Santa Barbara, Smoked
By Mike Miller Photos courtesy Santa Barbara Smokehouse
Thanks to top-shelf techniques and an eye toward sustainability, this local smoked salmon company is renowned from coast to coast.
If you are a smoked salmon lover, chances are you have already experienced the world-famous Santa Barbara Smokehouse products. If you have not, the city of Santa Barbara is home to one of the best manufacturing facilities in the worldRead More
Relaxation (and romance) at Avila’s Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort & Spa
For thousands of years, humans have known the healing properties of mineral hot springs. The ancient Egyptians and Romans lauded these natural wonders for their ability to soothe body aches, relax tension, and even revitalize skin and hair.
While the Central Coast has several natural hot springs, one of our favorites is Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort & Spa. This peaceful little slice of paradise sits on the hillside above Avila Beach, where oak and sycamore groves shade private tubs fed by hot mineral springs. Guests can rent a tub by the hour or choose to stay longer in one of many room options — all of which have their own private hot tubs on the patio or balcony. With a spa, restaurant, gorgeous grounds, and plenty of activities nearby, Sycamore Mineral Springs is great for a romantic getaway — or just a quick pit-stop on your drive on the 101.Read More
By Nicole Leonetti
Summerland: the name alone evokes images of a magical place you can only visit in your dreams. Lucky for us, it’s a very real place, and it could not be easier to visit! Located directly off Highway 101 between Carpinteria and Montecito, Summerland boasts beach vibes, small town hospitality, and efficient accessibility (most of the businesses lie along one street, Lillie Avenue). It was founded as a Spiritualist community back in 1883 by Ohio spiritualist and real estate speculator H.L. Williams. The discovery of oil and the building of Highway 101 may have redirected the focus of the town, but its spiritual side — and its sense of community — remain strong.Read More
Cycling the Central Coast
Whether in the mountains along the shore, there’s no better way to experience the Central Coast than on two wheels
By Misty Hall
If you’ve read this magazine before, you’ve probably noticed I’m always harping on you to get off the freeway and explore the amazing communities along the Central Coast. One fabulous way to do that? Rent a bike!
“You get to see more than if you’re walking, but it’s still personal like walking,” said Toby Kaiser-Arnett, owner of Pedego Electric Bikes Pismo Beach. “If things are blooming, you smell them. If you want to stop and take photos, it’s no big deal. You can meander a bit … You’re really able to experience a place.”Read More
The Transformation of State Street
Santa Barbara’s downtown area was radically changed during the pandemic. Plans are now in the works to keep it that way.
By Katherine McMahon
It’s difficult to imagine anything positive could have resulted from the Covid-19 pandemic, but something has happened in Santa Barbara that could be classified as such — the transformation of State Street from being congested with cars to being a kind of community open space.Read More
The Piers of the Central Coast
Story and photos by Katherine McMahon
If you visit a beach on the Central Coast this summer, you may find yourself strolling out over the water on a wooden pier. Today, these structures are popular tourist destinations, but most were built for a very different reason. Back in the 1800s — long before Highway 101 was built — ships were the main suppliers of goods to this quickly-growing region. Piers allowed ships to offload their passengers and cargo much faster (and safer) than using the small barges of the past. These piers quite literally helped build the cities they belonged to.
Once the railways and highways were built, the piers weren’t needed like before. Several of them fell into disrepair and were removed, but some were repurposed and have become beloved recreational features in their beach communities.Read More