Santa Barbara Sunken Gardens

The Santa Barbara State House, home to THE best view in the whole city!!! This historic monument is the tallest building in the city so you could imagine it has the best view as well!!! Also known as the sunken garden the whole State House is absolutely gorgeous!IMG_3319

In the actual gardens there is a variety of beautiful flowers and plants surrounding the courthouse! The sunken garden is a large grass field accompanied by many trees and bushes native to California! My personal favorite is the magnolia tree though I love the flowers and the overall look of the tree! I actually took photos there for my Winter Formal dance which was really fun and a great spot! Many people actually get married here at the Santa Barbara Court House and this beautiful structure and the surrounding area makes it a prime location for pictures!!IMG_3300

The Court House also puts on a number of events! Concerts, art shows, and even church! This spring I had the pleasure of attending the Easter Sunday service where heroic Nick Vujicic a disabled religious spokes person came and talked to us about his life with no arms or no legs. It was very inspiring to see him walk around on his one small foot with 3 toes all along the stage. He is an inspiration to all and if your ever in town for Easter definitely go to the service in the sunken gardens its absolutely incredible!!!!IMG_3311

As well as the sunken gardens theres the actual court house itself! This building constructed in the early 1900’s has been a building of history in Santa Barbara! With murals all over and plenty of historic pieces this is a wonderful place to go to learn more about our wonderful city!!!IMG_3305.JPG

At the top of the court house tower theres a viewing area!!! Up a few stories of stairs or just one fast elevator ride you can be at the best view of in the whole town as its one of the highest public access buildings in the city!!! With a 360 degree view this is definitely one of my favorite places without a doubt! So if you have time you should check it out!

 

Running Around the Rose Garden

The Santa Barbara Mission, a place of history and beauty!!! As we venture closer and closer to summer we start to think about places to go outside and how to enjoy the nature and beauty Santa Barbara has to offer. What immediately comes to mind for me is the rose garden and the SB mission.

The rose garden in particular is an amazing place to hang out! You could do almost anything here and it fits all age groups and types of people!!! Whether you just want to come and walk through the gardens and smell the flowers, or have a picnic or even a birthday party this is the place to do it!!! The whole area is dog free too so if you just wanna walk or throw the ball for your pooch then its the perfect place (just please pick up after them!)

The park or garden is a really big size with a large open grassy area so if you wanted to go and play some sports this place is ideal! Sometimes on the weekends I’ll go and play catch or spikeball which I would highly recommend getting!!! And if Im not playing a game sometimes Ill just go for a nice relaxing picnic with my girlfriend which is also a good spot if your looking for a fun date idea! Young or old, short or tall, happy or sad the rose garden is the place to go and have fun! So PLEASE go check it out!!!!

The Mission itself is a huge part of Santa Barbara history and California history in general! It is still a functional church that many Santa Barbara residents go to every Sunday! As well you can get a tour of the amazing architectural structure by a docent or just take the tour yourself at your own pace and take in the history and beauty!  The Santa Barbara Mission is a very important part of our history and it is one of the most popular places to go and check out! Comment below some of your favorite parts of California and any cool stories you have!

Fun: 9/10

Interactive: 8/10

Unique: 10/10

Overall: 9/10 Another awesome spot to check out!!!!

Beautiful Day at the Bacara

This past weekend/week I had the luxury of getting to stay at the Bacara Resort and Spa for my dads work. I was surprised late Tuesday afternoon and was told to drive there immediately after my lacrosse game! I was very excited!

The Bacara is a beautiful resort located right along the coast line up in Goleta! Isolated and full of beautiful scenery this is an amazing natural hotel! When we first got there we pulled our car up to the valet and had it parked for us while we checked in. Up front were all the super nice expensive cars so it was fun to take a look at while I waited for our room! The lobby is beautiful full of amazing natural center pieces, fresh fruit (free to take), and wonderful service I can guarantee that your stay here will start off strong!!!

After checking in we headed to our room, located right on the water we could literally see the waves crash from the balcony! Our room was very nice and spacious! With the help of two roll away’s and a blow up mattress we brought from home we managed to fit all five members of my family including our dog Beesely into the room.

