Here's to Your Health and Wallet in Santa Barbara

Posted July 14, 2009 by Kate Hamman

Ca-santabarbara-courthouse Once a favorite stop for people traveling between San Francisco and Los Angeles, Santa Barbara is now coming into its own as a major destination. And feeling good is the name of the game. Come discover how affordable this waterfront city can be and what it has to offer with its free audio-walking tour of architecture and history. After you work up an appetite, stop in for some healthy eats before heading to your homey inn nearby.

Beyond the Rooftops; Santa Barbara's Red Tile Walking Tour: With the help of modern technology and the vocal styling of John O'Hurley from Seinfeld, you can learn all you'd ever want to know about Santa Barbara's Spanish architectural heritage. Once you download the one-hour podcast, you can follow Hurley's directions through 12 blocks to find 22 historic adobes from the 1700s and 1800s. The podcast is free to download.

The Natural Cafe: Serving only the freshest ingredients, this all-natural cafe doesn't fool around with your health. Vegetarians and vegans will delight in the variety of non-meat and non-dairy options, though it's not all tofu and tempeh. The cafe serves three different types of burgers, all made without red meat, as well as chicken or fish entrees. You can finish your meal with a shake or fruit smoothie without feeling guilty. Entrees start at $6.75.

Franciscan Inn: Only one block from the beach and close to downtown, the Franciscan Inn combines prime location with killer prices. The 1920s Spanish-style building's setting in a residential neighborhood creates a local atmosphere for your stay and home-baked cookies and a hot beverage bar just add to the welcoming feel. Relax by the outdoor heated pool before making your way to the excitement of the city. Rooms start at $114, and include continental breakfast.

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(Photo: Santa Barbara Convention and Visitors Bureau)

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