Saturday Day Trip: Santa Barbara Zoo
A few weekends ago we decided to take a spontaneous day trip up to Santa Barbara (only one of my favorite places) and visit the Santa Barbara Zoo for the morning. We arrived right as the zoo opened at 10am, and began our walking adventure. For those who haven't been to the Santa Barbara Zoo, it is truly a gem in that community - it has a great overall layout, and can easily be done in just a couple of hours. You are also able to get up close and personal with many of the animals, which is a great bonus. We strolled through the exhibits, and the various gardens that are scattered throughout the property. It is an incredibly well maintained property and definitely an enjoyable place to spend a morning with friends or family. Tickets are $17 each, so it's best if you know you can spend a few hours to really get the most value for the ticket price. My favorites were definitely the elephants and the penguins, but all of the animals are equally fun to observe.
PRO tip: definitely go when they open, as the crowds are usually light and the animals will just be waking up and in my experience, super active at this time of the day, and it's also when they get fed so you get to watch that too! We are heading back to the Zoo on July 20th for their Sunset Sips wine tasting event, so stay tuned for a full recap of that event!
After the zoo, we headed into downtown Santa Barbara, and against my typical nature of pre-planning our day, we set out to see what we would encounter for lunch. We ended up in the Paseo Nuevo center and happened upon a restaurant called Eureka. We grabbed a patio table and settled in for our lunch. I loved the overall vibe of the restaurant, and the patio was clean and comfortable. I got the chipotle turkey burger that came with feta, avocado and this really flavorful sauce. My Dad and boyfriend got two of the specialty burgers as well and they could not stop talking about how good they were. We all got beers on tap and they were great. My tropical pale ale was just what I needed on a warm Saturday. We also tried the fried mac n cheese which was excellent - definitely a bit of a cheat meal, but well worth it!
For an unplanned, spontaneous day, we had a blast!