Santa Barbara’s known for its sustainable “green” attitude, so a St. Patrick’s Day trip is perfect to check it out!
Arroyo Hondo Preserve. Experience the protected Gaviota Coast wilderness 20 minutes north of downtown; 10am-Noon guided hikes; five-mile round-trips; moderate terrain; sorry no dogs; reservations required: [email protected] or (805)567-1115.
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. Five miles through meadows, redwood stands, and Mission Creek with close-up views of wildflowers and vistas of the Channel Islands. 9am-6pm; $4-$6; free parking; dogs welcome; 1212 Mission Cyn Rd; (805)682-4726. www.sbbg.org
Santa Barbara Zoo. It takes about two-hours to do the zoo! Ride the zoo train; watch, pet or feed 500 animals at 500 Niños Dr; sorry, no dogs; 10am-5pm; $10-$14, $6 parking–both free to members (including members of LA Zoo and Santa Ana Zoo); (805)962-5339. www.sbzoo.org
Santa Barbara restaurants often serve locally grown foods. These two are committed to being a green business in other ways. Street parking is unlimited and free in Santa Barbara on Sundays, but if you can’t find a spot, City lots are 75-90 minutes free.
Shoreline Beach Cafe. Their impeccable food and wine is locally grown, and their patio is on the sand. Shoreline is a certified Santa Barbara Green Business, and recycles 90% of their wastes! 801 Shoreline Dr; 8am-sunset; no reservations; (805)568-0064. www.shorelinebeachcafe.com
Silvergreens. Their webpage is full of ways they save the environment, and their menu is full of ways to save your health and anything can be ordered every which way–vegan, gluten-free, paleo. 791 Chapala St. (805)962-8500. www.silvergreens.com
Dargan’s Irish Pub & Restaurant. Classic Irish food, pub snacks, pool tables, and every ale on tap you can think of in two bars and dining rooms. Opens 11:30am; kitchen closes at 11pm; Irish band: Dannsair all day. 18 E. Ortega St. (805)568-0702. www.darganssb.com
The James Joyce. SB’s first Irish bar has a juke box with more than 30,000 songs. Irish band: Dannsair 6:30-8:30pm. 513 State St. (805)962-2688. www.sbjamesjoyce.com
Soho. SB’s premier music and dinner house is serving up local band Spencer “The Gardner” and the Worried Lads from 5-9pm. $5 cover. Eat and drink inside or outside. 1221 State St, #205 upstairs. (805)962-7776. www.sohosb.com
Georgia Lee Bertin has published a free Families Magazine and raised two kids in Santa Barbara. She’ll be dancing to Danssair at Dargan’s this year.