In Santa Barbara, All Roads Lead To State Street
State Street is one of those amazing city arteries that in one street, captures every color, flavor and nuance of the town. And in seductive Santa Barbara, that's saying a lot. Just one block from the Canary, State Street stretches from the north end of town all the way to the oceanfront's Stearns Wharf.
Put on your walking shoes (here that could be anything from Italian loafers to Birkenstocks) and get ready to discover amazing vintage boutiques, locally designed beachwear for your California girl (or boy) look, or duck into a shady patio for a magnifico margarita.
Let's just say that State Street is one of those avenues that begs to be explored on foot, because your options for retail therapy mixed with some Southern California sunshine are seemingly endless. Multiple Paseos -- open-air malls accented with trickling fountains and Spanish red-tile roofs - lay waiting to be discovered, each with their own special character. Just a block from our hotel is Paseo Nuevo, downtowns major retail anchor, featuring everything from one-off Santa Barbara finds to name brand stores such as Abercrombie & Fitch and Bebe. Others to explore include El Paseo, La Arcada Court and Victoria Court.
Upper State Street is where you'll find the shopping nirvana of La Cumbre Plaza, where dozens of top designer and big brand stores, including names like Louis Vuitton and Macys, make this open-air mall a perennial favorite with savvy shoppers. And just east of State Street, don't miss the trendy and popular Funk Zone. Its name says it all: cool, hip and with a fresh attitude, this is where you'll find everything from local icons like Channel Islands Surfboards to edgy boutiques and microbreweries. State Street is also home to historic theaters like the Arlington. Then again, you won't even need a ticket for one of State Street's best shows -- just slow down to Santa Barbara speed, find a sunny bench, and take in the people-watching. It's free and fabulous.