When people think of all the cliches associated with California they think beautiful people, sunshine, surfers, beaches, outdoor bars, and great vibes. My visit to Santa Barbara was nothing short of just that; the sun was shining, my family and I were tanning and playing soccer on the beach. I had been hearing about Santa Barbara for quite sometime however, it was only in regards to how beautiful the beach was. Although the beach was gorgeous and relaxing, I was surprised to see how involved Santa Barbara had become in preserving the town’s history and ecological system.
The first place we visited was the the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum. I traveled with younger children, and although a museum may not be the most exhilarating of plans for 9-year-olds, I appreciated the Maritime Museum incorporated copious amounts of visual and interactive aids to go along with the information they were presenting. While there were lots of visual aids the museum did a phenomenal job of maintaining a balance ambience suitable for children and adults. Two of my favorite interactive exhibits were the replica of submarine telescope and fishing simulator. Although, I have to admit, it was pretty heavy! A+ for keeping the simulation authentic.
The next place we visited, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, played a wonder homage to Santa Barbara’s marine ecology. There were hands-on exhibits throughout the museum where guests could touch sharks, starfish, and other Santa Barbara natives with an educational tutor explaining the organism.
I also got the chance to see a live sting ray catch by a local fisher. I’d never seen something like that. Another recommendation would be to take a boat ride along the pacific ocean where you can have an up-close encounter with the cutest seals! Love adventure? The harbor rents out kayaking and other water sports equipment. If you want to stay active but don’t like the water too much, you can also rent out family bikes and take a nice relaxing stroll on the boardwalk.
The beach was just as relaxing as I expected. One distinguishing factor was the live music that was playing right on the beach. All in all, I’m glad I got to experience Santa Barbara in a different light. Need I say more to convince you?