Ideally situated between the inviting waters of the Pacific and the mountains that rise up from it and between Northern and Southern California, Santa Barbara County offers the best of both worlds. Over 300 days of sunshine every year guarantee unending outdoor recreational opportunities, including first-rate golf, cycling, polo, hiking and a vast array of water sports. Days of fresh ocean air are met with evenings of live cultural performances, gourmet dining and a world-class wine scene. In Santa Barbara, enjoyment is a way of life and the opportunities are endless.
"I am thrilled that the Amgen Tour of California is returning to the City of Santa Barbara. I can already anticipate the fun and excitement residents and visitors alike will have cheering on so many world-class cyclists as they ride into our beautiful city for a stage finish. Welcome Back!
- Mayor Helene Schneider
As a founding sponsor, Visit California is pleased to be a part of the 2013 Amgen Tour of California. For insider trip ideas, cruise over to visitcalifornia.com
. SANTA BARBARA / STAGE 4 Finish, May 15 / STAGE 5 Start, May 16
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- Did you know that before Hollywood, Santa Barbara was the hub of California's film industry? The region has been cast in classics such as The Graduate, Seabiscuit and Sideways.
- Want to know a little secret about Santa Barbara? It truly comes alive the first Thursday of each month. First Thursday is an evening of art and culture in downtown Santa Barbara. Check out art exhibit openings, live music, artists' receptions, lectures, wine tastings and hands-on activities.
- Revel in the beauty of Old Mission Santa Barbara, known as “the Queen of the Missions.” This beautiful church is still home to an active parish, and is steeped in California’s incredible history of the Spanish Franciscans and their relationship with California’s Native Americans. Take a self-guided tour through the mission, or listen to a docent describe the mission's art and architecture in detail. You can also wander over 10 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, and take in more history at the mission's cemetery and mausoleum.
- Bicycling is big in Santa Barbara, with choices ranging from easy beachfront pedals along the paved Cabrillo Bike Path or more challenging rides into the dramatic Santa Ynez Mountains.
- Santa Barbara, the “American Riviera,” is considered one of America’s most European cities, with Mediterranean-style villas nestled in a spectacular coastal setting.
- If you’re fan of Santa Barbara and haven’t yet heard of the Funk Zone, you’re about to! This storied area located between the Pacific Ocean and Highway 101 in downtown Santa Barbara has been developing a contemporary Santa Barbara sub-culture of artisan shops, hip eateries, nook wine tasting rooms and award-winning microbreweries over the past years. Don’t be deterred by the name; the area doesn’t have a funk so much as it does a vibe. The Funk Zone is home to a majority of Santa Barbara’s Urban Wine Trail—a series of 17 tasting rooms representing Santa Barbara County wineries and vineyards that make a day or an afternoon of wine tasting SB’s best fun and easy.
- Take a green vacation. Cut back on car use in town – or skip driving altogether. The Santa Barbara Car Free program offers incentives including discounts at hotels, restaurants and other city businesses.