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.

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Sweet cinnamon sticky buns are perfect with pecans on top. 960 1280

  

Cooked in a vat of bubbling oil, these french fries are a true indulgence. 960 1280

  

Fill up with a plate of tasty spaghetti served with tomato sauce and flecks of fresh basil. 960 1280

  

The only thing that can improve on a tasty slice of rich New York cheesecake is a gooey topping of sweet cherries. 960 1280

  

This burger is an all-American favorite, topped with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, special sauce and, of course, bacon. 960 1280

  

Don't just dismiss mac and cheese as kids' food; the luscious, creamy goodness tempts adult palates, too. 960 1280

  

The crisp green beans and burst cherry tomatoes look tasty, but the star on this plate is the mouthwatering steak. 960 1280

  

Who needs a plain doughnut when you can enjoy one topped with creamy icing and colorful sprinkles? 960 1280

  

Food Porn  8 Photos

Mrs. McMullen’s Appleberry Pie
Mrs. McMullen’s Appleberry Pie

Mrs. McMullen’s Appleberry Pie

Raise your spirits this Thanksgiving with Mrs. McMullen's Appleberry Pie. We’d happily trade canned cranberry sauce for this cocktail combination of raspberry, blueberry and blackberry. 960 1280

  

Frozen Mint Julep

Frozen Mint Julep

Start the summer off with a bang this Memorial Day by toasting with Frozen Mint Juleps. For non-southerners, this twist on the Kentucky Derby delight may make the bourbon more palatable -- and refreshing. 960 1280

  

Liam’s Midnight Toast

Liam’s Midnight Toast

Ring in the New Year (or Christmas -- it’s festive) with a classy, champagne cocktail like Liam's Midnight Toast. Garnish with an orange slice, and leave the speeches to your guests! 960 1280

  

Black Devil Martini

Black Devil Martini

For your adults-only Halloween party, serve this Black Devil Martini. This spooky spirit gets its color from dark rum, course orange sugar and a black olive garnish. 960 1280

  

Autumn Colors Cocktail

Autumn Colors Cocktail

The name says it all. This crisp, sweet-tea-vodka mixture is pretty enough for the Thanksgiving table thanks to pomegranate liqueur and orange zest. 960 1280

  

Hot Buttered Rum

Hot Buttered Rum

Warm your belly during the holidays with beloved Hot Buttered Rum. This classic mixed drink containing rum, caramelized brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg is perfect for enjoying fireside. 960 1280

  

Clarence’s Cranberry Toddy

Clarence’s Cranberry Toddy

It’s a wonderful life! We think right after Clarence, George Bailey’s guardian angel, finally got his wings he reached for this hot, cranberry concoction. 960 1280

  

Santa’s Pumpkin Pie Martini

Santa’s Pumpkin Pie Martini

One part Thanksgiving, 2 parts Christmas, we bet the big guy in red loves Santa's Pumpkin Pie Martini -- we do, too! 960 1280

  

Cocoa Raspberry Heaven

Cocoa Raspberry Heaven

Paradise is found with a sip of this raspberry-infused, hot-chocolate cocktail, some people might say. Top the whipped cream with a drizzle of Chambord and a fresh raspberry. 960 1280

  

Women Biking
Go Biking

Go Biking

Reduce your carbon footprint and participate in Earth-friendly transportation options like biking, walking and taking public transit. These alternatives are often cheaper than taking a cab or renting a car. 960 1280

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Reusable Bottles

Reusable Bottles

A plastic bottle often travels thousands of miles before you buy it, so carry a reusable container or drink locally sourced water when you’re on the go. 960 1280

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Non-Stop Flights

Non-Stop Flights

Book non-stop flights whenever possible. A significant percentage of a plane’s carbon emissions come from takeoff and landing. 960 1280

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Buy Local

Buy Local

When 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

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Working Farms

Working Farms

Stay at working farm that also functions as inn. This unique experience helps travelers connect with an area’s agricultural heritage --and they cost less than hotels. 960 1280

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Recycle Trash

Recycle Trash

Staying at a hotel? Make sure you ask about the hotel’s recycling program, and sort your trash accordingly. If your hotel doesn't recycle, consider taking your empty bottles or other items home and recycle them there. 960 1280

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Hike Marked Trails

Hike Marked Trails

Don’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

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Rent Hybrid Car

Rent Hybrid Car

Choose 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

Robert Scoble, flickr  

Stay at Green Hotel

Stay at Green Hotel

Las 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

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Eat Local

Eat Local

Eating locally is one of the best ways to support a community. Try to shop at farmers’ markets and dine at restaurants with locally sourced ingredients. 960 1280

