5 Most Visited Landmarks in Santa Barbara, CA

winetasting-Santa-Ynez-wine-tourThe American Riviera is one of the most visited areas in Southern California. Partially because of its scenic beauty, but also because of its many famous landmarks and attractions. With its nearly ten million visitors per year, tourism gives annually more than a billion dollars in revenue for the city. Home to the most gorgeous vineyards, picturesque beaches, great shopping and fantastic dining, it is no wonder why it has become such as beloved area for many in SoCal. Stroll along the main street, State Street, for great shopping, followed by a trip to some of the region’s most lavish vineyards. With more than 300 days of sun and tons of activities, SB is the ultimate getaway destination for locals and visitors alike. Having served the Riviera of the West for more than twenty years with luxury transportation, we transfer clients daily to the many landmarks and attractions found in the county. Here are the most visited by out-of-towners using our LAX limousine services or locally in the area.

5. Great Museums

Home to Southern California’s largest per capita number of galleries and museums, getting cultured is easy on the American Riviera. In fact, we have often clients booking an airport sedan to head straight to the great gallery openings and similar. Among the most popular are the S.B. Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Art, Presidio, as well as the Art, Design & Architecture Museum. Popular galleries include Atkinson Art Gallery Gallery 113, UCSB’s Women’s Center Art Gallery, Peregrine Galleries, Wall-Space Gallery, Sullivan Goss Gallery as well as the Easton Gallery. At the Museum of Natural History visitors can learn about the native Chumash people, and many come to the Ty Warner Sea Center to learn more about the underwater life of the Santa Barbara Channel. The Museum of Art might be most famous for its ancient sculptures as well as American-, Latin-, and Asian arts. Clients love the surf history at the Maritime Museum, and the 90-minute Land and Sea Tours are popular for families giving you the chance of observing whales, sharks, sea lions, eagles, and more. To learn more about the city’s distinct history, check out the Historical Museum to see exhibits of everything from the city’s long gone past, including furniture, clothing, and more. For a great introduction in city history and architecture, check out the Red Tile Walking Tour! Many history lovers visit the El Presidio, founded in 1782, and the El Paseo & Casa De La Guerra, which was established between 1819-1826. Make sure to stay up to date to attend the monthly festivals and parades. For instance, some of the highlights during the winter includes the Parade of Lights, Festival of Art, the Avocado Festival, the International Film Festival and the International Orchid Show. For summer-time, check out April’s El Presidio Days, the Harbor Festival, Summer Solstice Celebration, Jazz Festival, French Festival, as well as the Old Spanish Days.

4. Stearns Wharf & Beaches

Santa-Barbara-party-bus-and-limosStearns Wharf might be the city’s most iconic landmark. Along with the beaches and waterfront, the pier has long been one of the most popular SB limo service destinations for us. Stearns Wharf is located at the end of State Street along he seaside, and dates back to 1872. The wharf is home to various stores, restaurants, and even a winetasting venue that so many of our Santa Barbara wine tours clients love. The nearby beaches such as East Beach are popular hangout spots for sunbathing, beach volleyball, swimming, and similar beaching activities. Stretching for 2,250 feet out in the ocean, Stearns Wharf is one of the longest deep-water bridges in the State of California. It is home to various shops, restaurants, and even a museum with its own shark pool and much more. A beloved activity for families is a visit to the Warner Sea Center, run by the Museum of Natural History, while many dating couples prefer winetasting at the Deep Sea Tasting Room on Stearns. What’s more iconic for the city than rollerskating down the waterfront at West Beach Park? While parking and finding a parking space can be a hassle, arriving by a limo service can make the day go more smoothly and more enjoyable. The East Beach by Stearns Wharf is a popular – and sometimes crowded – beach. For a more scenic and less crowdy beach, visit Butterfly- or Arroyo Burro Beaches. Across the street from the Four Seasons Resort the Biltmore is where Butterfly Beach is located, consistently rated as one of the most beautiful beaches in the county. Arroyo Burro (Hendry’s Beach) is surrounded by forested nature, and is a great spot for a nighttime hike with someone special. Others include Mesa Lane Steps, One Thousand Steps Beach, Hammonds Beach, and Shoreline Park Beach.

3. Historic Mission

limos-in-Santa-Barbara-the-Mission-2016The 1820 Mission is one of the city’s most popular tourist spots. Nicknamed the Queen of Mansions, the Mission is a U.S. National Historic Landmark (NHL) and particularly popular among people on a sight seeing tour of the area. One of the city’s icons, it is one of few missions found in California and is the only mission to only have been operated by the Franciscan Order. Many come here to see its beautiful gardens and courtyards, learn about the Chumash Indians that once occupied the land, and see famous paintings and artifacts from time long gone. Being the state’s largest mission, it may not be any surprise that it’s a hugely popular landmark to visit for locals and visitors as well. The affordable 90-minute trolley ride is an awesome way of checking out the city, and can stops by the Mission in Old Town. Already established in 1786, it is one the oldest buildings in the state. One of the most famous landmarks include the Old Mission Bell which is hanging way high in the big mission tower overlooking the city with views as far as the Channel Islands. A sight seeing tour of Santa Barbara is never complete without a visit to the historic city Mission. For people that prefer an older historic getaway, make sure to pay a visit to the thousand-year-old pictographs at the Chumash Painted Cave!

2. Vineyard Tastings

winetasting-Santa-Barbara-wine-tours-tastingsWith hundreds of thousands of visitors per year, the county’s vineyards should be on anyone’s bucket list in Southern California. Santa Barbara wine tours to the Santa Maria- and Santa Ynez Valleys have never been more accessible. Less crowded than the more famous vineyards of Northern California, these vineyards are just as scenic with just as many great varietals of wines. While the Santa Ynez Valley might be the most scenic wine country we serve, we also offer Temecula Valley- and Malibu Canyons vineyard trips. For the S.B. back country, the most visited vineyards include for example Sunstone-, Bridlewood, and Firestone Wineries. Others include Fess Parker-, Zaca Mesa-, Koehler-, Rideau-, and Foxen Wineries. The vineyards are a beloved destination for many. It’s not rarely we have customers ordering an airport sedan or limousine in order to visit the quaint small-town of Los Olivos. Here clients come to enjoy great tastings, explore the small town by foot, and enjoy the gorgeous natural beauty of the valley. Many renting limos for us bring their own lunch for picnicking at for instance Sunstone Winery and its beautiful vineyards, while Firestone Winery also offers food along with its wines. Kalyra Winery is recognized for their world famous dessert wines, and definitely a great choice to add after a winery offering dinner. The Gainey Vineyard also offers pasta and some other food with their varietals of wines, a great spot of matching wines and food by taste. While the Brander vineyard in Los Olivos is mostly known for their Sauvignon Blanc, while Sunstone is said to have the world’s greatest Merlot. While many wineries in the city are simple tasting venues, many of the wineries of the Santa Ynez- and Santa Maria Valleys are picturesque old facilities surrounded by rolling green hills and gorgeous vineyards. Make sure to ask our wine concierge about the different wineries in order to customize the perfect best Santa Barbara wine tour. Having offered them for more than twenty years, you can rely on us to receive the best of services available in the SoCal area.

You can learn more about our exclusive wine-tasting tours by clicking here.

