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Road Trip north to Santa Barbara

Visit to Santa Barbara Pier, the Ronald Reagan Ranch Centre, the Old Mission and another winery.

sunny 22 °C
View 2013 Round the World Trip on FrancisRTW's travel map.

I was then taken on a Road Trip north for a few days to see the sights of the Central Californian Coast. After overnighting in Port Hueneme we arrived at the popular tourist destination and resort of Santa Barbara with its main street (called State Street) bedecked in American and Mexican Flags.

Driving down State Street, the main street in Santa Barbara

Driving down State Street, the main street in Santa Barbara


Santa Barbara East Beach

Santa Barbara East Beach

At the entrance onto the Pier was the Statute of Three Dolphins erected in 1982; according to legend the dolphin is a cousin of Santa Barbara's early Chumash Indians and brings luck. Santa Barbara Pier and Stearns Wharf that it reaches out to were built by lumberman John P Stearns in 1872 and is the longest deep-water pier between San Francisco and Los Angeles. It has been seriously damaged by fire and restored several times (most recently in 1998) but still has many shops and restaurants.

Santa Barbara Pier and Stearns Wharf

Santa Barbara Pier and Stearns Wharf


The Dolphin Statue at the entrance onto Santa Barbara Pier and Stearns Wharf

The Dolphin Statue at the entrance onto Santa Barbara Pier and Stearns Wharf


Driving onto Santa Barbara Pier

Driving onto Santa Barbara Pier


Looking back along Santa Barbara Pier from Stearns Wharf

Looking back along Santa Barbara Pier from Stearns Wharf


Looking back along Santa Barbara Pier

Looking back along Santa Barbara Pier

Ronald Reagan was The US President between 1981-1989 and his ranch (Rancho del Cielo aka "The Western White House") is located atop the Santa Ynez Mountain Range north west of the city. The ranch itself is closed to the public but there is a centre dedicated to his life on the ranch and love of horses just a short distance from the end of Santa Barbara Pier. Ronald Reagan had been o close to the British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher who had died shortly before our visit and there was a glass tribute case to her on the ground floor.

The Reagan Ranch Center in Santa Barbara

The Reagan Ranch Center in Santa Barbara


Photographic Portrait of President Reagan greeting visitors at the Reagan Ranch Center

Photographic Portrait of President Reagan greeting visitors at the Reagan Ranch Center


A piece of the Berlin Wall greeting visitors at the Reagan Ranch Center

A piece of the Berlin Wall greeting visitors at the Reagan Ranch Center


Tribute case to Margaret Thatcher in the Reagan Ranch Center

Tribute case to Margaret Thatcher in the Reagan Ranch Center

Upstairs there was an impressive multimedia desk illustrating episodes from Ronald Reagan's presidency surrounded by artifacts from his Ranch. The largest item on display was the Scrambler CJ-8 Jeep he used to get around the ranch but other things included his cowboy hat, saddle and boots along with the chainshaw he used to tidy up trees.

The large multimedia desk in the main gallery of the Reagan Ranch Center

The large multimedia desk in the main gallery of the Reagan Ranch Center


Ronald Reagan's 1983 CJ-8 Scrambler Jeep

Ronald Reagan's 1983 CJ-8 Scrambler Jeep


Ronald Reagan's Cowboy Hat and Saddle at the Reagan Ranch Center

Ronald Reagan's Cowboy Hat and Saddle at the Reagan Ranch Center


Ronald Reagan's riding boots

Ronald Reagan's riding boots

There was also the desk used for radio broadcasts to the nation during his presidency. It was from here during a 'mic' test that wasn't meant to be recorded Ronald Reagan made the humourous comment "My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you that today I have signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in 5 minutes." Needless to say the Soviets were not amused!

Desk used for Presidential Radio Broadcasts from Ronald Reagan's Ranch

Desk used for Presidential Radio Broadcasts from Ronald Reagan's Ranch

The gem amongst the many sights to see in Santa Barbara however is the Old Mission (the first of five old missions I was to see in Southern California - for the record the others I went on to see were at San Luis Obispo, Santa Ines/Solvang, San Luis Rey de Francia/Oceanside and San Juan Capistrano). Established in 1786 with the church mostly rebuilt following an earthquake in 1812, it has over the years served at different times as the Cathedral Church for both the Los Angeles and Monterey Roman Catholic dioceses and as a result unusually for a mission church has a double bell tower.

My first view of the Mission at Santa Barbara

My first view of the Mission at Santa Barbara


The Sacred Garden inside Santa Barbara Mission

The Sacred Garden inside Santa Barbara Mission


An old ox cart on display inside the Santa Barbara Mission

An old ox cart on display inside the Santa Barbara Mission

Inside the Mission grounds there was an historic mausoleum used as the final resting places for many of the early Franciscan friar and founding family inhabitants of Santa Barbara with a further 4,000 Chumush Indians buried in the Cemetery Garden in the shadow of the old fig tree. The church has statutes to both Saint Francis and Saint Dominic behind the alter and is the only Californian Mission to have a crypt.

My first view of the Mission at Santa Barbara

My first view of the Mission at Santa Barbara


The Sacred Garden inside Santa Barbara Mission

The Sacred Garden inside Santa Barbara Mission


An old ox cart on display inside the Santa Barbara Mission

An old ox cart on display inside the Santa Barbara Mission


The historic Mausoleum within Santa Barbara Mission

The historic Mausoleum within Santa Barbara Mission

Attached to the Mission Church is also a small museum containing many paintings and a number of rooms recreating the life of the early Franciscan monks who lived at the mission.

Making our way through the old rooms of the museum at the Santa Barbara Mission

Making our way through the old rooms of the museum at the Santa Barbara Mission


Paintings on a Staircase at the Old Santa Barbara Mission

Paintings on a Staircase at the Old Santa Barbara Mission


Paintings of Franciscan Friars within the museum inside the Old Santa Barbara Mission

Paintings of Franciscan Friars within the museum inside the Old Santa Barbara Mission


Recreation of a typical Mission Kitchen from the time the Mission was founded

Recreation of a typical Mission Kitchen from the time the Mission was founded


Unique Chumash Indian altar constructed for the 1789 church

Unique Chumash Indian altar constructed for the 1789 church


The Old Mission at Santa Barbara

The Old Mission at Santa Barbara

We then continued north towards San Luis Obispo but not before stopping for some wine testing (known as a flight, see after going wine tasting in 3 countries I'm finally learning the jargon!) at the nearby Foley Winery.

The drive upto the Foley Winery near Santa Barbara

The drive upto the Foley Winery near Santa Barbara


Old tractor by the entrance to the Foley Winery

Old tractor by the entrance to the Foley Winery


Rows of vines at the Foley Winery near Santa Barbara

Rows of vines at the Foley Winery near Santa Barbara

Posted by FrancisRTW 02:00 Archived in USA Tagged beaches churches museums california wine piers missions mexican us_presidents

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