Santa Barbara: The American Riviera
With oceanfront views, cinematic festivals and fine wine, Santa Barbara has been called the "American Riviera" -- with a twist. The coastal city also comes with a down-home style all its own.
stearns wharf ty warner sea center santa barbaraStroll along Stearns Wharf, California's oldest working wharf. In between wine tasting, fine restaurant and fish market detours, check out Ty Warner Sea Center to see some friendly leopard sharks! 960 1280
Food Porn 8 Photos
Holiday Cocktail Heaven 9 Photos
Buy LocalWhen and wherever you travel, buy local products whenever possible instead of buying products that have been flown or shipped in from overseas. However, do not buy souvenirs or other products made from endangered animals or plants. In most cases, you can't get them through customs anyway. 960 1280
Hike Marked TrailsDon’t veer off marked trails when hiking, and maintain a safe distance from any animals you encounter. Deposit your trash in marked receptacles or take it with you when you leave. Light campfires only in areas where permitted and be sure they're completely extinguished before you leave. 960 1280
Rent Hybrid CarChoose the smallest vehicle or a hybrid when renting a car for travel. Decline any "free" upgrades that can cost you more in gas. Consider renting an economy car if your personal vehicle is a large, gas guzzler. You'll save gas and avoid putting miles on your own vehicle. 960 1280
Stay at Green HotelLas Vegas is actually at the forefront of green building, and the Palazzo Hotel Vegas is one of the largest hotels in the U.S. to receive LEED certification (along with the huge Aria and Vdara City Center hotels). Ninety-five percent of the building's structural steel and 26 percent of its concrete is recycled material. The swimming pools are heated by solar power, and the hotel claims to save enough energy annually to light a 100-watt light bulb for 12,100 years. 960 1280
Top 10 Green Travel Tips 10 Photos
Coronado BeachJust 5 minutes from San Diego, this family-friendly beach boasts wide stretches of sand, mostly calm surf and ideal whale watching (January through March). The lifeguards on staff, nearby public facilities and free parking along Ocean Boulevard add to its convenience -- and popularity. Couples can take a romantic walk to the luxury beachfront Hotel del Coronado and sip cocktails on its patio overlooking the Pacific Ocean. 960 1280
La JollaYou’ll have to leave the surfboards and boogie boards behind, but trust us it will be worth it. La Jolla Cove is the most desired area for swimming, snorkeling and diving; it is ecologically protected, making it a safe home for the bright orange Garibaldi fish (among others species) in the crescent-shaped cove. Called “the jewel” of San Diego, this beach is small, but you’ll find more room to stretch out on the mile-long La Jolla Shores to the north. 960 1280
Sonoma CoastSonoma Coast State Beach comprises 13 miles of coastline, stretching from Blind Beach to Bodega Head. It’s dotted with nothing save hidden beaches tucked between the rocky coves and tall bluffs. Follow the Sonoma Coast Trail to visit these secret beaches and take postcard-worthy pictures, #nofilter necessary. 960 1280
Pismo BeachPismo Beach, founded by the Chumash Indian Tribe, is located in central California, between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Whichever direction you travel from, there’s plenty of activities to keep you here: fishing on the 1,200-foot-long pier, strolling through the Monarch Butterfly Grove, horseback riding along private trails, and exploring tide pools and caves, to name just a few. 960 1280
Main Beach in Santa CruzFor most beachgoers in Santa Cruz, Main Beach is where the action is -- complete with restaurants, shops, surfing spots, beach volleyball courts and, of course, a scenic boardwalk and bandstand. If you ask us, it’s just the right amount of Americana. 960 1280
Huntington Beach PierWith a location at the end of Main Street and a nickname like “Surf City, USA,” Huntington Beach evokes a time gone by. The pier (one of the longest on the West Coast), the year-round surf (thanks to ocean swells around Catalina Island) and Ruby’s Diner (the milkshakes are a must) will continue to draw crowds here for years to come.