Living in a world-class vacation destination like Santa Barbara has a bounty of blissful benefits, but sometimes it’s still nice to get out of town for a bit. Here are a few favorite spots that are less than a day away from home.
Another notable Monterey County spot is Salinas, known as the salad bowl of the world for its vibrant and large agriculture industry, which has a wealth of artistic and cultural options.
What to Do: Salinas is the birthplace and childhood home of Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck, and National Steinbeck Center (1 Main St., 831/796-3833, steinbeck.org) is a must-see attraction. The multi-sensory complex traces Steinbeck’s life story and legacy, as well as exhibits on working-class people in the region. Another option is to join a tour at Monterey Zoo at Vision Quest Ranch (400 River Rd., 831/455-1901, visionquestranch.com), home to more than 180 wild and exotic animals.
Where to Eat and Drink: Travel along River Road south of town and taste your way through Salinas Valley wine country, with more than two dozen wineries.
Where to Stay: Vision Quest Safari B&B (400 River Rd., 831/455-1901, visionquestranch.com). Also on the property at Vision Quest Ranch, you can spend the night in an authentic safari bungalow, where an elephant delivers your breakfast basket in the morning.
Originally published in the Summer 2015 issue of Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine.