Monday, April 26, 2010

Santa Barbara Zoological Gardens

Lions, Tigers and Giraffe's, Oh My......

The Santa Barbara Zoo is one our most magical local treasures!  The Zoo is located along East Beach in one of the most gorgeous spots in the Santa Barbara area.

Originally known as the Child's Estate, the grounds belonged to a Mrs. Childs who donated the property to the City of Santa Barbara to be maintained as a park. Legend has it that The Child's Estate was also a well know "hobo" camping ground (with Mrs. Child's permission).

On the top of the Meadow with 360 degree views stood the old estate residence. I was told that for a long time the residence was rented out to UCSB students, and was lost in the late 1950s to a fire.

new addition to the Zoo...a giraffe family

When I first saw the property is was being cleaned up by members of the Santa Barbara Junior Chamber of Commerce.  These were young business people of the community who took on the task of turning the property into a park, and eventually a zoological garden. Begun as an ad hoc community venture, it now thrives as a beautiful non-profit and a jewel in our community.

Accredited as a true Zoological Garden, the Santa Barbara Zoo has come a long way from it's origin.  People and animal  friendly this beautiful property attracts visitors including educators and animal lovers of all ages on a daily basis.  It is a popular place for birthdays for young and old.

A magical spot for weddings!

The Summer Zoo Camp is so popular that adults who grew up here send their children to attend camp at the Zoo.  Our family has many fond memories of birthdays and zoo camp for our son while he was growing up.

Young at heart or young, be sure to fit a visit to this magical spot into your trip to Santa Barbara.  For more information:

Friday, April 16, 2010

Sunday Arts and Crafts Show at East Beach

Santa Barbara Arts and Crafts Show on Cabrillo Boulevard

Since 1965 local artists have assembled on Cabrillo Boulevard East of State Street to set up and sell their art. The colorful canopies and umbrellas used to shield the artists and their wares from the sun creates a visual delight in itself. Santa Barbara is an artists' haven (or should I say heaven) as there is no such thing as too much art.  The gorgeous gifts of nature Mother Earth has bestowed upon our community makes for a great subjects to paint, draw, photograph or just be inspired by. For you historians, the show originated in the courtyard by City Hall off De La Guerra Street, known as De La Guerra Plaza until  it outgrew that space and moved to it's current location. 

This article will be limited to visual arts because of course all the arts thrive in Santa Barbara. In addition to the many art exhibits, galleries, museums and private art collections, the Sabado Domingo Art Show is part of our culture and history. Any one who has tried to move the show, modify it, or mess with it in any way has heard thundering objections from the natives. This truly is one of Santa Barbara's sacred cows!

Paintings of all media, photographs, sculptures, ceramics, jewelry, leather works, all kinds of crafts and handmade toys are available each and every Sunday unless totally rained out!

On Fiesta Sunday, (first week of August) the show is twice as long as it also includes Cabrillo Boulevard West of State Street.

The participants are juried and carry a City Business License, so you will be sure to find this show an excellent source of quality art.  For more information, telephone 805 897-1982;

Believe it or not, there is a real Skate Board Park located between the Art Show and the Beach area, called Skater's Point. Featuring Ledges, quarter pipes and rails throughout the 14,600 square foot park. The Park is free, bring your own skate board and protective gear is a must requirement.

Across from the Chase Palm Park is the Children's Park featuring an old fashioned carousel. This is also the side where the Summer Concerts are held in Fess Parker's Park.  See my post on Summer Concerts in the Park.

If you get tired or need to rest a while, you will find the grass area along the beach a great resting and picnic spot.  There are numerous restaurants along Cabrillo Blvd, from casual to elegant. There is often community "join in the fun" folk dancing going on the grass in the same vicinity. And the bike path between the sand and the grass is shared with bikers and joggers alike. There are several parking lots (fee) along the beach.  You can also park in one of the downtown lots and ride the Trolly to the bottom of State Street at Stearns Wharf.

Stearns Wharf is located right at Cabrillo Blvd and State Street.  The kids can visit the Natural History Museum's Ty Warner Sea Center with it's wonderful "touch tank." The Great Pacific Ice Cream Company and Mother Stearns Candy Company offer yummy treats for all ages.  For more information see my post on Stearns Wharf.

Nearby on Cabrillo Blvd there are rentals available for surreys, bikes, and more....If you'd like to stay overnight in SB or plan to make a longer return trip, the Santa Barbara Visitors' Center is across the street from all this action...filled with good information. 

Have fun!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Santa Barbara's Magical Waterfront

Santa Barbara's Water Front has it all....

 famous local artist Bud Bottoms presented the City with this beautiful Dolphin Sculpture
which is located on an infinity fountain at the bottom of State Street and the beginning of the Waterfront

Our favorite Sunday Brunch place, the Breakwater Cafe...not bad for casual lunch or dinner either...
with a wonderful outdoor patio

numerous choices of fabulous locally owned restaurants, including
The Waterfront Grill and Endless Summer Bar-Cafe
(a couple of 'old time local surfers started this restaurant along with Chuck's many surf years ago!)
Remember the surf movie, "Endless Summer?"  Yes it included local surf legends..

 Chuck's Steak House (the other one is in Hawaii)

 right next to the Maritime Museum

 Brophy Brothers (also locally owned) is very popular with locals
go early (4:30 pm) to get a patio seat!

....which offers this fabulous view!

big and little kids love watching the commercial fishing boats come in to shore...

Our local restaurants and Farmer's Market carry our local catch!

Water Taxi's and romantic Harbor Cruises are available for tours and private events
call 805 896-6900 or visit:

....or just spend an endless summer day watching the boats come and go

rent a boat or buy a boat or a yacht......why not???

the Coast Guard also docks here

then there is the fabulous Santa Barbara Yacht Club, a very family friendly organization.

What a setting and what a view!!!

is this what paradise is like???

the private boat harbor features the Puerta Vallarta Sister City statue

sometimes a walk on the Breakwater  is a race against the crashing waves

All in all it is a most picturesque place to spend the day....

be sure to bring your camera!

 4th of July is just one of the fun times to spend here
as is the Christmas Boat Parade of Lights in December

for more information on all of the wonderful waterfront activities go to the website of the City of Santa Barbara
you will find information on Boating Activities, the family friendly Maritime Museum, Docklines is the Santa Barbara Harbor newsletter published onlien and filled with timely and useful information, including the annual Santa Barbara Harbor Nautical Swap Meet, planned for May 15, 2010

for information on the Harbor & Seafood Festival annually held in October visit   

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Spring and Easter to all of my friends and followers!

Spring is Here in full bloom!!

Our family will be here in person and by Skype for Easter Brunch!

We have pancakes, fresh squeezed California Orange Juice

And lots of yummy goodies to share

We hope that you and yours are enjoying a wonderful Easter/Spring holiday also

It's a wonderful time to be together and celebrate our blessings