Santa Barbara was the second stop on our seven-day highway one road trip. I have loved Santa Barbara for years; partly because it was the setting of one of our favorite tv shows - Psych (filmed in Canada) and we could not wait to explore. We arrived in Santa Barbara late on Sunday evening. After checking into the Lemon tree Inn, it was time to find nourishment. Ideally, we wanted to do the milpas taco trek, but given the time of day that was out of the question. We picked a spot on the trail and headed off.
At first glance, there was nothing noteworthy about the place, but If there is one thing I have learned from my travels - when locals dine at a spot, it is fairly good bet it is the real deal. Lilly’s Taqueria is the real deal with both traditional and unique taco options. We scuffed down our meal in silence in part because we were exhausted but mostly because it was finger licking delicious. If this was all we did in Santa Barbara - I would have been satisfied.
The next day, we were up and checked out of the hotel by 7:30 a.m. We started the day with leisure stroll around downtown Santa Barbara lined with whitewashed houses with red roofs and lush gardens. Our first stop was the rooftop of the Santa Barbara courthouse. The clock tower has some incredible views of the Santa Barbara skyline. We could have spent all morning on the rooftop, but there was still so much to see. We explored the courthouse, including the courthouse mural room. The clock tower views were amazing, but the mural room was breath-taking pretty. One tip - take the stairs within the court house because the tlled stairways is a mini trip to Europe - reminded me so much of Sevilla. After many. many pictures, we strolled towards state street - stopping for more snaps of Spanish-esque exteriors.
Eventually, we arrived at State Street, the palm-tree lined the street with shops and restaurants should not be missed. We stopped at the French press coffee shop. It came highly recommended while we were planning the trip and it did not dissapoint. The coffee was amazing. A stroll through pretty alley ways till we found Tupelo junction cafe and settled in for a diner style breakfast that we really enjoyed.
A very quick stop at the old Mission Santa Barbara with beautiful architecture and garden. We were running behind on the schedule; I regret not having more time to explore. Before heading off to Carmel by the Sea, we stopped by Sterns Wharf for a leisure stroll along the broad walk.