The state of California made a fan of me from my very first business trip there. I’d gone to my employer’s headquarters in Santa Clara, and then headed to a secluded winery in the hills of San Jose for a private party. From that moment I was hooked. Since then I exercised every opportunity possible to return to the Golden State and explore the unique culture of each city.
Business landed me in Santa Barbara this time around, but it hardly feels like work when the entire town looks like something from a movie set. If you’re into fashion, then you know that Cali style is very relaxed and effortless. Being in Santa Barbara puts Cali life and style into perspective. From the moment you exit the charming little Santa Barbara airport and see the mountains in the distance, stress just seems to melt away. Throughout the city, the vistas are picturesque with lush greenery, beaches, sprawling marinas, streets dotted with people on beach cruiser bicycles, and buildings almost uniformly adorned with Spanish tile roofs.
One of my Santa Barbara colleagues lives on an avocado farm with her family, and another drives along the coast and sees dolphins in the ocean on his way to work. Part of me secretly wonders if they go surfing at lunch. Seriously, does anyone have stress at all here? If you’re ready to experience Santa Barbara yourself, here are a few insiders’ tips to experience some of the best that the city has to offer.