Day 5 – July 4, 2009
Today was our first real day of sightseeing. We spent the morning in the lovely city of Santa Barbara, known for its Art Galleries, its Spanish adobe architecture, and the red tile roofs of its buildings. We took my self-designed walking tour, which failed miserably in its first field test. Because of Highway 101 running right through the middle of town, some of the streets which I thought were thru-streets turned out to stop and then start again on the other side of the freeway. Once we got west of 101 my directions could be followed. The only other criticism is that the walk was too long, since I incorporated Santa Barbara’s Mission in the tour. A better option is to do what we eventually did — walk the downtown district and then drive to the mission.
The architecture was striking, especially the Courthouse, one of the highlights, with its Spanish-Moorish touches, both inside and out, and its great views of the city from the 4th floor observation level. We thoroughly enjoyed strolling State Street, the main thoroughfare of the downtown, and stopped several times to sit and people-watch or just relax for a bit. We returned here in the evening to eat dinner at Carlitos, a lovely Mexican restaurant.
In the afternoon, we drove (about 40 miles) to the charming village of Solvang. Here, where many immigrants of Danish heritage settled, the buildings of the town were designed to resemble a village in Denmark. It was truly adorable. The town was easily walkable, very picturesque, and loaded with shops and eateries. We had to try some Danish pastries at Olsen’s.
Be sure to check out our pictures in the accompanying photo album.