Saturday, April 9, 2016

"Car Free" fun in Santa Barbara

Showcasing the best that Santa Barbara has to offer, the "Car-Free" way is an easy, fun and unique way to get there. Once there just show your train ticket to receive discounts for hotels, dining, and the many special attractions that make Santa Barbara a premier vacation spot.
We parked our car at the station in Chatsworth,  and boarded the Amtrak Northbound Pacific Surfliner . We sat, back in our comfortable seats, relaxed, and took in the incredible scenery unfolding before our eyes. In Business Class we enjoyed coffee,  tea and sweet rolls during our early departure, arriving Santa Barbara in style in a little over 2 hours.
We walked 3 blocks to the privately owned small historic Hotel Santa Barbara, in the heart of  downtown on State Street, where we spent the night. Offering the perfect blend of history, convenience, charm and comfort, we were warmly welcomed by Nadine Turner, sales and marketing manager, along with the  rest of the attentive staff. Room amenities included a flat screen TV with extended cable and HBO, fridge, free HiFi, and comfy beds with pillow top mattresses.
After settling in we immediately opted to board the Santa Barbara Trolley, where we took the fully narrated 90 minute tour of the 'America Riviera.' After getting our bearings we took advantage of the jump on and jump off feature that the trolley has to offer. Some of the highlights were Stearns Wharf, the Old Mission, the Maritime Museum, Santa Barbara Art Museum, Bike Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Zoo. Sailing Cruises, Fun Rentals (bikes) and much more.
We also took advantage of the electric bus (50 cents each) that actually dropped us off right in front of the hotel.
From our location on State Street there were endless choices to dine and shop.
The next morning after a first class Continental Breakfast at the hotel, we took the trolley to the Funk Zone (part of the Urban Wine Trail) where there were blocks of award-winning wine tasting rooms.
Going back aboard the Amtrak Southbound Pacific Surfliner we again sat Business Class and on this late departure we were served a goodie bag and given a choice of soda, wine or water.
Our car was 'waiting' at the train station, and we both agreed that our car-free Santa Barbara experience was a perfect pleasure.

Santa Barbara Car Free is an award winning project founded and led by the Santa Barbara County Pollution Control District with more than 100 community partners dedicated to making car-free vacations through December 31,2016. Find resources and car free discover ideas  at:

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