Kissed by the Cali sun and eternally good-looking is sunny Santa Barbara.
With it’s sweeping ocean panoramas and beautiful Mediterranean-style, colonial Spanish architecture less than two hours north of L.A., it’s on your bucket list for visiting Southern California.
But there are some lesser known facts about this pretty city that make it even more attractive for visitors – if that was possible!
Here are the five things you didn’t know about Santa Barbara…
1. Santa Barbara was the original “Hollywood.”
California’s first major movie studio, Flying A Studios, started in Santa Barbara in 1910 and produced hundreds of silent films here in the early 1920s.
Today, celebrities wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of Hollywood head up to this coastal oasis known as “The American Riviera”.
2. The Egg McMuffin was invented in Santa Barbara
McDonald’s franchisee Herb Peterson created the Egg McMuffin in the late 1960’s.
Today, downtown Santa Barbara’s Barbareño, a California-style bistro that draws inspiration from everything in the vicinity, has “Eggamuffins” on its snack menu, consisting of cured egg, seascape and speck.
3. It’s got fine wine
Santa Barbara is home to the Urban Wine Trail, giving visitors the opportunity to taste some of the finest wines produced in Santa Barbara County, all within blocks of downtown and the beach.
4. Santa Barbara likes to show off its Spanish roots
Santa Barbara reverts back to its Spanish roots for five consecutive, action-packed and food-filled days during Old Spanish Days Fiesta – Santa Barbara’s version of Mardi Gras, held every August.
Thousands of revellers pack the plazas, parks and streets to celebrate with festive traditions, including cracking open cascarones (colorful confetti eggs) and watching live mariachi music and flamenco dancing.
5. The Santa Barbara International Film Festival
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is one of the nation’s most accessible festivals, offering non-film industry visitors a chance to get up close to today’s biggest stars.
Held every January, the 11 day event includes hundreds of film screenings, award presentations, parties and tribute events. The world-renowned festival attracts Hollywood superstars such as Angelina Jolie, Kate Winslet, Will Smith, and Jennifer Lawrence.
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