NYT: 36 Hours in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, with fewer than 90,000 people, barely makes it into California’s 100 largest cities. But this coastal enclave has an outsize role in the state’s history. Settled by the Spanish as a military fort and mission in the 1780s, the city and its surroundings, which include the dramatic Santa Ynez mountains, have markers of its past everywhere, from Indigenous Chumash cave paintings to the adobe presidio (Spanish fortress). Graced by fragrant climbing jasmine and purple-blossomed jacaranda, Santa Barbara looks almost too good for its age, and like the celebrities who live in the neighboring Montecito hills, it has clearly had some work done in recent years. Among the several high-profile additions is MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation, which is a curious child’s dream with its rooftop garden devoted to rambunctious water play. READ MORE

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