If you're ever in need of a quick and easy vacation getaway (and lets be honest, who isn't?) Santa Barbara is a destination that needs to be on your radar. This fun and relaxing beach town is just outside of Los Angeles County and can be a nice day trip and an even more rewarding weekend romp. Hop in the car and after about an hour and a half drive up the 101 you will find yourself surrounded by palm trees, ocean, spanish style buildings, and beauty. I recommend checking out the wineries, there a handful of places to do wine tasting, most near State Street - the main street in downtown Santa Barbara that is loaded with great restaurants and shops. My favorite is a little off the beaten path (by only 2 miles) in a slightly industrial area. It's called Carr Winery and it is great.
The small warehouse boasts wine barrels of aging wine, a large 3 sided bar and extra booths to relax in. One of the great things about Carr Winery, in addition to the fabulous wine, a brewery is located directly next door. Telegraph Brewing Company. For only $6 - let me repeat that - only $6!! You get 4 tastes of delicious beer brewed only steps away from where you are sitting and a 10 once pour of your favorite of the 4! It's great. We did the winery then the brewery. But plan wisely - the brewery closes at 4:00 pm. I left tipsy and very happy.
The next day we went whale watching aboard the Condor Express. After an initially rocky beginning (pun intended) which only I was a victim to...
...the experience was amazing. Although, I missed my first whale while dressing my wounds - which I received while trying to walk 5 steps on the bow of the boat without holding on to the railing. But the first whale was just the beginning. We soon found ourselves surrounded by at least 6 humpback whales. It was an experience that I will never forget, (and may have a scar to ensure that).
Also while your in Santa Barbara walk down the wharf and grab some seafood. It's good stuff!
Peace, Love, Vacation, and Happiness!