Founded by Europeans in 1786, Santa Barbara teems with centuries of history. To learn about the first inhabitants of the American Riviera, the Chumash Indians, visit the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and the Santa Barbara Historical Museum, both of which are located centrally. If you're looking for Spanish inspiration, head to Old Mission Santa Barbara, the city's chief cultural landmark that was established in 1786.
There is never a shortage of natural inspiration on this stretch of the California coast. Comprising five islands to the west of mainland Santa Barbara, the Channel Islands National Park is the perfect place for all types of adventure, from hiking the trails of Torrey Pines Forest on Santa Rosa to snorkelling among elkhorn and feather boa kelp underneath the Pacific waters. If you're on the lookout for local wildlife during your Santa Barbara cruise, join the Condor Express for a whale-watching adventure or hike the Romero Canyon Trailhead for a chance to catch a glimpse of the world's fastest flying bird, the peregrine falcon.
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