After getting a lay of the land we headed off to the pool/spa!!!! Ahhh with 2 AP tests coming up this is a great place to relax and relive stress, whether your on a honeymoon or just a break from school!!! The pool is HUGE, there are actually 2 of them as well as 2 hot tubs located near there respective pools. With cabanas to purchase you could set up in your own private little area and just enjoy a nice hot day by the pool!!! That’s exactly what I planned to do:) As well as the pool though the beach is located only a few feet away!!! So you can even take a dip in both if you like, just beware of the tar!!!(There’s a lot)

As well as fun things to do like swim in the pool, there are also a number of great places to eat!!! At the Bacara everything is about atmosphere and when it comes to restaurants the Bacara knows its stuff!!!

Overall, this hotel is absolutely jaw dropping beautiful!!! I promise you that if you stay here you will enjoy yourself and company as well as the amazing landscape, pool and restaurants!!! Hands down if you want a great place to stay this is the one!

 

Everything at Elings Park

One of the more sporty, fun places to go in Santa Barbara is Elings Park. This park has everything to do! From a dirt bike track, baseball, soccer, lacrosse, rugby and softball fields, glamorous hiking trails and a pretty sweet playground!

Every Saturday I work as a coach at Elings for lacrosse so I’ve gotten to know the park pretty well! If your looking for a place to mess around with friends this is the place to do it! The only downside is that it is a private park so you have to pay a small fee for parking:( The upside of the park being private is that you can do what you want there! Play with your dog, throw the football around, have a beer or a lemonade, birthday party, anything you can imagine!!!

As well as the many things you can do on your own there are also a fair amount of organized camps and sports! SBLA is a lacrosse club here in Santa Barbara that has brought in kids from all different ages from 1st graders all the way up to 7-8th graders! On Saturdays like I said before I coach for all the different age groups throughout the day and get to experience the park at its whole. As well as lacrosse there are also coed rugby teams, soccer, baseball, softball, and even quidditch, which let me just say is hilarious to watch if you ever see a game going on make sure to stay and watch!

Another thing that’s cool about Elings is all the camps it has during the summer! I have personally been a counselor and camper at some of the camps Elings has to offer! One camp in particular that is pretty neat is the Peer Buddies camp! It is a camp for kids with disabilities both learning and physical, it gives them a chance to play and feel like a normal kid in a fun safe camp environment! Another camp is put on by my lacrosse coach its focus is teaching younger kids about the game and getting more people involved! This was the camp that I was a counselor at!

Elings park is a great place to hang out for any occasion and has so many things to offer and experience in the outdoors! I love to hangout there and Im sure if you went to check it out you would too! So its definitely a must do for a freed up weekend afternoon!

Fun: 10/10

Interactive: 10/10

Unique: 8/10

Overall: 9/10 Another awesome spot to check out!!!!

 

High on Life-Inspiration Point

         This past weekend I checked out another awesome hike with one of my buddies Cole. After going on 7 falls a few weeks before I was in to trying something new! So we decided to go and do Inspiration Point!!!! This is definitely one of the favorite hikes Santa Barbara offers!

We met up at noon for the hike at the bottom of the trail. The thing that’s nice is that all of the hikes in Santa Barbara or the vast majority start in the same place so once you know where the trail head is your set! So we began the 45 minute to an hour trek up the mountain.When we went it was a hot sunny day on spring break so there were lots of people out and about exploring the trails and the cool wildlife Santa Barbara has to offer! With the trail going from sun to shade and back again like that it was plenty hot so bring water for sure!!!

After about an hour we had reached the summit of the trail, Inspiration Point. With a view of the the entire valley below this hike was a different kind of amazing then 7 Falls, it was beautiful!! We spent a little while at the top taking pictures and just hanging out, If you wanted to this would be the perfect place for a sunset/sunrise picnic with your SO.

With boom box in hand blasting some of our favorite tunes Cole and I started the march down the hill. The music makes the hike more fun in my opinion so if you have a small portable speaker you might wanna bring it just for fun.

The trail itself isn’t too difficult, with a injured ankle Cole was still able to do it so if your not in the best shape of your life or have physical problems this hike isn’t too rough compared to the other trails Santa Barbara has to offer.

