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Daytrippin' in Santa Barbara

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There are only a couple of weekends left before most of us say goodbye to summer. Of course, for those of us in summer school, ironically, we're about to get our break, but that's quite the exception to the rule. Anyhow, in the midst of an academic panic last weekend we realized that what we needed more than anything was a little mini-getaway. Nothing that would break the bank or suck up precious time, but instead give us a little rest and regeneration. We decided to get our motor running and head out on the highway. No, not on a drug enhanced "hog" ride, but up the coast to Santa Barbara, where our one day of trippin' proved to be exactly what the doctor ordered.

We hit the road early on a Sunday morning, when our sleepy headed fogginess matched the mist we encountered hovering in the air as we drove over Las Virgenes/Malibu Canyon towards the coast. The surfers were out in full force, but we had our eye on a greasy spoon breakfast. We didn't want to stop in Malibu, so the next place along PCH that had what we were looking for was Oxnard, where we hit up Henri's Cafe for some classic diner eats. We cruised into Santa Barbara late morning, and made a beeline for one of our favorite spots: The Mission. We bucked up the $4 for the tour, and with the lovely sounds of Mass floating in the air we poked around the 18th century structure. Across the road we took the time to smell the roses in the rose garden, and then found some free, no-time-limit Sunday parking near the Courthouse. Up the old elevator we went, emerging in the clock tower to catch spectacular all-around views of the coastal town. Next stop was the Museum of Art, which boasts free admission on Sundays. After a brief look-see there we exited onto State Street, and walked up and down in the midday sun (note: wear sunscreen!) and found a little sushi bar for a late lunch. Full and mellowed out, we next perused the shelves of a great little used bookstore, and then it was time to hit the beach. We picked a spot on the sands of East Beach, which was far less crowded and has easier parking than the beaches North of Garden Street. We dozed and people-watched, then got to see a wedding take place right there on the shore, which was lovely. A quick pop into a nearby Trader Joe's for some road-trip snacks, and then it was back on the 101, the sun setting behind us, as we made our way home. A day trip to Santa Barbara is easy, affordable, and a great little getaway for any LAist who just needs a day off from LA.

Check here for all of our trip pictures.