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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Flavored with spices and warmed to perfection, a glass of mulled wine soothes the spirit. 960 1280

  

It's everyone's favorite spicy brunch cocktail, the Bloody Mary. 960 1280

  

Grab your beach blanket and bathing suit and hit the sand ' it's frozen daiquiri time. 960 1280

  

Not just for the Kentucky Derby, the Mint Julep is always a refreshing treat. 960 1280

  

Believed to have been invented in Puerto Rico, a Piña Colada hits the spot no matter where you drink it. 960 1280

  

Once considered an old-fashioned cocktail, the gimlet is gaining in popularity across America. 960 1280

  

Long a favorite in Spain, a fruity glass of sangria is the perfect summer cocktail. 960 1280

  

All you really need are tequila, triple sec and lime if you want to visit Margaritaville. 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

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Photos

Coronado Bridge and Glorietta Bay

Coronado Bridge and Glorietta Bay

A peninsula situated across the San Diego Bay from the city of San Diego, Coronado only has two ways in or out – one of which is the Coronado Bay Bridge, which offers drivers unparalleled views of the water. 960 1280

Brett Shoaf, Artistic Visuals  

Dog Beach

Dog Beach

Located next to the Naval Air Station at the most northern end of the beach, Dog Beach is not only a great place to romp with your furry buddy, but is also the perfect spot to collect shells and sea glass. 960 1280

SanDiego.org   

Hotel Del Coronado

Hotel Del Coronado

A luxury, beachfront hotel, the Hotel Del Coronado -- "The Del" -- is full of history. Not only is it one of the largest all-wooden structures in California, but it's also one of the few surviving architectural examples of a wooden Victorian beach resort and is a designated National Historic Landmark. 960 1280

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Centennial Park

Centennial Park

Centennial Park offers grandiose views of the San Diego skyline across the Bay. While there, take a ride on the ferry or check out the beautiful rose garden. 960 1280

Brett Shoaf, Artistic Visuals  

Coronado Golfing

Coronado Golfing

A resort town would not be complete without a golf course – and luckily, Coronado has its fair share. And with San Diego’s near-perfect weather, every day is a great day for golf.
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Joanne DiBona, sandiego.org  

North Island Naval Air Station

North Island Naval Air Station

Built in 1917, Coronado's Naval Air Station North Island is known as the "Birthplace of Naval Aviation." 960 1280

Official Navy Page, flickr  

Coronado Ferry Landing

Coronado Ferry Landing

With its art galleries, eclectic boutiques and variety of restaurants, Coronado Ferry Landing is a necessary addition to your Coronado itinerary. Pick up a souvenir before dining on the freshest seafood around. 960 1280

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Gondolas on Coronado Bay

Gondolas on Coronado Bay

The Gondola Company at Loews Coronado Bay Resort provides the most romantic gondola rides this side of Venice – serenading gondolier and all. 960 1280

SanDiego.org  

Central Beach

Central Beach

The main beach of Coronado, Central Beach is situated directly in front of the Hotel Del Coronado. If the convenience of the hotel and picturesque views weren't enough to entice you, waiters also serve drinks along the boardwalk. 960 1280

Brett Shoaf, Artistic Visuals  

North Beach

North Beach

Southern California is known for its surfing, and in Coronado, the surfers head to North Beach. No worries if you're not a pro – there are plenty of local companies that provide surf lessons. 960 1280

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Orange Avenue

Orange Avenue

Orange Avenue, Coronado's main street and shopping district, is packed with quaint, local businesses ranging from upscale boutiques to mom-and-pop outposts. 960 1280

Brett Shoaf, Artistic Visuals  

Orange County Fair in Costa Mesa, CA

Orange County Fair in Costa Mesa, CA

An aerial view of the Orange County Fair in Costa Mesa, CA. 960 1280

  

Shopping for Ground Beef

Shopping for Ground Beef

DIY’s Cool Tools host Chris Grundy and Juicy’s CEO Brett shop for ground beef in the supermarket. They’ve filled 3 shopping carts, and they’re still not finished. 960 1280

