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Hidden Treasures of Santa Barbara

October 5th, 2017 · No Comments · American Riviera, California Real Estate, Santa Barbara Real Estate

There’s no such thing as locals only in Santa Barbara–provided you know all of the city’s hidden treasures, secret trails, backwater pubs and bars, and neighborhood gems. If you’re looking for a place to call home it’s hard to beat the sunshine, Spanish architecture, and the flower-lined streets with mountains looming in the distance, not to mention its proximity to Southern California’s wine country.

But there’s more to the city than beautiful landscapes, beach days and college-town funkiness (as if that weren’t enough already!) Santa Barbara packed with things to do, and if you know where to look, a few unusual sights. Here’s our top spots for intrepid vacationers and aspiring locals.

The Book Den
This shop might as well be a California institution. Originally founded in 1902, the Book Den is one of the oldest bookstores in the state. Although the store moved from Oakland to Santa Barbara in 1933, the store kept up with a wide selection of books, and it continues to stock new, used, rare and out-of-print books today.

A 36-acre botanic garden established by a rather eccentric opera singer and socialite, Lotusland boasts 20 miniature themed gardens, topiaries and a variety of plants grown nowhere else in the U.S. The gardens are well worth an afternoon’s tour—and don’t forget to visit the butterfly garden.

Cold Spring Tavern
Founded 1886, the Cold Spring Tavern was formerly a stagecoach stop known as the Cold Spring Relay Station. The 100-plus year old restaurant has been serving home-style meals to travelers tired from the road since its founding. These days, though, its clientele come for the Tavern itself, a well-preserved and cozy restaurant that’s been known to host a few celebrities now and again. If you happen by on a Saturday or Sunday, be sure to try their famous tri-tip sandwiches.

Knapp’s Castle
A favorite hiking destination for locals, Knapp’s Castle was formerly the mansion of a chemical magnate, before a fire leveled the building down to a maze of stone fireplaces and ruins. The area’s prime position in the Santa Ynez Mountains have made the derelict house a perfect spot to stop and watch the sun set. For a day’s hike, you can pick up Snyder Trail in the nearby Los Padres National Forest and hike it to the Castle for a view.

La Cumbre Peak
If you’re looking to scale every summit in Santa Barbara, you’ve probably heard of Inspiration Point. But it’s just the tip of the iceberg (or mountain). La Cumbre Peak stands at 3,997 feet, towering over the Santa Ynez Mountains. From La Cumbre’s gorgeous summit, you can continue on to Cathedral Peak trail for a challenging boulder hop and climb. Even if you’re not much for hiking, you can access the Peak’s gorgeous view via car.

Butterfly Beach in Montecito
If you plan on venturing outside of Santa Barbara into the county, you’ll find no better beach to visit than Butterfly Beach in Montecito, a gorgeous and lesser known stretch of sea and sand.

Post by Guest Author Nicholas Wineland : Photo collage of Santa Barbara’s State Street, the Wave House, the Marina, Rincon, Montecito Coast Village Road, and view of the Harbor/Wharf from the hills of the Santa Barbara Riviera.

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