My mother and I wanted see a bit of the California coastline while we were near L.A. so we decided to go to Santa Barbara after stopping off to see my friend Brad (another Carson-Newman alumni).
We followed him North to Santa Barbara to try out inventive cuisine, walk along the wharf and check into Canary Hotel, a luxury boutique Kimpton property. The rooms are amazing, decorated in rich textiles and designed around the view of the hills.
Each room includes a small pair of binoculars, compliments of Canary so guests can gaze at the view, look at the ocean and bird watch from the amazing roof top deck which offers a 360 degree view of Santa Barbara.
I tried Anchor Steam Beer from San Francisco while living in Oregon but I haven't seen it East of the Mississippi. It is a great choice for people who are interested in trying something a little darker than a lager but less hoppy than an IPA. You can order Anchor Steam from the bar at Coast, the amazing restaurant at Canary.
Mom and I walked toward the ocean along State Street in downtown Santa Barbara, checking out bistros, coffee shops and clothing stores. We also rode the waterfront electric shuttle (just $.50 per ride) and enjoyed the gorgeous weather.
One day we had lunch on the patio of the Union Ale Brewing Company (known for craft ale, gourmet burgers and salad wraps) and enjoyed people watching and listening to reggae. I truly did not want to leave and would have loved to continue North to check out Napa and Sanoma.
Truly the best thing about Northern California is the weather. We enjoyed 75F every day and when the marine layer of clouds lifted, the sky was as blue as the sea.