Santa Barbara | California
We arrived late one evening, parked up at a generic roadside motel and immediately fell asleep upon a slightly hard and uncomfortable mattress. Jet lag ensuring an early wake up, we left our motel room the next morning as the sun was rising, casting a misty, pale glow over the deserted beach in front of us. Enchanted by what we were seeing, we strolled leisurely down the empty beach, silent except for the gentle crashing of waves and the tide lapping around our bare feet. The sky was free from clouds, and as the sun rose higher into the early morning sky the light reflected off the ocean, sparkling as it rhythmically rose and fell.
Several more people had appeared on the beach now, early morning joggers, and as one ran past she casually pointed out to sea: ‘Look- have you seen the Dolphins?’ Dolphins. A pod, 4 or 5 of them, leaping out of the water so close to the shore you could see the glistening drops of water flying off their fins. As we watched in awe, more heads popped up out of the water, only this time it was seals, their eyes intrigued, heads smooth and streamlined. We followed them, dolphins and seals, as we walked further along the beach until we reached a pier. We walked to the very end of it and sat down, letting our legs dangle off the edge and hover over the water. Looking out over the ocean we agreed, we had managed to find a corner of our very own paradise.
Whether you enjoy hiking, fine-dining, water sports, lazing on the beach, culture, or great night-life, Santa Barbara has it all. It is easily one of the most beautiful destinations on the west coast and an easy drive from LA. The city lies between the steeply rising Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Santa Barbara's climate is described as Mediterranean, and the city is often promoted as the "American Riviera". In addition to being a popular tourist and resort destination, the city economy includes a large service sector, education, technology, health care, finance, agriculture, manufacturing, and local government. With the famously scenic backdrop of the Santa Ynez Mountains and a stunning coast line, this laid-back city is a must visit for anyone seeking a relaxing getaway destination.