Where To Look For Animals In Santa Barbara County: Wildlife Viewing Guide


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Feeding the ostriches at Ostrichland USA in Buellton can be a lot of fun!

With nearly 3,800 square miles of scenic beauty, Santa Barbara County is home an to abundance of wilderness areas and blooming wildlife. From feeding ostriches at an ostrich farm in Buellton, photographing the Santa Barbara Channel’s dancing dolphins – to enjoying the nice mix of wine tasting and observing wild animals. We’ve got you covered for the best Santa Barbara wildlife tour! With the growing interest amongst clientele requesting limos for places such as the Malibu Wine Safari and the Santa Barbara Zoo, we have made our suggestions for some of the best and most popular destinations exclusively for all you animal lovers out there! Being maybe the most biodiverse county in the state, you can find an array of habitats for various species of wildlife.

 

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A giraffe at the beautiful Santa Barbara Zoo

First and foremost, no article about “viewing wildlife in Santa Barbara” is complete without a paragraph dedicated to the local city zoo. As we even get LAX sedan calls for clients wanting to head all the way to this particular zoo, it is certainly a must to go by for anyone visiting the American Riviera. Especially fun for the children, this zoo situated in thirty acres of lush gorgeous scenery, also known as the Santa Barbara Zoological Gardens. Here you can come by for a day, or check out the family safaris where you can actually camp amongst the park’s lions and zebras! Feeding the giraffes is another favorite for many kids at the zoo. With over 600 animals and nearly 150 unique species, there are everything from Amazon boas, Chinese alligators, Asian elephants, African gorillas, penguins, snow leopards, and more. There are also domestic species such as California condors, American alligators, scorpions, black widows, California tree frogs, opossums, meerkats, and otters amongst others. Many limousine rentals clients love the California Trail show featuring the critically endangered California Vulture, one of the nation’s most seldom encountered animals. Follow up with a dinner at the Ridley Tree House Restaurant or the Wave for some amazing burritos and tacos.

 

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The Channel Island Fox is an endemic species to Santa Cruz Island and the Channel Islands National Park

Prefer seeing animals in their natural habitats? Fear not! Four of the eight California Channel Islands are also parts of the county, featuring maybe the state’s most beautiful natural settings at islands such as Santa Rosa- and Santa Cruz Islands. Contact Island Packers for your trip to the Channel Islands National Park in order to visit the islands. Here you can enjoy some of the whitest sandy beaches all for yourself at Santa Rosa Island, camp in the outback or venture on a hike for the best chance of discovering the many species uniquely endemic to the islands – animals found nowhere else on Earth. We recently transported people from Santa Ynez wine tours directly to the Island Packer Cruises for their short trip across the channel in order to visit Anacapa Island. Not only did they go here for the island’s natural beauty, but also to observe the many birds such as the Western Gull, Bald Eagle, Brown Pelican, Cormorant, and many more. They were also looking forward to seeing sea lions sunbathing and was hoping the experience the wave of Gray Whales when crossing the channel. Whales, sea lions, brown pelicans, seals, dolphins and even sharks are some of the animals our Santa Barbara limo customers experience on crossings of the S.B. Channel. If the California Channel Islands isn’t your first choice, check out the sunset dining cruises with the Santa Barbara Sailing Center!

 

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A whale-watching cruise in the Santa Barbara Channel can be rewarding!

How about actually feeding ostriches at an ostrich farm? Near Buellton is where we find OstrichLand U.S.A. where kids of all ages will love their chance of feeding these rather huge birds. Prefer sea-life over avifauna? Why not go on a whale watching cruise? The Condor Express will take you on an adventure you’re unlikely to forget. The two-deck cruise venture out on the ocean for a couple of hours, offering great chances of experiencing the idyllic California Grey Whale migrations. Other species you’re likely to encounter include numerous species of seals (e.g. Guadalupe Fur Seal, Northern Elephant Seal, Northern Fur Seal, Harbor Seal), sea lions (California Sea Lion, Northern Sea Lion), dolphins (Pacific White-Sided Dolphin, Short-Beaked Common Dolphin, and then other species), and whales such as the Killer Whale and Gray Whale, and sharks such as the Tiger- and Great White Shark. Limos for rent clientele going on Santa Barbara whale cruises have told us about the Island Scrub Jay, a bird species only found on and around Santa Cruz Island: California’s largest island and located in S.B. County. And if you venture across the channel to the national park, remember to go on a look for the native endemic Channel Island Fox – yet another animal found nowhere else on Earth. Perhaps not as exciting, the Island Fence Lizard is also an endemic animal on these windswept Pacific islands.

 

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Prefer something closer to LA? How about a Malibu wine tour safari!?

Santa Barbara limo services so often transport people these days for the butterfly sanctuaries and exhibits at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. Here you can enjoy walking amongst free flying colorful butterflies in a beautiful botanical garden. While over thirty species of butterflies can be seen here, an even more popular pick is Pismo State Beach, which has America’s largest number of Monarch butterflies. From November through the month of March, visitors to this beach can enjoy views of as many as 200,000 rather huge Monarch butterflies, filling the trees and making an unbeatable experience. Pismo State Beach also is one of the state’s largest sand dunes, and is a protected area partly due to its abundance of wildlife. We have had LAX sedan callers heading here and telling us about the awesome beavers in Meadow Creek as well as larger numbers of bobcats than most places in California. With over fifty species over birds present year-long, start your adventure here by heading to the Pismo Beach Nature Center at the Oceano Campground. Here limousine rentals clientele can enjoy an outstanding exhibit of park butterfly-, animal-, bird- and fish species.