William Murphy, flickr  

Photos

Coronado Beach

Coronado Beach

Just 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

Tashka/ iStock/ Thinkstock  

La Jolla

La Jolla

You’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

John Hoffman/ iStock/ Thinkstock   

Sonoma Coast

Sonoma Coast

Sonoma 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

Jairo Leiva/ iStock/ Thinkstock  

Pismo Beach

Pismo Beach

Pismo 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

JB325/ iStock/ Thinkstock  

Main Beach in Santa Cruz

Main Beach in Santa Cruz

For 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

Mitch Diamond/ Photodisc/ Getty Images  

Huntington Beach Pier

Huntington Beach Pier

With 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. 
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Christopher Riddler/ iStock/ Thinkstock  

Venice Beach

Venice Beach

Our resident beach expert, Marianela Pereyra, can attest to its weirdness, but there’s a reason Venice Beach is world famous. It may bring to mind visions of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Muscle Beach of the ’70s, but let us assure you that the 1 1/2-mile-long boardwalk is still the perfect storm for people watching, street performers and souvenir shopping. 960 1280

Christian Kober/ AWL Images/ Getty Images  

Baker Beach

Baker Beach

To the west of the Golden Gate Bridge lies the rocky serpentine shoreline of Baker Beach. Rip currents make swimming unsafe, but you’re here for the panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge … and maybe to picnic. Just don’t venture too far north unless you’re looking for another kind of scene: the northernmost end of Baker Beach, which attracts clothing-optional sunbathers. 960 1280

Jamairani/ iStock/ Thinkstock  

Malibu Surfrider Beach

Malibu Surfrider Beach

Formerly known as Surfrider Beach, Malibu Lagoon State Beach’s famous right point breaks have made it the most-surfed spot in Los Angeles since the ’60s. Arrive early to find a parking spot and pick a point -- some of the perfect swells due to Surfrider Beach will give you a ride all the way to the pier (a couple hundred feet away). And for non-surfers, the historic wooden Malibu Pier offers excellent saltwater fishing, bird-watching and picnicking. 960 1280

Ryan McVay/ Digital Vision/ Thinkstock  

Dockweiler State Beach

Dockweiler State Beach

Located just west of the LAX runway, Dockweiler Beach is where people come to relax and party. That’s because the 3-mile-long shoreline is the only Los Angeles beach that has an RV park and allows bonfires. S’mores, anyone? 960 1280

Jose Gil/ iStock/ Getty Images  

Bert, Jeanine and Jenna give the Riddler a test ride. 960 1280

  

Bert ambushes the members of the blue team. 960 1280

  

Members of the Blue Team pose before the days competition begins. 960 1280

  

Red team getting ready to slay Goliath. 960 1280

  

The Red Team is ready to go. 960 1280

  

The sound guy poses for a quick picture. 960 1280

  

The Blue Team gets back on the ground after riding Goliath. 960 1280

  

Bert interviews both teams after the competition in front of the Superman: Escape From Krypton. 960 1280

  

As usual, Bert makes the Red Team laugh with one of his many witty jokes. 960 1280

  

15 Photos

This pooch is all for peace at Woofstock Festival. 960 1280

  

Sugar being lifted in harness out of the tub, with Patty, at Morris Weight Loss Camp. 960 1280

  

Tina Chiu holds a small dog dressed up in a pink and black outfit at Woofstock Festival. 960 1280

  

This pooch is all for peace at Woofstock Festival. 960 1280

  

Richard sitting with Louie on the beach, next to the surfboard, after surfing at the Loews Coranado Resort. 960 1280

  

Tiffany and Whitney, the animal handlers, with a dog, and the cheetah in the lobby of the Affinia Hotel. 960 1280

  

Matching outfits for this pair at the Woofstock Festival. 960 1280

  

Owners and dogs, roasting marshmallows over a bonfire on the beach in Carmel, CA. 960 1280

  

These pooches are pretty in pink at Woofstock Festival. 960 1280

  

Louie hangs 20 (paws, that is) at the Loews Coranado Resort. 960 1280

  

It's all gone to the dogs at Woofstock Festival. 960 1280

  

A bulldog skateboards down the street at Woofstock Festival. 960 1280

  

A man and his best friends enjoy the view overlooking the ocean in Carmel, CA. 960 1280

  

An animal handler feeds one of the penguins in a room at the Affinia Hotel. 960 1280

  

A woman paints the nails of a dog pink at The Club, in Beverly Hills, CA. 960 1280

  

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