Is there More to Santa Barbara than Sterns Wharf?
13.04.2013 - 13.04.2013 66 °F
Not too much actually but I wanted to find out, so Friday morning we headed out from the campground, back over San Marcos Pass, to Santa Barbara. (Actually, the Pass isn't too bad in a car!)
First we visited the Visitor Center, which is right across from Sterns Wharf. After picking up brochures, maps and discussing options with the staff, we decided to drive down "State Street", which is the main drag, and see what there was to see. It is very picturesque and it seems almost the whole city uses old Spainish style architecture. But besides shops and cafe's there didn't seem to be too many reasons to stop - on some trips, that would be reason enough I suppose, but nothing jumped out at me and said STOP (and there wasn't any easy parking) so we just ambled along. They do have an art museum, but with Mom's legs I figured we'd better plan on a limited number of functions so decided to skip that this trip.
We needed to find a post office, so using the map from the visitors center we turned off to the next block and mailed some stuff. Across the street was the Presidio of Santa Barbara, so we decided to visit that. I let Mom off at the corner and drove a couple of blocks farther to find a parking spot. Right next to where I parked were some very interesting looking cactus, long stem almost like a minature tree.
Then the Presidio:
This was where the town was originally founded as a Spainish fort in April 1782. Over the years, many section had been destroyed but a couple have been preserved and the chapel section reconstructed. They do have a painting of what it probably looked like originally.
So Mom & I went through the sections that they have:
There were a number of exhibits showing how people lived during the time the presidio was active.
Behind the living quarters were small gardens and also a larger garden area behind the chapel. I was impressed with how much fruit was on the lemon and orange trees! They must like the climate here.
There was an entire room dedicated to Pottery, which I won't bore you with, but you might find the exhibit of how they made and used Chocolate interesting!
Finally we also went through the Chapel. This is a reconstruction, but they did a very good job and were very careful to be as authentic as possible. The Father's quarters were off to the side.
We decided to skip the Santa Barbara Mission since we had both seen it before and seen quite a few missions over the years. Another place that looked like it might be worth a visit was a "Ronald Reagan" center. I never agreed with his politics but Mom thought he was 'cute' and I thought it might be informative. However, it turns out it is closed on Fridays (the day we were there), so we had driven back to it for nothing. It was pretty much across the street from the beaches and wharf, so I drove across the street and parked at the beach. I debated whether to spend some time on the beach, but although the sun was out it was still quite cool so we decided to go back to Sterns Wharf afterall. Mom was pretty tired out from the Presidio, so we took the wheel chair for this jaunt.
The views along the beach and wharf are quite lovely as usual in any weather.
We walked all the way out to the end and decided to 'do lunch' at Moby Dicks. Very nice over the water dining if you're ever in need for such a place. Again however, we ate too much...
And of course the beaches and palm tree's are what make Santa Barbara what it is.
And shore birds...
So we spent a little more money on souvenirs, had a little too much to eat, took lots of pictures and headed back over the pass for a good nights sleep.