The Cold Spring Canyon Bridge

The Cold Spring Canyon Bridge

Many of the best times in our lives have been the ones where we took unexpected detours and discovered something new, fascinating, and so wonderful, we end up excited about the journey, not just the destination. The Cold Spring Canyon Arch Bridge is not really a destination type of place; it's the detour you take on your journey to other places. But if you miss out on seeing this majestic Santa Barbara bridge, you will probably regret it! Designed to make the trip from Santa Ynez Valley to Santa Barbara quicker and easier, it's worth taking the time to drive down the old stagecoach trail and view it from below, and then you can drive over the bridge on the way back to your Paradise Retreats vacation rental!

The History of this Famous Santa Barbara Bridge

Prior to its construction in 1963, the only way to cross between Santa Barbara and the Santa Ynez Valley was to take the stagecoach trail that slowly winds through Cold Spring Canyon and adds quite a few minutes more to your drive, even if it was a beautiful drive and the Cold Spring Tavern (constructed in the 1800s and still in business today) made a nice little pit stop in the midst of your travel. When on vacation, this pit stop could be a good thing, but if you needed to get to the other side quickly you were out of luck.


Unashamedly stunning, the green arched bridge arcs over the valley below, creating an artistic balance to nature's beauty. The Cold Spring Canyon Arch Bridge is more than just a way to get from here to there; it's a picturesque adventure constructed of concrete, steel, and the handiwork of men from days gone past. Using the bridge for its intended purpose, however, almost seems to cheat you of the true adventure. Meandering through the valley below allows you to take in the whole picture-bridge, sky, and flora and fauna creating an image you may try to capture with your camera that will never match up to the real thing. Be sure and stop in to the Cold Spring Tavern as thousands have before you since the 1800s. Cold beer and comfort food are the specialties of the house!

Paradise Retreats

When you stay in one of our luxurious Paradise Retreats vacation rentals, you get more than just a place to sleep at night; you get an experience unlike any other and the opportunity to see the real Santa Barbara, not just the touristy spots you see advertised everywhere. Book yours today and discover the area's true beauty, right from this famous Santa Barbara bridge!

Photo By Dreamyshade - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,