Santa Barbara

Oh man I liked Santa Barbara. What a cool little town. First of all the drive from LA can be cool as shit. The PCH doesn’t really go the entire way but you still get to do a lot of it and once you pass Malibu it gets really impressive.

Arriving in town you notice right away that it’s fully separated from the beach, like Rio or Ocean Drive in Miami. I was expecting a sleepy and crappy town based on the types of hotels they offer, they’re shit, but I found a happening beach town full of cool shops, restaurants, and bars. We got dropped off on State Street and just started walking. The place was jumping. I don’t know if these were wine tour people or wedding people or summer school people (UC Santa Barbara is big) but these were fun people. Each place got busier as the night progressed. The first night we found Sandbar which was packed, had good food, tons of girls dancing, and a pretty good casual clubby vibe. The second night we hung on state street until deciding to walk down to the pier, which was also cool and had a bunch of restaurants at the end of it. Not as happening as state street at the time, but still fun. I’d go back. Build a decent hotel and I’d definitely go back.

Notes to self:

-Hibachi style cooking is great for kids and people who don’t know shit. Otherwise it’s dumb so don’t do it and go to a real restaurant.
-Yes, Santa Barbara has a Spearmint Rhino, but no, it’s not cool, and they don’t serve any booze (period), and it’s ridiculously dark inside (I feel like the Vegas one is ridiculously dark too…hmmmmm), plus it’s like 25 bucks to get in. Full on waste of time.
-The wineries are plentiful, and reasonably close, and somewhat fun. I guess my gripe is that they all look like mansions built by billionaires trying to make things look rustic. Almost Disneyland-ish at times. We did go to one really small producer which I enjoyed. I feel like the whole point of wine tasting, or visiting wineries for that matter is to taste the boutique stuff. All of that being said, is a day of wineries really that much fun? Can’t we think of a thousand better things to do? Maybe it’s just me.
-Driving the Pacific Coast Highway in a brand new supercharged red Corvette convertible is sick.


The Fess Parker (Aug. 2014)