Santa Barbara vacation rentals are a great way to spend your time in southern California. With the Santa Ynez Mountains towering upwards of 4,000 feet behind the city, the views are always spectacular, from sunrise to sunset. The principal city in Santa Barbara County, Santa Barbara is often known as the "American Riviera," possibly due to its Mediterranean-like climate. The city is easily accessible with its position only an hour northwest of Los Angeles. Furthermore, you'll know when you arrive in Santa Barbara: most of the architecture is crafted in a beautiful Spanish Colonial style, with dozens of beautiful, red terra cotta tiled roofs throughout the city. To preserve this image, the city has no billboards, and has strict guidelines regarding the signs businesses can use.
There are dozens of destinations within Santa Barbara that earn a must-see status for visitors to the city. First and foremost, you can't go to Santa Barbara without checking out the gorgeous and historically significant Mission Santa Barbara. Known as the so-called "Queen of the Missions," this incredible structure was built in 1786 and has been used by Franciscan Friars ever since. Though earthquakes have required the structures to be rebuilt on several occasions, the Mission's location among the Santa Ynez peaks remains, and is a breathtaking sight for all visitors. Other historical buildings located within Santa Barbara include the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, and the Presidio, a Spanish military installation built in 1782. If you decide to visit during the summer, try to come during the Summer Solstice Parade, which draws perhaps the largest groups of visitors to Santa Barbara every year. The Parade takes place the first weekend after the summer solstice (the longest day of the year!).
Santa Barbara is a vibrant, artistic community, and it shows. With over 8 higher learning institutions, there is always a youthful element to Santa Barbara, and students can often be found browsing in the Santa Barbara Museum of Art of the University Art Museum on the UC Santa Barbara campus. You should also make sure to check out the Arlington Theater, which has regular performances, and the Granada Theater. The Santa Barbara Bowl, another concert space, often has great outdoor concerts.
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