For the longest time, my friend Cara and I have been talking about taking a day trip to Santa Barbara. Our schedules kept clashing, but we finally made it work!
The drive to Santa Barbara was nice and smooth. We left L.A. just after the morning rush traffic, at around 10:30, and it took about a couple of hours to get there. The weather was also nice and gloomy, making the drive even more pleasant.
Our first stop was the Santa Barbara Mission. Back in fourth grade, I had to do a project that dealt with the Santa Barbara mission. Although I don’t remember anything at all, I do remember visiting this mission with my project partner and taking a look around. Ah, brought me back memories. Irritating memories.
This time around, I had much better company.
There is a self-guided tour of inside the mission, with a museum included. But there was an entrance fee involved and we weren’t quite in the mood to do a lot of reading and edumecating, so wandering around the grounds and spending some time in the gift shop was sufficient enough for us.
Right around the corner of the mission’s parking lot was a little gated area for picnics. Luckily enough, we had actually brought a picnic basket, thinking we’d have lunch on the beach later that day! But seeing this cute little area made us change our plans and we plopped right down on a picnic table and munched on (watch the video to see what we ate ^_~).
For our next stop, we headed to the coast and found this little beach called “One Thousand Steps Beach” tucked away in a residential cul-de-sac. It was quite hidden, and I doubt that back before the internet was a thing, this place was only a thing that locals knew about. We went on a weekday, so parking on the street was no problem. But I don’t know how crowded this place is during the weekend.
One thousand steps later (exaggerating, here) , we saw this view. My, oh my! It was like stepping into a fantasy world. I love that this narrow staircase held the entrance into a magical and secluded part of Southern California coast.
*the steps were a little slippery (not sure if it was because of the rain, but the upper stairs didn’t have this problem) so I’d advise a slower descent onto the beach, if possible.
There was no one in sight. No sounds to be heard but the crashing of the waves. What a great little beach to just escape to when you need to think, or even read a book. (See the waves in action in the video below!)
Next, we walked around downtown Santa Barbara, with our first stop being their courthouse. I once photographed an intimate wedding there and was amazed that this place was even an option! The tiles, the colors, the architecture, the murals – swoon!
To finish off our day, we headed towards the main street of downtown Santa Barbara and wandered into a few stores. We must have looked lost at one point because a guy came up to us and asked if we needed help with directions. We admitted to him that we were, in fact, tourists, and he then told us that we had to try out this one dessert shop a few blocks down called Lilac Patisserie.
The shop was airy and inviting, and had such a french feel to the decor. Great spot to end the day and unwind.
I have created a video to go along with this blog post (see below) if you wanted to get a better feel of our trip! Videos are something I’m trying to work more on, so please let me know what you think about the video, along with any helpful tips or advice on how to improve it! Thanks, and enjoy!