A great tip I’ve learned during my travels is always talk about your travel plans with others because you never know what information that person may share. For instance, I was talking with a former coworker over a lunch catch-up on my plans for going to Santa Barbara for the weekend and she told me I had to go to Cold Spring Tavern for their amazing chili. After our lunch I Googled the restaurant and was immediately sold on visiting. I might not have ever known about Cold Spring Tavern if not for my lunch date! It’s such a unique and cool place that it gets its very own blog post!
[I’ve written about Santa Barbara before so feel free to check out that post here!]
Cold Spring Tavern might be as close as one can get to traveling back in time to the Old West in California! I get the same feeling when I visit Death Valley that time has frozen here to allow us a peek into the harsh and often romanticized life of the Old West. The Tavern was established in in 1865 as a stagecoach rest stop where travelers could rest their horses and themselves while enjoying a warm meal. The need for a way station began after the new turnpike over the San Marcos Pass was constructed in the 1860s to make transporting easier through the Santa Ynez Mountains. The pass became a vital route connecting Santa Barbara with the rural areas in the mountains, and Cold Spring Tavern was a significant staple on that road and continues to comfort travelers today!
If you had asked me six years ago if I enjoyed hiking I probably would’ve given you a “are you serious?” look. Honestly I’m not even sure I went on a legitimate hike until my first true camping vacation in the great outdoors in the summer of 2008. I spent six days rafting down the Green River and Colorado River in Cataract Canyon and experienced my first challenging 1200 foot hike up to the Dollhouse. That hike was an incredible experience, full of rookie mistakes such as awful blisters and not bringing enough water, but I think it was a subtle turning point in my life where I connected more with nature. From then on I visited several Missouri State Parks and walked/hiked to some great sites, and my interest in hiking has only risen since my move to the beautiful state of California.
Tags: hike, hiking, Knapp, Knapp's Castle, Los Padres, Los Padres National Forest, Nojoqui, Nojoqui Falls, Nojoqui Falls Park, ruins, Santa Barbara, Santa Ynez, Solvang, waterfall
Santa Barbara = one of my favorite cities in California. I’m lucky to have a good friend, Gina (who I’ve known since the 2nd grade), living in the Santa Barbara area while attending grad school at UCSB. And so I get to simultaneously visit my friend and a favorite city a few times a year! A pretty good deal :). Of the numerous times I’ve traveled to Santa Barbara in my 2 1/2 years in California, I had never visited the Santa Barbara Mission. So before Christmas, Gina and I checked that off my list of things to do in SB.
My favorite part about the Santa Barbara Mission (aka Mission Santa Barbara) was feeling like I was transported to Spain. Though I’ve never actually visited Spain, the Mission had a definite European vibe. It was established in 1786 by the Franciscans and is the only mission still under the leadership of the Franciscan Friars since its founding.