The Santa Barbara Area

Things to do in The Santa Barbara Area

Six blocks from the town courthouse, this weekly market is the perfect place to watch gray-haired hippies, dreadlocked surfers, and well-heeled natives hunt for Central Coast olive oils and zingy lemon-flavored pistachios.

Pilgrims, gurus, and yogis have been drawn to these chaparral-covered hills for years. To see why, follow Reeves Road to the serene Meditation Mount where rock platforms seem suspended over the valley.

Pick up a warm fleece jacket before you go at Ventura’s Great Pacific Iron Works, a.k.a. the Patagonia mother ship.

Catch up on early California history at the beautiful, centuries-old Santa Barbara Mission.

To avoid crowds at the Last Chance Trail, opt for the Shelf Road Trail, with its dramatic valley views.

Here, rugged mountains make up a beautiful backdrop against the 1,100 acres of lush green grapevines.

Part cheese shop and part lunch stop, C'est Cheese sells more than 100 varieties, as well as artisan goods such as jams, olive oils, salumi, and various wines from France, Italy, Spain, and California.

Just offshore from developed SoCal lie the Channel Islands, five of which are protected as a national park.

Check out the Japanese teahouse and wander through the 65 acres of over 1,000 species of plants and flowers.

Of the 24 hiking paths that crisscross the valley, the 6_-mile Last Chance Trail, which winds through the forested Santa Paula Canyon, is the most beautiful—and the most popular.