 

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Many vineyards are often visited by deer and other animals

But why head to San Luis Obispo County for sand dunes, when Santa Barbara County has California’s largest sand dunes at Nipomo Dunes Preserve in Guadalupe? And while Pismo Beach brags 50 species of birds, the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes National Wildlife Refuge is home to more than 200 bird species! Being a safe-place for endangered animals such as the Snowy Plover, California Red-Legged Frog and the California Tiger Salamander, spotting rare animals here are not rare. The more than 2,500-acre nature preserve is also home to Mountain lions, Bobcats, Foxes, Mule Deer, Eagles, Brown Pelicans, Black-Tailed Deer, and numerous other species of animals. Come here in March for a landscape covered with flowers of all colors. Some winters the beach draws half a million (!) Sooty Sherwaters, which can be quite the view.

Yet another local option is the beautiful Cachuma Lake Recreation Area in the Santa Ynez Valley, a popular destination for through-traveling wine-sippers on various Santa Ynez wine tours. Here you can enjoy the two hour wildlife cruise of the lake, offered by the Santa Barbara County Parks. The Neal Taylor Nature Center here is free of charge and offers exhibits on local fauna, flora, history and more. Having one of California’s largest habitats for Bald Eagles, Lake Cachuma is a great spot for seeing a Bald Eagle in its right element. With over 5 miles of trails, venturing by foot will give you a great chance of seeing one of the area’s many mammals, including bobcats, cougars, foxes, rabbits, deer, and many more. Lovers of reptiles and amphibians will find tours of the lake particularly enjoyable. Limos for rent can be for any occasion. Why not go on a stylish and memorable limousine wildlife tour?

Limo service at Santa Barbara Zoo

Bachelorette parties can be so fun!

bachelorette-party-with-a-limousine-santa-barbara-limo-service-june-2016Tired of the usual outings? How about the unusual? Check out the Grapeseed Company, where you can make a custom scent. They sell oils, soaps, lotions, and such. Be sure to pre-book for your private party. The Painted Cabernet has has great reviews and can be very fun to do with friends. Here you can paint your own master piece of art! If you want to be even more different, head over to the Santa Barbara Zoo and compare yourself to real party animals! That is definitely unusual and untraditional for your bachelor- or bachelorette party.

Want a unique dinner? Reserve a fire-pit table at Cafe Zaytoon. It’s a really cool atmosphere… there is belly dancing on weekend nights and great Mediterranean food. Another spot for dinner with high ratings for atmosphere and great cocktails is the Blush Restaurant & Lounge. The location brags that it IS the top bachelorette party location for Santa Barbara limousine customers. Our exclusive wine tours to the Santa Maria- and Santa Ynez Valleys are also a pick where you cannot go wrong.

There is always the strong cocktails and fun crowd at Joe’s Cafe.

limos-in-Santa-Barbara-limousine-and-LAX-sedanSome fun beach restaurants for daytime food and drinks:

  • Shoreline Beach Cafe at Leadbetter Beach
  • East Beach Grill at East Beach
  • Brophy Brothers at the Harbor
  • Beachside Bar Cafe at Goleta Beach
  • Brophy Brothers

Like kayaking? If you take off from the Santa Barbara Harbor, there will be no need to fight the swells like at the beach. You can cruise through the harbor, check out all the yachts, get some exercise, and check out the sea life. You should  definitely visit the SB Sailing Center. Many of our wine tours clients love the local wine-tasting venues along the coastal American Rivera, including the Deep Sea Tasting Room on Stearns Wharf. Here you can sip wines while enjoying an unmatched view of the ocean. Others prefer the romantic sunset cruises, where you can enjoy champagne and a dinner on the sea. Many people fall in love with the Channel Islands National Park when they visit the incredible islands just miles of our coast. We’ve even had LAX sedan customers flying in from abroad to head straight to these islands for camping, hiking, kayaking, and other recreational activities.

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How about a sunset dining cruise?

Don’t like the water? Consider taking a nice hike. For out-of-towners, we would suggest Inspiration Point. It is a pretty easy to find with a well marked trail. It’s a popular trail and there will be others in case you get a bit lost. On the trail you cross a small creek, see a huge variety of plant life and end with a great view of the city. Also worth checking out for locals and visitors alike is the Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park, a cave with Native-American pictograms dating back thousands of years.

If you’re anti-sweat, just call us to book any Santa Barbara limousine and we can take you and your party to shop. State Street is the city’s main street and also a great spot which can keep you busy most of the day. You can cool down with some ice cream at McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams. Many of our client’s favorite is the peppermint stick, but many others swear the island coconut flavor is best! State Street is home to a huge numbers of restaurants, bars, shops and cafes. Maybe the most popular destination on State Street is the SB Bowl. Check their itineraries for upcoming shows, and make sure to reserve ahead of time to enjoy a dinner along with your show.

If you go to the Public Market, we HIGHLY recommend trying a cupcake at Enjoy Cupcakes. Trust us!

Don’t forget to use our LAX sedan, SUV-, bus- or limo service to retrieve your out-of-town guests from the airport! Great way to welcome them and start the experience off right. Whether your visitors fly in from the local airport, Burbank, L.A.X. or any other Southern California airport, you can trust our services to be timely and professional.

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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