While making the final decent down the hill and back to the main trail Cole and I heard a faint rattle, stopped in our tracks and super scared we looked around being careful not to move too fast. We finally spotted the rattlesnake, at around 6 feet black and ready to strike this monster nearly scared the crap out of both of us!!!!! As soon as we saw it Cole bolted and I followed suit, nearly eating it on some rocks and screaming we ran down the hill!!! So needless to say watch where you step and keep your eyes and ears open while exploring! Its a beautiful but dangerous place to be.

Fun: 10/10

Interactive: 10/10

Unique: 8/10

Overall: 9/10 Another awesome spot to check out!!!!

Crashing and Burning on 7 Falls

This weekend I had the pleasure of going on one of Santa Barbara’s funnest hiking trails 7 Falls with my girlfriend, Ellie. We started off the day at the trail at around 1 and were ready to go! That morning it rained so the ground was a bit muddy but that added to the fun and adventure of the hike!

Round trip this is about a 2-3 mile hike maybe a little longer depending on how courageous you are and willing to do a little more climbing. All the trails start off on a paved fire road and fork into a bunch of other trials when it turns to dirt such as Inspiration Point, or Tunnel Trail. Today though we both planned on doing  new hike and that was 7 Falls!

About 20 minutes in we had navigation problems when the trails split but after asking a family where to go we were quickly on our way again. After reaching the creek in about 30 ish minutes we were wondering if this was the end of the hike. There were a lot of college kids swimming in one of the pools and drinking and we were kinda confused on where to go next. So we plopped down on a rock for a picnic lunch! If you ever go on this hike make sure to bring snacks especially if you haven’t eaten lunch because like us your gonna want to spend the whole afternoon there!

After lunch we continued up the creek following these two girls in front of us farther up the trail. For about 10 minutes we both had our shoes on but as we went farther we reached a point where getting wet was necessary to continue… so we took off our shoes and slipped into the chilly water!

All along the way there are lots of waterfalls and pools to swim in or just get your feet wet! So my advice definitely bring a swimsuit your gonna want it!

At what we thought was the end (it was not) there was a large pool that was really deep that you could jump into from the rocks 15 feet up. However being protective for my well being I couldn’t jump because Ellie wouldn’t let me! I was kinda mad at the time but looking back on it now I think that was the smart thing to do. However if your interested in jumping by all means go for it!

Local tips: Apparently there are two large rocks on the sides of the pool on opposite sides of where the waterfall hits the pool, so If you do jump you want to aim right for the middle of the two. Also a more personal tip would be to swim in the pool and check the depth before jumping just to be safe.

After checking out the falls we saw a rope that helped you scale a super steep part of the trail and we decided we would go check it out! Let me just say one of the best views of the trails is right at the top!!! So if you go definitely check this out!!! We ended up just sitting up there for a good ten minutes admiring the view and each other and it was one of the more memorable parts of the hike!

We went a little deeper tromping through poison oak to get just a little bit farther (this ended up being a lot farther) down the trail. Let me just say that there is in fact a fair amount of poison oak on the trail so always look alive! Towards the end we found the largest waterfall of all and although we only spent a few minutes there its worth going back to again for sure despite all the effort to get there!

Now was the time to head back, We scaled up the mountain side heading back over to the rope we took to get up there in the first place. We had finally reached the rope and were ready to descend back down to the jumping pool. I went first and having some experience with climbing I knew to walk down holding the rope backwards. I told Ellie that she should do the same but confidently Ellie said “No Im alright Im just gonna go forward I got it!” I was a little hesitant and had a bad feeling that her over confidence was going to result in one of the two of us getting hurt, but I let it slide. Let me tell you that was a big mistake! Ellie ended up slipping and crashing her head into a rock as she hit the ground hard! Being a tough lighthearted and very cute person though she immediately starts cracking up! So the moral of the story: Always walk backwards when going down the hill on the 7 falls hike!!!

Overall this is a really fun hike it requires some agility but nothing you probably cant handle if you just want to make it to the jumping pit. Its pretty much required that you get a little wet so be prepared for that but its all part of the experience!!!! It was a great hike and a super cool spot that I will for sure check out again!!!!

Fun: 10/10

Interactive: 9/10

Unique: 9/10

Overall: 9/10 Another awesome spot to check out!!!!