Enchanting Courtyards of Santa Barbara, California
Downtown Santa Barbara, especially Pueblo Viejo (old town), holds many charms in its quiet corners and side streets. As a long-time Santa Barbara resident, one of my favorites is its alluring courtyards.
Sometimes we begin our evening at the popular La Arcada Court with its local-owned shops and restaurants for drinks or dinner. As the sun sets and lamps are lit, we stroll a couple of blocks down State Street into El Paseo Courtyard and linger by the fountain enjoying the quiet gardens and fragrant citrus trees. Continuing through the courtyard to Anacapa Street, we cross and walk down one block to De La Guerra, turn left and to the lovely pastel-patina Meridian Studios Courtyard. (They are private offices, but you can stroll around.) From there we may cross De La Guerra Street into Presidio Plaza Courtyard with its elephant sculpture and carp pond. Then we return to Anacapa St., turn right, and a short walk takes us to the majestic Andalucia-influenced Courthouse with its spacious gardens for another respite, and later across the street for a nightcap, full circle back to La Arcada Court.
Times such as these make me slow down, renew my affection for this city's charms, and appreciate its historic presence that exists in the midst of this busy modern life.
So, avoid tourist clogged State Street and instead take the historic red tile tour (map available online).