A $135 round-trip ticket to LAX prompted a last minute trip to the left coast. I wasn’t interested in seeing more of Los Angeles so I randomly chose Santa Barbara as a destination. Glad about that for several reasons.
First, the drive from LAX to Santa Barbara allowed me to complete driving the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway); the stretch running through Malibu. Its a beautiful drive and I highly recommend. It might take a little more time than traversing the 405 but what would you rather look at while stuck in traffic – the cars in front of you or the Pacific Ocean? Tough call.
Secondly, Santa Barbara is a beautiful and relaxing city. Ocean to the left, hills to the right, Mission and Spanish Colonial Revival architecture everywhere and demographics that seem bimodal – college kids and the affluent 65+ crowd. Like many coastal California cities, the ocean takes center stage and everyone walks, skates, bikes and jogs. People are happy and chatty in the land of eternal sunshine.