1. State Street

limousine-Santa-Barbara-limo-serviceMaybe not surprisingly, but the city’s main street, State Street, is also the most-visited place in town. Here you’ll find anything and everything. Whether you want to experience the great nightlife, restaurants or endless shopping possibilities, State Street is a great place to begin your exploration of the city. While many clients wait till dark and rents a party bus for a night on town, State Street has much to offer during daytime as well. Maybe particularly for shopping. Among the most visited stores include Diani- and Diani Shoes, Yellowstone Clothing, the Territory Ahead, as well as upscale Wendy Foster. For a unique and authentic S.B. shopper’s experience, head to the Game Seeker, Lewis & Clark, Prana, Magellan’s in Loreto Plaza, or the SB Outfitters. The best shopping malls on State Street are found around El Paseo at the 800 block of Downtown, La Arcada Court (1114 State Street), Paseo Nuevo (651 State St.), as well as Victoria Court at the 1200 block of State Street. The SOho Nightclub is a popular party destination for nighttime clients, and is located upstairs as the Victoria Court, which is a two-story building with stores, diners, cafes, and more. Downtown’s El Paseo was California’s first mall, built in the 20’s, and includes various diners, pubs, antique shops, jewelry shops, as two tasting-rooms often visited on our wine tours. The city’s unique red-tile architecture, great shopping and nightlife, as well as its interesting centuries-long history are all best experienced on State Street: the gateway to the American Riviera. Begin your touring of the town with destination State Street, and discover your favorite SB hangout spot!

Didn’t find an activity that caught your attention? Rent a sailboat at the Sailing Center, or visit the famous city zoo! Many also love the sunset dining cruises as well as whale-observing trips offered by the Condor Express. From clients touring the vineyards to clients in need of an airport LAX limousine – we offer all types of transportation in the Southern California region. Whether you need a chauffeured vehicle for your bachelor party, wedding, night on town, corporate meeting or anything else, we can offer you a timely service along with our exclusive price match guarantee. Check out our reviews and call us to book your transfer! We offer SoCal’s largest fleet of luxurious vehicles, including limos, sedans, party bus vehicles, SUV’s, and more.

4 Magnificent Islands off the SoCal Coast


California-Channel-Islands-limo-in-Santa-BarbaraThe Golden State is home to dozens of islands in all shapes, sizes, and natural beauty. From historic Alcatraz, the quaint neighborhoods of Balboa – to our own offshore National Park: the California Channel Islands. Southern California has an island for everyone. What’s even better than spending the day on a Pacific island? Combining the trip with wine tours or a Santa Barbara limo pickup to your place of embarkment. Let our Santa Barbara- and Ventura limousine service present our top 4 islands of the Southern California coast.


Anacapa Island

Being the most accessible part of the Channel Islands National Park, sometimes called “America’s Galapagos”, Anacapa is an easy getaway for us in Southern California. As the smallest of the eight Channel Islands, Anacapa’s 700 acres and two-mile trail system is an easier way to check out the National Park. Just twelve miles off the coast of Port Hueneme, Anacapa is also the closest to the mainland. Our Ventura party bus recently chauffeured a big group of teenagers to the island, and told us this was their third time to the park. Our driver came back and told us about everything from “sea lion fights by the sea happens all the time”, and also happened to have visited the island many times for its great cliffs, untouched nature, great hiking, photographing, canoeing, scuba-diving, and also native fauna and flora. Many in our clientele have also told us about the great whale-migrations happening between February to March. At times there many gray whales spotted here on their way south towards Baja California. Usual visits here lasts from two to three hours, which is just enough time to explore the island. The island also has a unique history having been inhabited by the Chumash people for thousands of years. This island and any of the other islands compromising the Channel Islands National Park can be visited through the Island Packers, which has ferries departing from both Ventura and Oxnard. For sedans, limos, SUV’s or buses to the island, contact us today! We’ve even had tourists calling in to order a limousine or LAX sedan service from LAX and straight to Anacapa to explore the national park. We’ve also had tired campers calling for Malibu wine tours upon their return.

