We spent last week in Santa Barbara and we loved it. It’s such a beautiful relaxing town and it’s by far our favorite California spot. Of course, we are a little biased because we went to college there. It has changed a lot since I was a student though. I didn’t have any money back then and I was stuck on campus 99% of the time. Going through the engineering program was so stressful that I had more grey hair back then than now (I’m serious). It’s much nicer to visit without having to deal with the stress of campus life, grades, and paying for tuition.
We rented a house in SB this time because we were meeting up with our college friend’s family. Their daughter is just one day older than Little RB40 and we wanted to spend some time together. The kids had fun together, but boys and girls are so different. Little RB40 also doesn’t know how to behave around other kids and he shoved and hit quite a bit. We had to give him quite a few timeouts this trip. Oh, the house has a great avocado tree in the backyard, and it was fun to send our little “avocado retrieval specialists” to pick up newly fallen fruit. Fresh guacamole!
We had gorgeous weather the whole week and now we’re dreaming of retiring to Santa Barbara when we get older. It’s an expensive city though and I don’t know if we can really do it. Living costs are 122% higher than the average city and the median home price is nearly $900,000! I guess we could buy a 2 bed, 1 bath fixer upper for $400,000 and work on it…. I can dream, right?
Anyway, come along on our vacation and let me know what you think.
Santa Barbara Zoo – A nice little zoo perfectly sized for little kids. They have elephants, lions, giraffes, gorillas, flamingos, penguins, and a zoo train. Mrs. RB40 and I went here for one of our first dates nearly 20 years ago, so it’s sentimental for us, too. The $14 entry fee is a bit more pricey than what we’re used to though.
The Wharf – The pier is a nice place to stroll around. You can fish off the end of the pier or just hang out and relax. There is an aquarium here, some gift shops, and restaurants.
The Promenade – There is a nice long bike/walk path along the beach. A great place to get some exercise or to do a split.
Summer Solstice celebration – The Summer Solstice Parade draws up to 100,000 people and it is Mrs. RB40’s favorite parade. Its main rule is that no written messages or banners with words are allowed. You won’t see any corporate sponsors here. The floats are human powered and most participants are from the local community, which really fosters a sense of local spirit.
The Super Rica Taqueria – a great authentic (and super-busy) taco joint that has been there forever.
We also went to the beach, visited UCSB, and a few parks. It was a nice relaxing family vacation without any stress. Santa Barbara has such a relaxing vibe and we felt right at home. Mrs. RB40 is not looking forward to going back to work. We really enjoyed our time there and as much as we like Portland, would love to relocate if we can.
Do you think Santa Barbara is too expensive to retire to?