Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara


On the second day of the drive that my husband and I made along the California Pacific Coast road from San Diego to San Francisco, we left Santa Monica, where we stayed for the night, and began the day bright and early as we knew we'd have many miles to cover.  At this point we are approaching Point Mugu in Ventura County.




Here we are about to pass by Mugu Rock, a distinctive feature of the coastal headway promontory that has been featured in hundreds of film shoots and television commercials. The Rock was formed when a path for the highway was cut through the mountain. It marks a western end of the Santa Monica Mountains.  The Pacific Coast Highway leaves the coastline at this point and travels inland for a portion towards the city of Oxnard.



Oxnard, also known as the "Gateway to the Central Coast," is the lima bean and strawberry capital of California.   We drove by many such farms before the highway returned to the coast.

.

As we approached Santa Barbara, beautiful beaches were on one side of the Pacific Coast Highway and....



...the beautiful Santa Ynez Mountains on the other side.



We knew we would only have time for a brief stop in Santa Barbara, so we had to chose a few sights to see.  We decided to drive onto Stearns Wharf.  Stearns Wharf was completed in 1872 and became the longest deep-water pier between Los Angeles and San Francisco.  Named for its builder, local lumberman John P. Stearns, the wharf served the passenger and freight shipping needs of California's South Coast for over a quarter century.



Over the years Stearns Wharf served many other purposes and survived earthquakes and multiple fires. It now contains shops and restaurants and is visited by 5 million people a year, making it one of Santa Barbara's largest tourist attractions.



A look back from the end of the 1,950 long wharf to the coastline.



Although we couldn't see them, we could hear seals barking off shore at the end of the pier.



A view of the city of Santa Barbara and the Santa Ynez Mountains from Stearns Wharf.



The Channel Islands of Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara lie in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Southern California, as you can see by the map above, and are part of the Channel Islands National Park.



The Ty Warner Sea Center (owned and operated by the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History) is located on Stearns Wharf and fulfills the mission of the Museum to inspire a passion for the natural and marine world to its visitors.




There were quite a few pelicans resting on the wharf.



Another view of the wharf taken from the front of the Ty Warner Sea Center.




We had a shrimp tacos for lunch and enjoyed the view.



This fellow hoped I'd share my lunch with him...he was left very disappointed!




After we left Stearns Wharf we continued to our next stop: Old Mission Santa Barbara. More about this historical mission on my next blog post!



I'm adding this post to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe Thursday for the letter "C" -- California!



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35 comments:

ellen b. said...

Hi Pat,
Now you are sharing scenes that are so familiar to me. Dear and I lived in Camarillo from 2006-2010. I visited Pt. Mugu several times and we hiked in the Santa Monica mtns. Strawberry stands in Camarillo and Oxnard were wonderful. We walked the beaches in Ventura on most Saturday mornings. You really made the most of your time. Beautiful photos!!

Barbara F. said...

I have always wanted to go to Santa Barbara :) I love that highway in the first photos, a little scary, I would have to drive only in daylight. Your shrimp tacos look so good. Gorgeous scenery and as always captured so "eloquently" - your photos always speak to me! xo P.S. I still like the Ocean Spray cranberry sauce too

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Gorgeous, Pat... I hope to drive along that highway sometime... Love seeing all of your great pictures...
Hugs,
Betsy

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Pat - Glad you posted that notice about this particular piece not appearing. I scrolled back to find it and am glad I did. Santa Barbara is truly a paradise isn't it? And that drive up from the south is spectacular.

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Hi Pat, First I have to tell you that the taco looks scrumptious. One of the things I enjoyed most on my visits to California was the ride up the PCH and the beaches because the sea life and the birds were so different than what we have on the east coast. Your pictures are wonderful...made me wish for a vacation!

Theanne and Baron said...

Fabulous...enjoyed the photos, looking forward to the mission!

pam said...

Oh how I love the California coast. Its been about 8 years since we were out there with our girls. Oh the fun memories. Ellen, I remember my dad flying out to LA and going to Camarillo to do an audit of a local newspaper. He always brought us fun West Coast stuff that seemed so exotic to a couple of Kansas kids. Then we started traveling out there and really fell in love. Not someplace I ever wanted to live but I LOVE to visit. Thanks for the great tour as always.

