The communities of Santa Barbara County endured a difficult winter, starting with the state’s largest-ever wildfire in December followed by devastating mudslides in January. The area is now in healing mode, and visitors can play a huge part of accelerating the recovery. Planning a vacation in “The American Riviera” is always a great idea—thanks to its sunny beaches, luxury resorts, and laid-back wineries—but right now a trip to this coastal city serves an even deeper purpose.
Travel + Leisure recently highlighted 31 Things to Do in Santa Barbara, calling out some of the best attractions, beaches, events, and shopping in the area. It's a great trip-planning tool and well worth a read.
Some of Travel + Leisure's top recommendations include a visit to historic Stearns Wharf or West Beach, where you can taste your way through the Funk Zone. Or stroll down State Street, which T+L calls “a pedestrian’s paradise, with independent shops, European-style bakeries, and plenty of benches for people-watching.”
Of course, the mere act of being in Santa Barbara is enough to improve anybody's state of mind. And with a wide range of accommodations to choose from—including high-end resorts, cozy inns, and RV-friendly parks on the beach—there's truly something for everyone.
If you're traveling with kids, be sure to visit Moxi, The Wolf Museum of Exploration and Innovation. The hands-on exhibits at this science museum are hugely popular with the young ones—especially the build-your-own racecar tracks and musical instruments powered by the sun and wind.