WHERE TO STAY
Ojai Retreat, 160 Besant Road, Ojai; (805) 646-2536, http://www.ojairetreat.com. Main house and four cottages (12 units in all) on 5 acres. No TV or phones, free Wi-Fi. Rates $99-$289 (and no lodging tax, because it's a nonprofit).
Carpinteria Shores vacation rentals, 4975 Sandyland Road, Carpinteria; (805) 684-3570, http://www.carpinteriashores.com. There are no hotels on the beach in Carpinteria. These 35 beach-facing two-bedroom, one-bath, full-kitchen condos rent for $2,000-$3,300 a week in summer, $1,200-$1,800 a week the rest of the year.
Four Seasons Resort the Biltmore Santa Barbara, 1260 Channel Drive, Santa Barbara; (805) 969-2261, http://www.fourseasons.com/santabarbara. 207 rooms, including 12 cottages, on 22 acres. Doubles from $395.
Simpson House, 121 E. Arellaga St., Santa Barbara; (805) 963-7067, http://www.simpsonhouseinn.com. An 1874 Victorian on a full acre, with six units in the house and nine more in a carriage house and adjacent cottages. Doubles from $195.
Presidio Motel, 1620 State St., Santa Barbara; (805) 963-1355, http://www.thepresidiomotel.com. 16 rooms. Free Wi-Fi and bikes to borrow. Doubles from $89.
Hotel Oceana, 202 W. Cabrillo Blvd., Santa Barbara; (805) 965-4577, http://www.hoteloceanasantabarbara.com. Across the street from Stearns Wharf. Doubles from $149.
Franciscan Inn, 109 Bath St., Santa Barbara; (805) 963-8845, http://www.franciscaninn.com. Beach-convenient, with 53 well-appointed rooms, pool and whirlpool. Doubles from $155.
Cabrillo Inn, 931 E. Cabrillo Blvd., Santa Barbara; (805) 966-1641, http://www.cabrillo-inn.com. This is an old-school lodging (metal keys, floral bedspreads, some big old TVs) across the street from East Beach. 39 units. Doubles from $99.
Motel 6, 443 Corona del Mar, Santa Barbara; (805) 564-1392, http://www.motel6.com. Doubles from $65.
WHERE TO EAT
Farmer & the Cook, 339 W. El Roblar Drive, Ojai; (805) 640-9608, http://www.farmerandcook.com. Mexican dishes on weekdays, pizza and burgers on weekends, $6-$13.75.
Osteria Monte Grappa, 205 N. Signal St., Ojai; (805) 640-6767, http://www.omgojai.com. Dinner main dishes $13-$36.
Ojai Ice Cream, 210 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai; (805) 646-6075, no website. One scoop. $3.25.
Café Fiore, 66 S. California St., Ventura; (805) 653-1266, http://www.cafefiore.net. Pizza from $13, other entrees from $15.
Esau's Cafe, 507 Linden Ave., Carpinteria; (805) 684-1070, http://www.esauscafe.com. Breakfast, lunch, burgers and sandwiches mostly from $8.95 to $13.95
The Spot, 389 Linden Ave., Carpinteria; (805) 684-6311, no website. Burgers, shakes and snacks a block from the beach. Burgers $3.95-$5.40.
Bouchon Santa Barbara, 9 W. Victoria St., Santa Barbara; (805) 730-1160, http://www.bouchonsantabarbara.com. French country style and great food. Not connected to chef Thomas Keller's Bouchon restaurants in Yountville, Las Vegas and Beverly Hills. Dinner main dishes from $25.
Boathouse at Hendry's Beach, Hendry's Beach, 2981 Cliff Drive, Santa Barbara; (805) 898-2628, http://www.boathousesb.com. Breakfast, lunch dinner. Dinner main dishes $19-$45.
East Beach Grill, 1118 E. Cabrillo Blvd., Santa Barbara; (805) 965-8805, no website. Breakfast, lunch and dinner up to $9.95.
La Super-Rica, 622 N. Milpas St., Santa Barbara; (805) 963-4940. Plastic forks. Patio only. Get food at counter. Fresh, flavorful cuisine and frequent lines. Closed Wednesdays. Main dishes less than $10.
