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Santa Barbara

Dubbed “The American Riviera,” Santa Barbara offers a combination of nature, culture, adventure, and culinary delights. “Perfect weather, beautiful buildings, excellent bars and restaurants, and activities for all tastes and budgets make Santa Barbara a great place to live,” raves The Lonely Planet. Forbes Travel Guide is equally complimentary: “The sky is so blue it’s almost purple, the beach is lined with palm trees, and the lush, green foothills are dotted with beautiful, Spanish-style homes.”

Because the climate is so mild, you might want to spend all your time outside. You have your choice of several area beaches, and active sorts can go surfing, whale-watching, hiking, camping, fishing, snorkeling, or boating. But there are plenty of indoor pursuits to keep you occupied. For example, you can tour Old Mission Santa Barbara or the many wineries in the surrounding hills. Or take a leisurely stroll around the center of town, where you can explore and enjoy a range of restaurants, bars, cafes, galleries, and shops. And check the schedule of performances and lectures at UC Santa Barbara, where you can easily get your culture fix!