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Santa Barbara and North for active pursuits, etc???

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Milwaukee, WI
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592 posts
41 reviews
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Santa Barbara and North for active pursuits, etc???

My husband and I are flying into LAX for 4 nights (leaving on the redeye so almost 5)...and we first wanted to head to either Yosemite OR Death Valley. Everyone is telling us doing either one would be too ambitious so we are thinking of revisting the Santa Barbara area, possibly including Paso Robles, etc. The main activites we would like to pursue are hiking, road biking, wine tasting....nature and the outdoors is more important right now, but we do like history & culture.

Any suggestions of a good route or places that would incorporate our wants? We are also considering Palm Springs but did that area a few years back and the only new part would be Joshua Tree. Any help from Californians would be appreciated!

Santa Barbara, CA
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for Santa Barbara, Channel Islands National Park
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1. Re: Santa Barbara and North for active pursuits, etc???

You might consider a trip out to the Channel Islands National Park -- it is really a great day trip. Breathtaking hiking. World class sea cave kayaking.

Another option would be to spend some time in Santa Ynez. There is lots of great wine tasting and good biking trails. My husband runs the Santa Barbara Adventure Company and they offer a wine country tour by bike if you want something to incorporate both. If you have your own bikes and want routes for wine/bike tasting ... let me know and I am happy to give you a few suggestions. Have a great time. -Suz

Santa Ynez Valley
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2. Re: Santa Barbara and North for active pursuits, etc???

If you have four nights, I would stay in Santa Barbara the first night (one day and night there is a good way to start and gives you time to relax an renew plus do a few activities), the second and third night in the Santa Ynez Valley (you could do Paso Robles on a day trip since it is just over an hour away and also see Morro Bay, Pismo Beach, Avila Beach, and Los Alamos along the way in a day), and your final night either back in Santa Barbara or maybe Malibu since it is closer to LAX for the next day.

Many things to do in all these areas so let us know where you will decide to go and for how long and we can fill in the gaps with ideas.

Milwaukee, WI
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592 posts
41 reviews
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3. Re: Santa Barbara and North for active pursuits, etc???

Your suggestions for the 4 nights were similar to a "current" itinerary we are planning, with maybe one of the nights in San Luis Obispo. Would appreciate your suggestions for activities like biking or hiking.....as we are pretty familar with the wine country and those choices we can handle. Any hotel or dining ideas would also be great! Look forward to hearing back from you.

Santa Barbara, CA
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for Santa Barbara, Channel Islands National Park
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4. Re: Santa Barbara and North for active pursuits, etc???

Biking and Hiking are a little tricky right now since a lot fo the front country is in the burn zone in Santa Barbara. I am sure you could find some good hikes in SLO or Santa Ynez though. Coastal biking is still a good option in SB though and there are plenty of good spots. You can get a free copy of the bike trails by emailing jhart@sbcag.org or you can get information from the website www.trafficsolutions.info/bikemap-south.htm . Having a copy of the map in hand is nice for traveling though.

There are so many hotels i nSb, I would be happy to give you my thoughts -- what type of place are you looking for?

Dining -- I always recommend a trip to Brophy Bros. for lunch or dinner. I love sitting at the bar and looking out at the city/ocean view.

Chuck's on State Street is a great place to get a steak.

Los Arroyos has good casual Mexican food.

You might look at a few of the other posts regarding dining in SB -- there are some great suggestions there. Have a great time. -SUz

Santa Ynez Valley
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5. Re: Santa Barbara and North for active pursuits, etc???

Many choices for hiking and biking along your route, so I will just point out a perfect spot that could probably cover all of your needs for these activites...near Morro Bay is a park called Montana de Oro and there you will find miles of biking and hiking trails (both coastal and inland)....you could easily spend an entire day there enjoying all of the choices it has to offer...here's a site for more info slostateparks.com/montana_de_oro/default.asp

I would stay in Morro Bay rather than San Luis Obispo only because it's closer to the park, but both towns are very nice to visit...

In the Santa Ynez Valley, so many good lodging choices...let me know quality you want and I can give you some choices.

6. Re: Santa Barbara and North for active pursuits, etc???

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