Los Agaves, 600 N. Milpas St., Santa Barbara; (805) 564-2626. Metal cutlery. Dining room. After you order at counter, the food is brought to your table. Main dishes up to $14.95.
WHAT TO DO
Bart's Books, 302 W. Matilija, Ojai; (805) 646-3755, bartsbooksojai.com.
Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, 40 Presidential Drive, Simi Valley; (800) 410-8354, http://www.reaganfoundation.org. Adults $21, ages 11-17 $15, ages 3-10 $6, younger than 2 free. GuideCam audio/video tour, $7.
Island Packers, 1691 Spinnaker Drive, No. 105B, Ventura; (805) 642-1393, http://www.islandpackers.com. This longtime park concessionaire offers trips to the islands (adults from $56, children 12 and younger $39.), whale-watching (from $35 for adults and $25 for children 12 and younger) and harbor cruises (adults from $20 and children 12 and younger from $12).
Channel Islands National Park, 1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura; (805) 658-5730, http://www.nps.gov/chis/. There's another visitor center in Santa Barbara at 113 Harbor Way, fourth floor, (805) 884-1475, http://www.outdoorsb.noaa.gov. The islands are free to visit, $15 per night to camp.
Patagonia, the Great Pacific Ironworks building, 235 W. Santa Clara St., Ventura; (805) 643-6074, http://www.patagonia.com.
Real Cheap Sports, a Patagonia outlet dealer, 36 W. Santa Clara St., Ventura; (805) 648-3803, http://www.realcheapsports.com.
San Buenaventura Mission, 211 Main St., Ventura; (805) 643-4318, http://www.sanbuenaventuramission.org. Adults $4, children younger than 18 $1.
Carpinteria State Beach, Palm Avenue and Sandyland Road, Carpinteria; (805) 968-1033, http://www.lat.ms/NaKtrM. About 215 campsites and five group sites on about 60 beachfront acres. Rates (which rose on May 1) are $45-$80 per night (more for larger campsites). Summer bookings can fill seven months in advance.
Robitaille's Fine Candies, 900 Linden Ave., Carpinteria; (805) 684-9340, http://www.robitaillescandies.com.
Rincon Cycles, 5100 Carpinteria Ave., Carpinteria; (805) 684-9466, no website.
Santa Barbara Zoo, 500 Niños Drive, Santa Barbara; (805) 962-5339, http://www.sbzoo.org. Adults $14; children 2-12, $10.
Old Mission Santa Barbara, 2201 Laguna St., Santa Barbara; (805) 682-4713, http://www.santabarbaramission.org. Adult admission $5, children 5-15, $1; children younger than 4 admitted free. For the annual I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival (www.imadonnarifestival.com), dozens of artists fill the pavement in front of the church with vividly colorful pastel images.
Santa Barbara Courthouse, 1100 Anacapa St., Santa Barbara; (805) 962-6464, http://www.lat.ms/NaKLic. Free tours are offered at 2 p.m. daily and 10:30 a.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. You can park free for 75 minutes across the street in City Lot No. 7, 1115 Anacapa St.
Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1130 State St., Santa Barbara; (805) 963-4364, http://www.sbmuseart.org. Adults $9 for non-members, children younger than 6 free.
Alameda Park, 1400 Santa Barbara St., Santa Barbara; (805) 564-5418, www.lat.ms/NaIQdm.
Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens, 1500 Santa Barbara St., Santa Barbara; (805) 564-5418, www.lat.ms/NaJ6t8.
Santa Barbara Train Station, 209 State St., Santa Barbara; (800) 872-7245, http://www.lat.ms/NaJhVk.
La Arcada, 1114 State St., Santa Barbara; (805) 966-6634, http://www.laarcadasantabarbara.com.
Wheel Fun Rentals, 23 E. Cabrillo Blvd., Santa Barbara (and three other locations); (805) 966-2282, http://www.wheelfunrentalssb.com. Bike rentals $8.95-$18.95 an hour. Also electric bikes, surreys, beach toys, bike tours.
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