Balboa Island

limousine-Agoura-Hills-limo-service-2016Famous for its luxurious beachfront houses and many shops, Orange County’s Balboa Island has attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors and vacationers for over a century. Beautifully located in the Newport Harbor, many have mistakingly assumed Balboa to be its own independent village, although it is part of the bigger City of Newport Beach. Accessible by both bridges and ferry services (the Balboa Island Ferry), it is a kid-friendly and picturesque island-village definitely worth visiting. Many renting an LA- or Ventura limousine are heading then to the ferry station near the Fun Zone for a full-day trip over to the island. For dating couples, the $1 ferry ride is a great way of adding to your special occasion. And we get it. Why go on Santa Ynez wine tours when you can taste wine under the stars on this beautiful island? Boasting California’s one and only auto ferry, bringing your car – or Ventura limousine – along is also an option here. The island is home to many small-town shops, miles of sandy beaches, cafes, restaurants, and estate homes. Make sure to check out the locally made Balboa Bar or the frozen bananas for an exclusive Balboa-experience. The village’s main street, the European-style 1 ½-mile promenade is a must to see, particularly combined with a world-famous Balboa frozen banana. An alternative or additional trip so often reserved for an LA- or Santa Barbara limo is Balboa Peninsula. This oceanfront peninsula is home to expensive estates and larger craft harbors, as well as numerous restaurants and cafes. Also boasting the most visited tourist attraction and the most beautiful beaches in the City of Newport Beach, a visit to the Balboa Peninsula is popular for tourists and other reserving our LA- and LAX sedan service. We recently transferred LAX sedan service clients here as well, for a hotel night to be spent by the seaside.

Santa Cruz Island

limousine-Ventura-limo-serviceOften overlooked, Santa Cruz is the largest island in the state of California. As Anacapa, Santa Cruz is also uninhabited as a part of the National Park. But that doesn’t stop our LA- and Ventura limousine and party bus customers from venturing out here to explore. Home to numerous species found nowhere else on Earth – including the Island Fox, the Island Scrub-Jay and re-introduced Bald Eagles. Besides all the great wildlife, this particular island has a lot more to offer visitors. With its untouched wilderness found nowhere else in the state, the island is also a popular camping spot. We’ve had full vehicles – from a Santa Barbara limo to an LA party bus – packed with camping equipment for people who are looking to camp on the island. Here you can see among the biggest sea-caves in the world and learn about the ancient people that once lived on this island for thousands of years. Many riding with our Ventura limousine vehicles have told us about the various hiking trails found on the island. With ferries from Island Packers landing in two areas, Scorpion Anchorage and at Prisoner’s Harbor, there’s a larger trail system waiting to be explored. One hike definitely worth checking out is to Potato Harbor on the northern part of the island. Potato Harbor is a gorgeous stretch of beach, often visited by seals and sea lions, while Cavern Point is a popular place for sighting the great whale migrations. Between the months of Feb.-April, Party bus clients have also told us about the amazing bloom of the island’s endemic flowers covering the island. The Pelican Bay Trail offers the best chances of witnessing more native flora than anywhere else, although varying because of variations in rain and temperatures. The relatively fast one hour ferry ride from the mainland to Santa Cruz is often accompanied with the observation of various sea mammals and birds, including oftentimes dolphins, sea-lions, eagles, pelicans, whales, and more. Want an unforgettable canoe experience? Check out Scorpion Bay, famous for being an incredible place for kayaking or canoeing. Prefer a longer hike? A favorite for many LA- and Santa Barbara limo clients is the seven mile hike to Smuggler’s Cove from the landing by Scorpion Canyon. Prefer another method of transportation to the island? Although there’s no LAX sedan service needed for LAX travels, Channel Islands Aviation flies out of Camarillo Airport. If you are looking to see more exotic animals, book safari wine tours with us to Malibu Family Wines!

