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So now that you have landed on Santa Barbara as your vacation destination of a lifetime, you could buy one of many of the Santa Barbara Guides written about our fair city, go to all the places listed between its pages, and end up having the exact same vacation that thousands of other vacationers have experienced. Alternatively, you could color outside the lines and experience our town in a way that is both daring and unique. It’s your vacation, and there really aren’t any rules, but if you choose to the latter option, we at Paradise Retreats can help you with our own guide to this list of hidden gems you just won’t find in any run of the mill Santa Barbara Guides.

Have a Drink Where Stagecoaches Used to Stop

The Cold Spring Tavern, located at 5995 Stagecoach Road, was built as a stagecoach stop in 1886 and has been an integral part of the San Marcos Pass experience ever since. Today, the history of this determined structure that has survived bankruptcy, forest fires, and many other tragedies throughout its existence is apparent in the buildings that surround it. You can order a cold beverage, a tasty steak, and soak in the atmosphere during your visit to the past!

Enjoy a Scoop or Three of Your Favorite Ice Cream Flavor

The Santa Barbara Guidebooks are good, but do they know that some of the best ice cream in the state can be found at McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream? Offering rotating seasonal flavors and a giant selection of ones that never change, our happy place can be found at one of the tables. Just don’t ask us to choose a favorite taste; every visit we find something new to fall in love with!

Mission Santa Barbara IS in the Santa Barbara Guide

But some of the interesting stories behind the venerable structure probably haven’t made the cut! Located at 2201 Laguna Street, it is the only mission constructed with two identical towers. Our favorite story, however, is knowing that Juana Maria, the woman who inspired the beloved book, The Island of the Blue Dolphins, is buried in the cemetery on its grounds.

Explore Santa Barbara in Your Paradise Retreats Escape

The sunset is guaranteed to take your breath away, no matter how many times you see it, and although there are plenty of places to see it throughout town, none will compare to your own patio! Our homes are designed for your comfort while retaining that unique California style that wows, and when you stay with us, you really are staying in paradise! Give us a call today to book one of our Santa Barbara or Santa Ynez Valley vacation rentals!

Any person who has heard the name ‘Santa Barbara’ knows, or at least can assume, that it is a place of great beauty. This beauty is found in the weather, the city streets, and perhaps most notably, in the beaches. While California is home to seemingly endless beautiful shores, Santa Barbara is a place that stands out has one that has some of the best beaches that this amazing coast has to offer. Here is a Santa Barbara guide to some of the most incredible beaches.

Butterfly Beach

This is a quiet and simple place. There is nothing to distract from the immense beauty here. You can find the perfect place to soak up the sun along the sandy beach, or the perfect place for amazing views atop the oceanside cliffs. Perhaps the best thing about Butterfly Beach is the views point to the west rather than the south-facing views of the majority of Santa Barbara’s beaches. This means that this beach is one of the best places to witness a sunset over the Pacific in the Santa Barbara area, and perhaps throughout the entire state of California. You can find this beach in Montecito, which is a beautiful town a few miles to the south of Santa Barbara.

Carpinteria State Beach

There is a lot to love about this amazing beach. While it is obviously beautiful, it is a great place to go if you want to spend a quiet day at the beach. Coming here, you will typically be met with little to no crowds and very calm waters. Wide, sandy beaches make for a great place to relax in between dips into the calm ocean and tide pools. You can even enjoy marine life passing by just a few hundred feet off the shore.

Arroyo Burro County Beach Park

Just to the west of the center of Santa Barbara, you can find this wonderful gem that is perfect for locals and visitors alike. One of the things that makes this beach a fun and unique place to hang out is that dogs are welcome. There is even a stretch of the beach where they can frolic along without leashes. Wide open spaces, picnic areas, and FREE parking make this the perfect place to spend a day in the beautiful Santa Barbara weather.

There is More to Santa Barbara Than Even This Santa Barbara Guide Can Cover!

While these are just some of the beaches that you will not want to miss during your next Santa Barbara vacation, there are countless more. Getting out here and experiencing the beauty and leisure for yourself is the only way to know where to find the best beaches on the west coast.