SoCal’s Pre-Colonial People

historic-sight-seeing-tours-chumashSouthern California has been inhabited for many thousands years. Let’s explore some of our Native-American historic places! A region we serve on a daily basis as the largest transportation provider – Santa Barbara-, Ventura, & San Luis Obispo Counties – were all making up the areas of SoCal where the Chumash people inhabited. In this article, we will explore some of the historic and educational places where you can see, learn, and experience the Chumash culture and history. From reconstructed villages to thousand year old petroglyphs, there are tons of spots throughout the area where you can experience our counties’ native history and indigenous people. Did you know the Chumash could be the first builders of canoes in North America? Or that the Chumash traded with neighbors such as the Tongva people? And did you know that there are numerous caves you may visit to see pictographs dating back thousands of years? Or that the city name of Malibu comes from a Chumash word? Let’s explore some of SoCal’s great Native-American, pre-colonial history!

 

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The Chumash Painted Cave is a popular and educational getaway

Just 11 miles from the American Riviera we transferred customers on one of our sight seeing tours to the Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park. Foreign tourists wanting to see the thousand-year-old pictographs made by the city’s indigenous population. What makes these paintings unique is the fact that you can see them close up, only separated a few inches by a fence. This is unlike many other “pre-historic” Chumash paintings in the region, e.g. Burro Flats Painted Cave in Simi Valley or other cities such as Newbury Park and Camarillo. On the National Register of Historic Places, Santa Barbara’s Painted Cave is one of the most convenient and easy places to witness California’s ancient history. The rock paintings here are one in a kind, and it is interesting to see Santa Barbara wine tour clients trying to interpret the different paintings. But we did the research! Look for instance for the sign for the sun: red with a ring around it. You can also see signs for all kinds of other things, including men, women, fertility (a line with another line going through it), water (zic zac line), and water (several vertical lines leading to a horizontal line.) Chumash pictographs can also be seen at Painted Rock on the Carrizo Plain of San Luis Obispo County.

 

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Venture out to the Channel Islands to learn more about the Chumash way of life!

Another possible destination for people interested in Chumash history is the California Channel Islands. Maybe easiest visited on a ferry trip with the Island Packers, the Channel Islands National Park is home to an abundance of native history. There were more than 1,200 Chumash islanders living on the islands, which also was home to ten villages. You’d be surprised, but more than 300,000 Chumash artifacts have been discovered on these islands! Our local clients and foreigners flying in and using our LAX airport limos have all told us about how these islands show how California once looked. Although largely undeveloped, the islands are popular for many recreational activities. Many like to go on hikes photographing the native landscape and looking for some of the endemic wildlife found nowhere else on the planet. Others visit “North America’s Galapagos” to camp overnight, while some visit to go scuba-diving or kayaking. Some simply bring a book and visit the islands to spend the day alone on one of the many beaches. Areas of Native-American history here include petroglyphs in Olsen’s Cave on Santa Cruz Island, or Jones Cave on Santa Rosa Island. Santa Rosa, once called Wi’ma by the islanders, was populated for over 13,000 years!

 

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The Painted Rock in San Luis Obispo has hundreds of ancient pictographs!

To explore some of the different unique artifacts that have been discovered, there are many choices you have. Some Santa Barbara limo clients head to the Mission, Natural History Museum, or the Historical Society. For clients further north, check out San Luis Obispo’s Hollister Adobe Museum, the Historical Museum, or the Mission San Luis Obispo Museum. In Ventura, the most popular places of Chumash significance include the Albinger Archeological Museum, the Ventura County Museum of History and Art, or the San Buena Ventura Mission Museum. If you’re by Ojai, check out the Ojai Valley Museum, or in Santa Maria see the Santa Maria Valley Historical Society Museum. The Santa Ines Mission is your best bet in Solvang, Carpinteria has the Carpinteria Valley Museum of History and Historical Society, while Lompoc is home to the La Purisima Mission State Historical Park and the Lompoc Museum. In LA County? Check out the Chumash Discovery Village in Malibu or the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History. Mostly interested in historical displays? Check out the Presidio. Most interested in seeing how they live? On the Chumash Indian Museum in Thousand Oaks and at the Chumash Discovery Village in Malibu there are reconstructed Chumash villages. The re-constructed village tours are popular for people on sight seeing tours, families on an educational outing with or without kids, and even for classes of school children in a party bus or two.

 

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The Chumash often ventured over the Channel to visit the islanders on the Channel Islands

Did you know that several cities throughout the region have names derived from the Chumash language? We recently learned this from curious tourists ordering an airport sedan to head straight to the reconstructed village in Thousand Oaks. Did you for instance know the city name Point Mugu derived from the Chumash name Muwu? Or Port Hueneme from Weneme? Malibu was once Humaliwo, Lompoc was Lompo, and Simi Valley was Shimiyi, which eventually became Simi. The Chumash traded with various groups in the area, including the Tongva Indians of today’s Los Angeles County. While the northern Channel Islands were inhabited by Chumash Islanders, the southern islands (San Nicolas-, San Clemente-, San Clemente Islands) were all populated by the neighboring Tongva people. There are evidence that suggests these groups not only interacted on each other’s territories, but they also sailed with canoes to visit and do trade with other indigenous peoples. Experts riding with our limousine service have explained that they traded with the Yokuts people in the north to get tobacco and obsidian, while traded with the inland Mojave people to get items more abundant in the desert regions of the Mojave Indians.

 

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Check out the replica of an ancient Chumash village at the Thousand Oaks Chumash Museum!

So how many Chumash were there? Anthropologist Alfred L. Kroeber estimated a Chumash population of 10,000 as of 1770, while Alan K. Brown believed it to have been 15,000 in the 1770’s. Sherburne F. Cook estimated a total population of between 8,000 and 20,000 when the Europeans first came to California. What we do know however is that the native population sank drastically when discovered by European settlers. By the year 1900, only 200 Chumash Indians were left. By the U.S. Census of 2000, the Chumash population had increased though to a total number of 4,032 individuals. Having inhabited Southern California for over 12,000 years, the Chumash is definitely a group worth knowing more about, and in that way, also learning more about our state’s great history! Whether you are searching for a Santa Barbara wine tour, transportation for your prom or wedding day, or to learn more about the state’s unique history at the many historic venues and museums, call us for more information on our luxury transportation services. Our fleet is the largest in the region, containing party buses, stretch limos, sedans, SUV’s, and other specialty vehicles for any group.

Looking for an LA- or Santa Barbara limo to Las Vegas? We can help you! Recently we had clients on this long trip as well wanting to take a break in Sloan, Nevada. This little hidden away small-town may didn’t seem like much, but our clients decided to stop here to visit the Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area after having researched it online. And boy were we wrong! Sloan was home to hundreds of several thousands of years old rock paintings! Looking for LAX airport limos? A party bus for a night on town with friends? Or maybe just a chauffeured vehicle for a special night on town with your love(d) one(s). Contact your local SoCal transportation company today!

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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