Catalina Island

Nicknamed the Island of Romance, Santa Catalina Island is the California island that has it all. We take more LA- and Santa Barbara limo clients to this island than any other Californian island. Here you’ll find everything from beautiful hotels, golf courses, bars and nightlife, as well as gorgeous beaches and protected nature areas with a magnificent native wildlife and flora. Reachable by ferry and by airplane, Catalina is home to two villages: the main town of Avalon and the much smaller Two Harbors. In between is where we find the Airport in the Sky, which is located the island’s tallest mountain. Many customers looking for limos in Ventura or Camarillo love the short but exciting plane rides with Channel Islands Aviation from the Camarillo Airport. With ferries leaving from Los Angeles as well as Long Beach and Orange County, Catalina has become the most accessible of the Channel Islands Archipelago. Just twenty-six miles with boat from the mainland, famously mentioned in the song “26 Miles” by the Four Preps, Catalina is an easy getaway with much to offer. A favorite for many locals and even tourists using our LAX sedan service, spending a night in Avalon is a must for anyone visiting Southern California. At Catalina you can not only experience the great outdoors (over ninety percent of the island is protected nature areas), but the town of Avalon also boasts some great options for accommodation, dining as well as many activities. Being the only developed island of the archipelago, Catalina is also the only California island to offer a larger variety of day- and night activities for visitors. Recent clients looking for limos in Ventura for a ride to the Catalina ferry station told us: “It is the island that has it all. We visit for the underwater submarine tour and beaching at Descanso Beach.” Others have told us about the great safari tours from Avalon, where you can spot all kinds of wild animals, including buffalos, eagles, the native Island Fox, and many more. You may want to rent a golf cart or bike for a great way of exploring the areas surrounding Avalon. While a day trip might be enough on some of the other Channel Islands, Catalina is definitely a place worth staying overnight!

In what ever way you’d like to experience a backdoor Pacific island – by plane or boat, for nature or hotel night, – our Santa Barbara limo services are your natural choice in choosing transportation to the ferries. We have offered luxury Santa Barbara- and Ventura limousine services, as well as top rated Malibu- and Santa Ynez wine tours and party bus transportation, for more than twenty years in the making. For your next visit to the islands, consider reserving one of our limos or party bus rentals to begin your trip in style! Whether to visit a Pacific island, head out on wine tours, or “just” for the traditional limousine adventure, contact Blackhawk Limousine & Transportation today!

Did you know scenes from the movie Commando (1985) were filmed at the Channel Islands? Check out our Guide to Best Movies Filmed in Santa Barbara!

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Best Santa Barbara Dates

2016-Santa-Barbara-wine-tour-and-Santa-Barbara-limo-serviceFew places in the world boasts a better dating scene than what is found here in our gorgeous county. From the beautiful coastline and beaches, iconic red-tile architecture and romantic restaurants and wine-tasting venues, the American Rivera has it all! Having been the leading provider of luxury transportation here for more than twenty years, our Santa Barbara limo service transports more people than anyone to – and from – the American Rivera. So without further due, let us present some of the greatest date ideas from our local clientele!

Painted Cabernet

the-Santa-Barbara-limousine-service-companyOffering some awesome step-by-step classes on painting, the classes come with a glass of locally produced champagne or wines. Kicking off with live music, the courses are for about 2 hours each and make for a great date night. Whether for a date, a night out of fun with friends or family, or maybe a bachelor- or bachelorette parties, the Painted Cabernet is a great getaway for anyone who would like to learn more about painting. Just last week we picked up tourists with an LAX sedan to go directly to the Painted Cabernet after having done some research before their trip. Sipping wine while painting your own piece of art make for a great date night, particularly combined with a nice dinner out before or after on one of the many great nearby restaurants of State Street.

SOhO concerts

limousine-santa-barbara-limo-serviceSoHo might not seem like one of the most popular destinations for our Santa Barbara- and Carpinteria limousine services, hidden away upstairs at State Street’s Victoria Court. For a special outing with your date, make sure to also check out the SOho Restaurant and the Jazz Society’s many concerts. Remember to buy tickets in advance to secure your seats and tables for your pick amongst the many upcoming concerts. The restaurant downstairs, the Scarlett Begonia, is also a great restaurant often visited by dating couples. While weekend nights often are accompanied with dance music, week shows are found as affordable as $10 per ticket. With live shows and musical performances every day, including their jazz Sundays, SOhO offers a NY-feeling right here on State Street. SOhO has generally an older crowd. Whether you’re a tourist on one of the many city sight seeing tours or if you’re a local looking for a live show and dining, booking your chaffered luxury ride with us will be an unforgettable visit to SOhO.

