Santa Barbara, CA
California
By Lauren Kmec

Often dubbed “the American Riviera” due to its pleasant Mediterranean climate, Santa Barbara, California, is a favorite vacation spot for many Americans. Though it is probably best known for its brilliant beaches, Santa Barbara’s proximity to the Santa Ynez Mountains makes it an excellent choice for nature lovers, as it offers plenty of opportunities for hiking and water sports, in addition to lounging on the beach. The city is also just minutes from gorgeous Santa Barbara County wine country.

WhatsCheaper.com encourages you to explore Santa Barbara for your next getaway. Fly into Santa Barbara Airport (SBA), located adjacent to the University of California at Santa Barbara, just a few miles from downtown. The airport is served by five major airlines with an average of 40 daily departures. Follow this link (http://www.whatscheaper.com/flight.php) to book your flight with WhatsCheaper.com. We also offer a variety of hotel options appropriate for any budget; scroll down to review WhatsCheaper.com’s top selections. Then click this link (http://www.whatscheaper.com/hotel.php) to start your search for low prices.

WhatsCheaper.com recommends that your first stop be Stearns Wharf, one of Santa Barbara’s most popular landmarks. This is the place to embark on a whale-watching cruise, sample local wines and cuisine, or settle in to observe a breathtaking sunset. The Santa Barbara Channel is home to over 30 species of marine animals—including whales, dolphins, and sea lions—making it a perfect place to observe these animals in their natural habitat. Various tour companies offer whale-watching excursions; some also offer brunch and dinner cruises too. The Ty Warner Sea Center, an interactive marine educational facility, is also located at Stearns Wharf.

The Ty Warner Sea Center is owned and operated by the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, which is an exciting institution in its own right. Opened to the public since 1916, the museum owns some 3 million artifacts from various disciplines such as archaeology, geology, and anthropology. Highlights include the butterfly pavilion, a nature trail, and a planetarium and space lab.

The Santa Barbara Zoological Gardens is one of the gems of the city, and WhatsCheaper.com encourages tourists to spend an afternoon here among the animals. The zoo is located on 30 acres of botanical gardens overlooking the Pacific Ocean; the gardens feature native trees and flowers, cacti and succulents, and exotic plants. The zoo is quite vast, so we will list some of our favorite attractions here: the African Veldt, California Trails, Cats of Africa, and Gibbon Island.

If you’re hoping to rub elbows with the locals, WhatsCheaper.com suggests an outing to the Santa Barbara Arts and Crafts Show, located on the coast between East Beach and West Beach and held every Sunday from 10 am to dusk. Inspired by sidewalk art shows in Europe and Mexico, the Arts and Crafts Show was established in 1965 by a group of local artists and is now the only continually operating, non-juried arts festival in the world. Approximately 200 artists come here each week to display their wares, which range from paintings and sculpture to photography and various crafts.

For peaceful relaxation, WhatsCheaper.com recommends spending some time at the Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens, sometimes referred to as the “crown jewel of city parks.” The beautifully manicured gardens surround a manmade pond full of koi and turtles; this is a great place for a leisurely stroll or picnic. If your party includes children, pay a visit to nearby Alameda Park, with its fantastic 8000-square-foot “Kid’s World” playground.

Amateur and expert gardeners alike will enjoy a walk through the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens, a true hidden treasure in the city, with 65 acres of native trees, shrubs, cacti, and wildflowers and 5.5 miles of nature trails. The garden is especially magical in the spring when many of the plants are in full bloom. WhatsCheaper.com suggests coming here to get some exercise while drinking in the area’s abundant natural beauty.

There is so much more to experience in Santa Barbara; this short article does not do it justice. So let WhatsCheaper.com help you plan a trip to Santa Barbara today!

MUST SEE IN Santa Barbara, CA LIST:

  • 1. Santa Barbara Mission
  • 2. Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
  • 3. Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
  • 4. Presidio State Historic Park
  • 5. Arroyo Burro Beach Park
  • 6. Santa Barbara Zoo
  • 7. Santa Barbara Maritime Museum
  • 8. Santa Barbara Sailing Center
  • 9. Arlington Theatre
  • 10. Santa Barbara Bowl

Santa Barbara, CA EVENT CALENDAR:

  • 1. Santa Barbara International Film Festival - January/February
  • 2. Good Vibes Festival - March
  • 3. Earth Day Festival - April
  • 4. Vintners' Festival - April
  • 5. Santa Barbara Sea Festival - May
  • 6. Annual Wine Festival - June
  • 7. 4th of July in Santa Barbara - July
  • 8. Old Spanish Days Fiesta - August
  • 9. Santa Barbara Harbor & Seafood Festival - October
  • 10. Annual Parade of Lights - December

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Fess Parker's DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Santa Barbara
633 East Cabrillo Boulevard, Santa Barbara, CA
By D. Gregory Perrin

Fess Parker's DoubleTree Resort by Hilton® Santa Barbara is the perfect hotel to book during your next vacation to the city. The hotel is located only a short distance from the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport. The hotel offers a complimentary shuttle to and from the airport. When returning to the airport the shuttle leaves every hour on the hour, and when arriving the shuttle is available upon appointment. Check-in at the hotel is at 3 p.m. or after upon arrival. WhatsCheaper.com reminds guests to make sure to get their complimentary chocolate chip cookie which is offered to all guests.  If you are traveling with valuables, make sure to check them at the front desk to be placed in the hotel’s safety deposit box during your stay. Guests traveling with pets will be happy to know the hotel is pet friendly but does charge a nightly fee for a pet room.

The rooms at the DoubleTree come equipped with either 1 king or 2 queen size beds. There is a color television to stay up with all of your favorite programming while traveling, including HBO.  High speed Wi-Fi service is available in each room for a fee that is charged per day. You can hook your mp3 player into stereo speakers in order to listen to your own personal music while in the room. Also, enjoy a cup of coffee in your own room by using the coffee maker.
WhatsCheaper.com reminds you not to forget that the hotel also offers complimentary turndown service upon request.

There are great amenities like a full fitness center and swimming pool. Tennis enthusiasts can play on the hotel’s court. The hotel also has a spa with various services.

In the morning, sleep easy as check-out is not until 12 p.m.  WhatsCheaper.com recommends Fess Parker's DoubleTree Resort by Hilton® Santa Barbara for hotel accommodations in the city. Just click this link (http://www.whatscheaper.com/hotel.php) to get started on your search for affordable pricing with us.

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