I fell for Santa Barbara in a heartbeat.
Which isn’t that surprising considering the city is located along the beautiful Californian coast, framed by mountains on one side and sandy beaches stretching for miles along the coast on the other.
It also didn’t hurt that we decided to go surfing (my first time ever!) in Santa Barbara at a pretty little beach by the rail tracks with the most beautiful mountain backdrop.
About half way through our surf a small group of dolphins joined us and playfully swam up to our boards. Needless to say we were beyond excited and had the most magical morning.
If you’re visiting Santa Barbara and are interested in giving surfing a go for the first time, I’d very much recommend Santa Claus Lane beach. It’s relatively quiet and has perfect beginners surfing conditions (or so I’ve been told by locals!). And you can rent boards and wetsuits at the A-Frame Surf Shop next to the beach.
If you’re staying for a while make sure to go for some Californian wine tasting on the city’s Urban Wine Trail with over 20 different wineries all conveniently located in the centre of the city.
And then of course the food! This wouldn’t be a My Vibrant Kitchen blog post if it didn’t feature a lot of delicious vegan food.
Mesa Verde is hidden away in lush (as the name suggests) greenery and invites you to enjoy their colourful organic plant-based dishes in the shade on the terrace, as it can get rather hot and sunny in Santa Barbara.
We went for the works and ordered all manner of vegan goodness to share.
After our feast we hit the road again to drive up the coast to Point Lobos State National Reserve for a beautiful late afternoon hike along the cliffs.
Then we headed to Carmel-by-the-sea to watch the sun disappear into the ocean, painting the sky and the water golden. And so another gloriours day in California came to an end.
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