

And if your trip to Wine Country includes a stop in San Francisco, do yourself a favor and order the fried chicken at Tyler Florence’s genial Wayfare Tavern. This always-humming Financial District hotspot possesses a feel-good vibe and specializes in crowd-pleasing plates—it’s a surefire winner for lunch or dinner.

Dinosaur Cave Park/Shell Beach, San Luis Obispo County
Mimi Ditchie/Getty Images

Discover the Central Coast

From the epic grandeur of Big Sur to the Mediterranean-style stretch of Santa Barbara coastline nicknamed “the American Riviera,” this region of picturesque hamlets, jagged sea cliffs, and rolling wine country has long attracted—not surprisingly—writers and artists mesmerized by its dreamlike beauty.

Monterey served as California’s first capital when the state’s first constitution was signed in in the coastal city in 1849.

Take the epic Highway One drive between San Francisco and Los Angeles to discover secret beaches and soaring cliffs along Big Sur, stroll a redwood trail, spy a sea otter at the incomparable Monterey Bay Aquarium, and sip Pinot Noir at sunset in the romantic Santa Ynez Valley.

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Courtesy of Ventana Big Sur

5 Great Ways to Experience Highway 1

Discover your favorite way to take in this iconic drive through Big Sur and beyond

Now that repairs are complete, you can once again drive the legendarily scenic Highway 1 through Big Sur. With its redwood forests, towering...

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Casa de Fruta Courtesy of Casa De Fruta

Casa de Fruta Orchard Resort

Part fruit stand, part theme park, this Central Coast stop is the perfect place to fill your belly

What started as a humble cherry stand in 1908 is now a massive roadside attraction, welcoming more than 3 million visitors each year. Located 40...

Ragged Point

Trip 3-4 days 8 stops

San Luis Obispo to Ragged Point

Venture from San Luis Obispo up Highway 1 to discover pristine coastline, small beach towns, and a fabled landmark
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Courtesy of Alisal Guest Ranch Resort

Santa Maria Barbecue

Head to California’s Central Coast to try this distinctive regional cuisine at its source

The barbecue styles of Kansas City, Memphis, and Texas are well known around the U.S., but California’s Santa Maria Valley claims a...

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Zachary Miller/Getty Images

Spotlight: Ventura County

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Absorb the relaxed vibe of this classic California destination on the coast

When it comes to places in California that feel like one big outdoor playground, Ventura County, on the south end of the Central Coast, stands out...

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San Luis Obispo’s Bubble Gum Alley is filled with more than 1.7 million pieces of bubble gum.
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Blaine Harrington III/Getty Images

Spotlight: Santa Barbara

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Mediterranean style magic and a perfect ocean breeze

Bougainvillea twining across red-tiled rooftops, birdsong mingling with the ocean breeze, islands and whale spouts on the horizon—...

SPECIAL FEATURE
See a few amazing wonders of the sea first-hand

Each year, about 20,000 gray whales make an epic 6,000-mile/9,656-km journey between Alaska and Mexico—and then back again. These whales travel from feeding grounds in the Bering Sea to mating and...

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Michele W/Flickr
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Kodiak Greenwood

Spotlight: Big Sur

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Art and nature merge on this rugged coast, one of California’s most spectacular settings

Welcome to one of the world’s most unforgettable stretches of coastline. This roughly 90-mile-long stretch of redwood- and fog-trimmed waterfront...

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Castroville produces 95 percent of the nation's artichokes. In 1948, Marilyn Monroe was crowned the town's first "Artichoke Queen."
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Follow celebrated routes to iconic vineyards and tucked-away surprises

With more than 4,000 wineries statewide, California lets you sample award-winning wines almost anywhere you go. These classic and up-and-coming wine roads—some too packed with wineries to tackle...

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Kid-friendly fun zones, special kids' menus & amazing wine for the grownups

Sure wine country is romantic, but now it’s a surprisingly great destination for families too, with a growing number of vineyards trading in elegant tasting rooms for kid-friendly fun zones that...

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John/Flickr
SPECIAL FEATURE
Farm-fresh produce, culinary adventures

Juicy heirloom tomatoes and just-picked strawberries. Super-sweet peaches shaped like mini UFOs. Artisanal cheeses, emerald-green olive oils, local wildflower honey—California’s farmers’ markets...

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Laura Flippen
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Trip 5-7 days 10 stops

Highway One Classic

Take the trip that captures the heart and soul of the Golden State
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Discover the awesome sports scene in the Golden State

With nearly twice as many professional teams as any other state, California is big league all the way. But the state’s sports scene goes far beyond football and baseball, with a diverse line-up of...

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Christina Lauren/Flickr
July

Vampires beware: this is one garlic-infused weekend that creatures of the night may want to miss. Everyone else—go, at least once, to this unforgettably odiferous and one-of-a-kind event. See how...

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Bill Strange Photography
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Ken Lund/Flickr

Ventura County Wine Trail

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Visit vineyards in coastal hills and communities

Sip your way along the Ventura County Wine Trail, where you’ll find nearly 20 wineries and tasting rooms in settings ranging from urban...

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David McGlynn/Getty Images

Oxnard

Discover California’s “Strawberry Coast”

Oxnard is where strawberries meet the sea. In this city 40 minutes south of Santa Barbara, you’ll find 7 miles/11.3 km of unspoiled beaches, plus...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Big-city-worthy events liven the sleepy Central Coast

Bookended by the big cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco, the Central Coast may be known for its mellow pace, but the closeness of those major gateways bring big names to relatively small...

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Courtesy of Monterey Jazz Festival
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Check these amazing experiences off your bucket list

Kiss a beluga, see cool movie props, and learn about Walt’s secret hideaway on exclusive and behind-the-scenes tours at California’s theme parks and attractions. Here’s a roundup of worth-the-...

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Michael Saechang/Flickr
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Beautiful locations, luxurious comforts

Get the starry nights, the campfire stories, the cozy sleeping bag, and all the best parts of camping in some of California’s most beautiful settings—but without the hassle of...

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Old-fashioned fun in the Golden State

Historic oceanfront playgrounds, classic city-park charmers, boisterous adventures—smaller theme parks and attractions offer an array of ways to play.  These smaller parks offer old-...

Safari West
Tai Power Seeff
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Harriot Manley/ Sunset Publishing

Solvang

A Danish stronghold makes a charming outpost surrounded by ranchlands and vineyards

Imagine a village where fresh-cut flowers and warm-from-the-oven pastries scent the air. Add gingerbread architecture, twirling windmills,...

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Tai Power Seeff

Central Coast Missions

Visit some of California’s most beautiful missions to discover the state’s Spanish roots

Strung like Spanish pearls along an 824-mile trail from San Diego to Sonoma, California’s 21 historic missions offer a wealth of treasures, from...

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Santa Barbara ranks in the nation’s top 20 counties for bicycle commuters, with nearly 5,000 residents commuting to work by bicycle.