Trying to think of something unique to do to mark a special occasion? If you live in or are visiting the Pasadena or greater Los Angeles area, a reasonably priced option is to take the Amtrak train up the coast to Santa Barbara! From the historic Union Station in central L.A. to the train station in Santa Barbara it took us just a little over 2.5 hours. The cost was about $28. per ticket round trip. There is a special train car with seats that turn to face out oversized windows so that you can watch the beautiful Pacific Ocean roll by once you are to the coast!
There is something about the blue of the Pacific on the California coast….
Arriving at the Santa Barbara train station is really a beautiful stop – is the weather ever NOT perfect here??
Once you disembark, it’s your choice to walk to the beach or pier, or walk or catch a super inexpensive ride on the trolley bus into town : )
We decided to walk along State St. in town first, stopping in at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art to see the “Degas to Chagall” exhibit (worth the $8 – $10) on our way to the Santa Barbara Courthouse to climb the tower there. The courthouse is tucked away just off the main street and worth the visit! Since we had already visited the Santa Barbara Mission on other occasions (recommended!) we spent time in this often overlooked gem!
It was a warm day in the low 80’s, and it felt nice and cool to get inside the thick walls of the court house. Spanish styling was everywhere, from the archways to the wrought iron lamps to the terra cotta tile floors inside!
Beautiful art depicting scenes from early California history is on display throughout.
This chamber was especially decorated – time could be spent really reflecting on the historical scenes and meaning of each mural!
Once you hit the top of the tower (either nice, wide stairs or an elevator will do the trick) the view is your payoff!!
The spanish tile roofs abound…
Beautiful and natural green and blue…
Back to the beach to have dinner on the pier…
Another idea is to spend the night before heading home – then time for sunbathing could also commence : )
Back home at Pasadena’s Memorial Park station via the Gold Line from Union Station!