Tango Diva : Travel Stories for Women, by Women

August 15th, 2010
Santa Barbara: travel back to the days of yore!

In need of a reminder of what life was like before smart phones, Twitter and Google Maps dialed us into everyone, everything, everywhere all the time? When you need a break from technology and that constant info-stream, head to Santa Barbara for a good, old-fashioned getaway.

From historic residences like Casa del Herrero and Stow House to museums like the Carriage & Western Art Museum and the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum, opportunities to reconnect with the past are plentiful. Step back in time at well-preserved landmarks like El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park and the county’s three missions, Mission Santa Barbara, Mission Santa Ines and La Purisima Mission State Historic Park.

A former stage coach stop, Cold Spring Tavern embraces times gone by with a new monthly “1886 Historic Dinners” series. The four-course dinner menu features old school favorites like black bean chili with buffalo, venison and rabbit. If you’re into the stage coach vibe, book a Conestoga-style wagon or cabin, at Rancho Oso Guest Ranch & Stables.

Another funky throwback to yesteryear is the reopened 1880 Union Hotel and Saloon in the wee Western-style town of Los Alamos. In its former lives, the B&B was a stage coach stop, road house and resting spot for stars en route to Hearst Castle.

There are many places to get a glimpse of the past in this beautiful town, so be sure to make enough time in your schedule to visit them all!


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4 thoughts on “Santa Barbara: travel back to the days of yore!

  1. I visit Santa Barbara quite frequently. Cold Spring Tavern is a wonderful restaurant, and there are many other great restaurants on State Street, such as Palazzio, an Italian place with family sized portions and a “honor code” wine drinking system. I’m a traveler on a budget so I like to stay at the Sand Man Inn (http://www.thesandmaninn.com/). It’s right on State Street and close to all the action!

  2. I absolutely love visiting Santa Barbara, visiting the old Mission on upper Laguna street is an absolute pass time.The architecture is astounding and the culture is all throughout the town. I have to agree with the post above my own, The Sandman Inn ((http://www.thesandmaninn.com/) is an exceptional place to stay, especially you are on a regimented budget. I love lounging by one of their exceptional pools after a long day of sight seeing.

  3. Santa Barbara is a great place to live if you have an interest in history and especially by the old Spanish ways with the Missions and architecture. The Santa Barbara Mission is so beautiful and a definite landmark in SB. I actually just got back from Fiestas in Santa Barbara and it was so much fun watching the dancers dance on the steps of the missions with all the lights and so forth. I stayed at the South Coast Inn (www.santa-barbara-hotel.com). So elegant and the perfect place to escape the city noise and get some much needed rest on a vacation!

  4. Any time I can escape LA and the traffic/smog situation I run off to the cloudless abyss of Santa Barbara! Best city by far and there is so much to do, I love it. Cold Springs Tavern is such a local hang out, especially for bikers. Their tri tip sandwiches are to die for, worth the trip! I can’t wait for my next vacation there, I’ll be staying at the South Coast Inn (www.santa-barbara-hotel.com). Incredible affordable as well as elegant. Perfect place to call home while on vacation.

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