  

The Cooking Staff

The Cooking Staff

The cooking staff mixes the ground beef that will be used to build the 800-lb. hamburger. 960 1280

  

Prepping the Bun

Prepping the Bun

Nick preps the giant hamburger bun. 960 1280

  

Juicy’s mobile grill

Juicy’s mobile grill

Brett and Nick talk about their plans for the giant burger in front of Juicy’s mobile grill. 960 1280

  

Assembling the Grill

Assembling the Grill

Nick and Brett begin assembling the grill that will be used to cook the hamburger. 960 1280

  

Grilling Juicy's Chickens

Grilling Juicy's Chickens

Juicy’s isn’t just about the burger. Brett’s cooking staff is hard at work grilling several chickens on a giant grill for the fair. 960 1280

  

Smoked Turkey Legs

Smoked Turkey Legs

Nick and Chris stand behind the grill at the smoked-turkey-leg food stand. 960 1280

  

Performers on Stilts

Performers on Stilts

Performers on stilts walk in front of the food stands at the county fair. 960 1280

  

Juicy's Burger Stand

Juicy's Burger Stand

A night shot of Juicy’s burger stand at the county fair. 960 1280

  

The 800-lb Burger

The 800-lb Burger

The finished product -- Juicy’s 800-lb. hamburger. 960 1280

  

Palace Hotel

Palace Hotel

Palace Hotel
The Palace is aptly named because it’s decked out with ample turn-of-the-20th-century elegance and has 550 rooms on only 8 floors. With features like an attractive indoor pool and an elaborate Sunday brunch; it’s a nice choice in the SoMa area.
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Palace Hotel

Palace Hotel

Oyster.com’s Favorite Feature
The suite is filled with antiques and we love the original fireplace.
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Montage Beverly Hills

Montage Beverly Hills

Montage Beverly Hills
This 201-room luxury hotel, located in the heart of upscale Beverly Hills, is elegant in every way, including the Spanish Colonial-inspired architecture, the spacious rooms and the perfectly manicured courtyard. A luxury spa, a renowned Italian restaurant and a heated rooftop pool are a few of the hotel’s key highlights.
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Montage Beverly Hills

Montage Beverly Hills

Oyster.com’s Favorite Feature
The spacious marble bathroom is a highlight, but the real cherry on top is that guests in the suite are given a free Mercedes-Benz to drive during their stay.
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The Beverly Hilton

The Beverly Hilton

The Beverly Hilton
This Beverly Hills hotel --the site of the Golden Globes-- excels at luxury. Two business centers and superbly fast Internet in the elegant rooms make it a top pick for business travelers. Plus, its huge pool and name-brand fitness center ably compete with the leisure facilities at more expensive hotels.
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The Beverly Hilton

The Beverly Hilton

Oyster.com’s Favorite Feature
Every president from John F. Kennedy to President Obama has stayed in the suite.
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Hyatt Regency Century Plaza

Hyatt Regency Century Plaza

InterContinental San Francisco
This 726-room behemoth in Century City --the commercial hub of LA’s entertainment industry-- has contemporary rooms with iPod docks, flat-screen TVs, and balconies with fantastic views. Everything at the hotel is big. The pool is huge, the spa has 18 treatment rooms, and the Equinox gym is the largest in LA.
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Hyatt Regency Century Park

Hyatt Regency Century Park

Oyster.com’s Favorite Feature
The decor may be retro-inspired, but this suite is very 21st century. It even comes equipped with a desktop computer.
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InterContinental San Francisco

InterContinental San Francisco

InterContinental San Francisco
Built in 2008 --in the business-oriented neighborhood of SoMa-- the modern InterContinental has luxury-level service, high-tech guest rooms, lap pool, popular spa and a Michelin-star restaurant.
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InterContinental San Francisco

InterContinental San Francisco

Oyster.com’s Favorite Feature
There’s a lot to love about the 2-floor presidential suite, but we really go gaga over the wrap-around balcony that has amazing city views. We also love the funky light fixtures.
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