Vineyard tastings

2016-Santa-Barbara-limousine-limo-service-top-ratedThis particular region of Southern California boasts some of the most scenic, picturesque vineyards and tasting rooms. Whether you want to bring your date to the Deep Sea Tasting Room for great sipping overlooking the Pacific Ocean, or whether you would rather go on one of our great Santa Ynez wine tour to the Santa Maria- and Santa Ynez Valleys, we’re your pick for an unforgettable outing of wines and limos. Whether you prefer a quaint little tasting venue, or outdoor venues nestled in gorgeous canyons, we know the best wineries in SoCal. Would you prefer an outdoor tasting venue? Would you prefer a larger, or smaller more cozy venue? Many clients going on a date love small-town of Los Olivos, which not only boasts many great wineries and tasting-rooms, but also numerous cafes and restaurants making it the perfect date destination in the wine-country.

The Festival Theater

So many local clients love the live performances under the skies at the Solvang Festival Theater. It’s not rarely we have couples leaving for Solvang to visit the theater, most recently a couple renting a Montecito party bus to cruise up the coast and enjoy a beautiful outdoor concert here. With its proud Danish heritage, various Danish performances have premiered at the Solvang Festival Theater, including H.C. Andersen’s My Fairytale in 2011 as an example. Some of the other famous performances held here include Hairspray, My Fair Lady, Les Miserables, the Music Man, and many more. Occupying 700 seats at 420 Second Street, the theater might be most known for its PCPA Theaterfest held all summer  long. While the Theaterfest is the headline from June through September, Solvang’s yearly Christmas Tree Burn in early January is an amazing winter activity that should be checked out! From its classical theatrical Shakespeare performances to the more contemporary shows, the Festival Theater is a popular place for locals, Angelinos as well as even LAX sedan customers flying in to perform or attend at the great shows here.

Food & photo tours

Why not experience the city all anew? Maybe most popular on sight seeing tours for tourists and others, a food and photo tour of the American Rivera has never been more popular. The “Eat This, Shoot That!” is recurring weekly and includes delicacies, photographing and wine-tasting on a tour through the city’s Funk Zone, an area known for its eateries and rare graffiti art. You’ll learn about everything from local architecture, culture, history, as well as great wines. Want to explore the region’s wines but not leave the city? Their tasting walking tours through the El Paseo and Presidio areas of town is a great way of discovering both the great wines and learn more about our beloved city. A popular choice for many Montecito- and Carpinteria limousine customers is the great chocolate-pairings offered with great wine varietals to accompany on the “Eat This, Shoot That!” guided tour.

Sunset dining

There are many choices for beautiful sunset dining on the American Rivera. In fact, our number one destinations for dating couples booking with our Santa Barbara limo service include all the various top-notch restaurants our city offers. Besides the romantic restaurants along State Street or along the gorgeous coastline, a popular alternative is dining on the Double Dolphin dinner cruise. Offering a choice between Mexican- and Italian cuisine, this cruise may offer the ultimate dating idea in the area. And that with good reason; what’s more romantic than a sunset dinner on the ocean just off the Southern California coast? Having said that, the restaurants with ocean views are also tremendously popular for limousine- and Montecito party bus clients of ours. Great restaurants overlooking the Pacific include the Shoreline Beach Cafe, Bella Vista, as well as Longboard’s Grill on Stearns Wharf. Worth checking out is also Brophy Bros., a harbor-front seafood restaurant known for its daily fresh seafood and signature Bloody Mary cocktails.

Heading out to town for your date? Click here to see our Santa Barbara Nightlife Guide!

Call us for tips on the ultimate date! Why not combined a chauffeured Santa Ynez wine tour with some great musical performances? Or maybe a limo ride to your significant other’s favorite restaurant? Contact us now to hear more about our exclusive price match guarantee, unmatched by any of our local competition.

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