It’s always nice to escape the city, so towards the end of my trip, I escaped from the busy big city to … busy smaller cities. My day trips to Santa Barbara and Malibu were actually fun reprieves, and the drives showcased the most beautiful parts of California – the mountains on one side and the Pacific on the other.
As I arrived in Santa Barbara I immediately took note of the beautiful architecture; mixes of Mediterranean and Spanish Colonial styles littered the streets. The city gave off a more quaint feel compared to Los Angeles, which I absolutely loved. I first stopped at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, which surprisingly gave a beautiful view of the city, mountains, and beach from the bell tower. It’s pretty expansive and is surrounded with the most deep green grass I’ve seen. The second floor also boasts a mural showing the discovery of America, colonization, and history of the Americas.
Following the courthouse, I went to eat lunch with my family at Brophy Bros. along the Santa Barbara Harbor. The atmosphere was lovely, but the restaurant sure was busy!! We waited 25 minutes for a table, but the food was great and the view was very pretty. The clam chowder is highly recommended.
Following our time Santa Barbara, we drove to Malibu, located just outside of Los Angeles for a short beach trip. We went to Zuma Beach, one of the most popular beaches in Malibu. The weather was nice, the ocean cold, and a nice breeze often blew through. I love the California beaches in the area because so many have sand volleyball courts lined up. It’s one of my favorite beach activities!
After a long day, we drove back to Los Angeles, and unfortunately, into LA traffic. It took over an hour to drive 10 miles!! But car time = bonding time 🙂
Overall, Los Angeles is a typical big city with big city problems – traffic, homeless, weed and cigarettes, etc. However, there were very nice scenic moments like at the Griffith Observatory, Santa Monica Pier in the early morning, and Santa Barbara. I’d recommend choosing your hotel location wisely in order to reduce the amount of time you are driving. Surprisingly, I also found the Cali weather I experienced difficult to dress for. One moment I’d want jeans and a jacket, while the next I’d need shorts and a tank. Oh well, if that’s the worse I experienced, then I think Cali is still great!