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Always in Season: Santa Barbara Foodie Stroll Video_KeyFrameOnly_AIS_Hughes

Always in Season: Santa Barbara Foodie Stroll

Always in Season: Santa Barbara Foodie Stroll
Meet local farmers and flower growers

Known for sun-drenched days tempered by cool ocean breezes, Santa Barbara stands out as a jewel along the Central Coast. But the can-it-be-this-perfect climate of the region, nicknamed “The American Riviera,” does more than create a vacation playground for visitors. It also makes a great destination for experiencing one of California's most inviting local traditions: farmers' markets. Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market events, offered several times a week at different locations in and around town, let you mingle with local farmers, sample artisanal foods, buy hand-crafted gifts, and enjoy the simple pleasures, like picking out a bouquet of sweet-smelling fresh-cut flowers.

75 percent of fresh-cut flowers grown in the U.S. come from California

Chefs at Santa Barbara's Wine Cask restaurant visit local markets to find the freshest ingredients possible, right down to the flowers that fill their centerpieces. One of the restaurant’s favorite flower vendors is Myriad Flowers International, based just south of town in the sunny Carpinteria Valley. There, the Van Wingerden family grows dozens of varieties of roses and pompon chrysanthemums, as well as tulips, lilies, freesias, ranunculus, and other flowers and ornamentals. On Tuesdays, look for Myriad’s flower stall at the State Street market; Saturdays, head to the Downtown farmers’ market. Also visit farmers’ markets in Carpinteria, Goleta, Solvang, Montecito, Ventura, and other nearby towns. 

For an unforgettable experience, join one of Wine Cask's chefs on an informative farmers' market Foodie Stroll, followed by dinner. Join the chef to visit with farmers and check out what’s fresh at the market, then rendezvous back at the restaurant that night for dinner, featuring items you helped select that morning. (See restaurant website for details.)

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Alex Farnum

Central California

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 favourite way to take in this iconic drive through Big Sur and beyond

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The Santa Barbara coastline
Harriot Manley/Sunset Publishing

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—...

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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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Get ready for the Central Coast’s ultimate gathering of the culinary world. Now in its ninth year, this luxurious event is one of those star- and spectacle-studded experiences you simply...

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Courtesy of Coastal Luxury Management
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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
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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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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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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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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 cosy sleeping bag, and all the best parts of camping in some of California’s most beautiful settings—but without the hassle of hauling loads 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.
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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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Zachary Miller/Getty Images

Spotlight: Ventura County

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

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San Luis Obispo’s Bubble Gum Alley is filled with more than 1.7 million pieces of bubble gum.