Cheryl D. said...

I'm disappointed you didn't write about your adventures in beautiful Santa Monica (in my part of the world). I do love Santa Barbara though! It's a beautiful city with really cool people. I always have a blast when I visit!

Riet said...

Another beautiful day and post Pat. I love all your stories about your trips and I wish i could do that. You are so good with words. I love all these photo's today and am looking forward to the next.
Jave a great day.

Riet said...

Another beautiful day and post Pat. I love all your stories about your trips and I wish i could do that. You are so good with words. I love all these photo's today and am looking forward to the next.
Jave a great day.

Riet said...

Another beautiful day and post Pat. I love all your stories about your trips and I wish i could do that. You are so good with words. I love all these photo's today and am looking forward to the next.
Jave a great day.

PⒿ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

The wharf, the rocks, the sky .....ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Oliag said...

One thing I remember from my drive along the CA coastline in the early 70's was feeling seasick at times due to the ups and downs and curves in the road...funny because I never get seasick on the sailboat!

Loving your trip and I want to do it again!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I have actually been there. What fun place to explore.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I have actually been there. What fun place to explore.

Sue said...

Yep, it's a fun spot. Santa Barbara is one of our favorite trips, except for the traffic!

=)

Houseelf said...

What a beautiful place. The skies are gorgeous!

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

We've passed by Santa Barbara...but never spent any time there. I think we should! It looks like a lovely spot along the seashore...and I'm rather hungry for shrimp tacos about now!

tidbitsandtreasures2011 said...

I'm so envious! This drive is on my bucket list, and you've reinforced why it's there. So glad you had a great time.

Carol said...

I would love the strawberries, but not a Lima fan :) Beautiful shots, Pat, it's gorgeous out there. Love the wharf!

Sara said...

Gorgeous - I haven't been out that way since 1996...and I remember seeing a lot of those scenes...

Kathleen said...

Gorgeous! What views! I'll take the strawberries you have the Limas! :)

anitamombanita said...

love love love that drive!

Tracy said...

WOW...wow... loving these views, Pat! That sky... a magic sky... Loved learning about this place. Mind if I sneak a fry from your yummy shrimp taco plate? ;o) Happy Days ((HUGS))

Gracie said...

Well, you certainly know how to treat yourself my lady! I'm sure the photos, even though they are beautiful, don't give the idea of the places you've seen...

Claudia said...

The expanse of the west is always a joyful surprise. Glad to have found the post and taken the spectacular journey with you. I wouldn't share my lunch with a bird either.

Judie said...

Love your photos! The PCH is one of my favorite drives ever!!

Grace said...

Oh Pat what gorgeous pictures. Must be even more beautiful to see in person. Have a wonderful weekend. Grace xoox

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I've loved touring California with you, Pat! I wish I were there now :) As always, great pics!

Pondside said...

One of the smartest things we did when we went to California to visit family in San Luis Obispo, was to fly into Santa Barbara and rent a car and then drive to the cousins' home. What a spectacular drive it was - I wish we'd had time to head down the other way!

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

What beautiful photos and a wonderful trip! Thank you for taking us along with you :o)

Blessings & Aloha!
Hope you are doing well!!!

Dana @ Bungalow'56 said...

Its amazing how different each of your points of interest were, on the same drive. I have to admit though the picture I stopped the longest on was the shrimp taco lol.
Dana

upinthecosmos said...

Beautiful pictures, I'd love to see it in person someday:-)

Vicki/Jake said...

I live in So. Cal. for awhile and LOVED this ride. I've had lunch a few times on the Wharf and it's soothing to just sit and listen...Thanks for the memories:)

Jenny said...

Gosh, it's been a long time since I've been to that area! What beautiful pictures!

I really need to take a road trip to Cali soon!

Thanks for the inspiration...and the lovely tag along!

And thanks for linking to Alphabe-Thursday's letter "C".

A+