This sunny, 166-mile (267-kilometer) romp is centered in Santa Barbara, a coastal resort where bougainvillea flowers climb white walls and an old California mission drowses in the sun. Among the city’s ravishing charms are a Mediterranean climate, gardens, broad beaches, a pretty yacht harbor, and mountains tinged with Impressionist pinks and blues.
The drive makes two loops. First it jogs westward from Santa Barbara, visiting the flower fields of sleepy Lompoc and the wine and horse country of the newly glamorous Santa Ynez Valley. Then, circling back to Santa Barbara, it takes off eastward, to the mission city of Ventura and the orange groves of the Ojai Valley. More>>