The move to Santa Barbara is about an hour and a half from the LA area, give or take a little due to traffic.
Here we are staying in the Days Inn on State Street. We arrived at the hotel two hours before check in and they had no problem letting us into the room early. Nice large room with fridge, air con and wifi. Free parking. Swimming pool was large and open well into the evening and free continental breakfast 6am-10.30am. State Street is 7 miles long and goes all the way down to the ocean leading onto Stearns Wharf. State Street has some mixed reviews on Tripadvisor so I was a little apprehensive. So we are just under two miles back from the ocean on State Street. I rather quite liked State Street, our hotel is at a quieter bit, but half a mile away are shops and restaurants and not remotely tacky like some parts of LA were. The room itself was $200, one of the most expensive rooms of my trip, but this is an expensive area and also a Saturday night. What I found slightly tricky here was finding a hotel that will let you stop over for one night at a weekend. Many hotels here require a minimum two night stay at weekends during the summer.
As soon as we threw our bags into the room we came straight out an headed down to Stearns Wharf. Took the car as I wasn’t sure of the distance, parking is every couple of blocks on either side of the road down State Street. $12 a day or $2 an hour – I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before but pay machines in car parks here in America are SO SLOW! From Stearns Wharf we hopped on the Santa Barbara Trolley Tour, $19 for adults, children go free, lasts around 90 minutes and gives a good coverage of the city. You can hop on and off throughout the day. As we are only in Santa Barbara overnight a short tour was the best way for us to see as much as possible. After we had a wander around Stearns Wharf, which can be a little chilly with the breeze, before heading back to our hotel.