A block from the beach
I really enjoyed my time in Santa Barbara. It was my first stop in California and my first real taste of the Pacific ocean.
I had planned on camping at one of the nice state parks on the beach in the area but that turned out much harder than you would hope. Turns out getting a spot in a California state park is like winning the lottery. rant/ The state has given all reservation responsibilities to Reserve America, which reminds me of the horrible Ticketmaster.Every season they open reservations on a certain date for California and what happens is that every spot gets booked immediately for the whole year. California state parks are not very conducive to a random last minute traveler like myself. One last note about a Reserve America policy that is idiotic is that you have to book a spot at least 48 hours in advance, after that there is no way to get a spot even if the park is empty. \rant
So when I realized I wasn’t going to be camping I headed for the hostel in Santa Barbara. I had already done research on it and had it as my backup plan. Turned out to be a nice backup because it was cheaper than a tent site at a park and was a very fun experience. The hostel was only a block from the beach and was centrally located in Santa Barbara. I stayed for two nights and was able to check out the city. I met alot of awesome people at the hostel including a guy from China riding a $150 bike from San Francisco to New York! After my Sunday morning plan was changed because everyone was at the assembly I rented a bike and rode around the city. The highlight of the visit was the Santa Barbara Art Museum. There was a fascinating exhibit on an ancient tomb found in China and the artifacts that revealed what life was like back then. The permanent collection was nice but not outstanding. I mostly just loved that it was a nice museum that wasnt to big or to small. My favorite piece was a collaborative piece made of clay that encouraged you to sculpt something to add to the piece. In the afternoon I rode my bike along the beach and wanted to try and get in to swim but it was just way to cold so I just watched the surfers for a while and took pictures.
When it was time to leave I headed north on Highway 1 towards Cambria, CA as a stopping point before driving Big Sur. On the way I stopped at Pismo Beach to look around and have lunch. Got to eat some delicious clam chowder and see the amazing beaches there. Again, wish it were summer.