You asked about Santa Barbara

Where we stay:

  • El Capitan Canyon – really the coolest place to stay, but it’s pretty far out of town.
  • Franciscan Inn – inexpensive, very convenient, easy to walk everywhere, but it’s not plush by any means
  • Eagle Inn – same as Franciscan
  • Others –
  • But also great camping north of Santa Barbara – Gaviota, El Capitan, Refugio and others

Restaurants – Low end

  • Super Rica Mexican on Milpas – my favorite on the low end. Run by a charming guy whoÕs passion is authentic grilled Mexican dishes.
  • Pollo Norteno on Milpas
  • Cajun Kitchen for breakfast
  • Brown Pelican Restaurant on HendryÕs Beach for breakfast
  • Lots of other ethnic restaurants on Milpas street

Restaurants – Upscale

  • CaDario – my favorite on the high end
  • Bacchio on State Street
  • ZeloÕs on State Street
  • The Bay Cafe
  • The Peruvian restaurant on State Street (canÕt quite recall the name – Pappagios or something)

Places to Hang Out

  • East Beach volleyball courts, Goleta Beach volleyball courts, UCSB Thunderdome
  • State Street in general – great place to stroll.
  • Arlington Theater – great place for movies.
  • El Encanto Bar – very charming place on the Riviera, bar at harbor (but itÕs always crowded)
  • Santa Barbara County Courthouse – lovely building and gardens
  • Santa Barbara Art Museum
  • Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens
  • Santa Barbara Zoo
  • Stearns Wharf
  • Rent bikes and ride the beach
  • Hike Cachuma
  • Art fair all day Sunday along East Beach
  • Could also take a day trip out the Santa Cruz Island –

Where to Get a Pulse on the Community

  • Santa Barbara Independent – check for current events –

Pismo/Avila Beach/Morro Bay

  • Where I’d stay: Avila Beach, because it’s a lot cooler than Pismo. I’ probably stay at the Avila Village Inn because I hate spending a lot of money on hotels
  • I also like the Inn at Morro Bay – great location.
  • We consistently stop at Guiseppe’s Restaurant in Pismo stop for dinner on our way to Santa Barbara.