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Andree Clark Bird Refuge, or The Lagoon

Santa Barbara, CA
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Andree Clark Bird Refuge, or The Lagoon, Santa Barbara California

Description

When I first bike rode along Cabrillo Blvd and ended up at this place, I couldn't believe my eyes. It is so beautiful here! I just wanted to stop around every corner and have a picnic on the lush green grass, or sit on each park bench and let my eyes take in the exquisite views of the mountains and the Montecito Country Club (the Spanish building on the hill). Gotta love wealth- it brings so much beauty to your surroundings!
You can walk or ride along this bike path all the way to the other side of the lagoon. The lagoon is a bird refuge and you will see ducks and other flying critters. The beginning area, near the ocean, is the most beautiful. Here the path is lined with tropical flowers such as red ginger plants. On the northern side, the lagoon has that serene reedy look of bird refuges. Towards the end, on the mountain side, the vegetation is native and seems quite dry, and the birds make you feel a little nervous as they come at you for food.
The deep green water at the lagoon will make all your worries melt away. Come here for a family bike ride- you will always remember it!
This bird refuge was named in 1930 after Andree Clark, the deceased sister of Huguette Clark, who owned the beautiful mansion on East Cabrillo Blvd that overlooks East Beach and gave money to have the bird refuge restored. The two were daughters of a Montana copper baron, William Andrews Clark. Huguette Clark recently died at the age of 104, in May 2011, and in her will she deeded some of her $400 million fortune to be used to turn her mansion and its art masterpieces into an art museum. What a wonderful art museum that would be! Let's hope it comes true, though her will is currently being legally disputed by her relatives.
Look up at the hill directly above the lagoon where it meets Cabrillo Blvd and you may just see the neck of a giraffe popping up from its enclosure at the Santa Barbara Zoo, which has to be one of the most blessed zoos in terms of panoramic views- those animals sure have it good!
Across Cabrillo Blvd, check out East Beach, which is great for long walks and playing in the sand. There are restrooms there at the Cabrillo Pavilion Bathhouse and there's a cafe called East Beach Grill.

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Photo Gallery

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The Andree Clark Bird Refuge bike path, as you face the ocean.
The Andree Clark Bird Refuge bike path, as you face the ocean.
The giraffe exhibit at the zoo, as seen from the Andree Clark Bird Refuge bike path.
The giraffe exhibit at the zoo, as seen from the Andree Clark Bird Refuge bike path.
Flowers along the path by the lagoon, with Montecito's hills and the Santa Ynez mountains in the distance.
Flowers along the path by the lagoon, with Montecito's hills and the Santa Ynez mountains in the distance.
A shady place to stop and take it all in.
A shady place to stop and take it all in.
Serene scene: Reeds at the lagoon, with Montecito Country Club in the background.
Serene scene: Reeds at the lagoon, with Montecito Country Club in the background.
View of Andree Clark Bird Refuge, as seen from the zoo.
View of Andree Clark Bird Refuge, as seen from the zoo.

Directions

Andree Clark Bird Refuge is located at 1400 East Cabrillo Boulevard, Santa Barbara 93108.
Exit Highway 101 at Milpas Street, and turn towards the ocean. Turn left on Cabrillo Blvd and left on Ninos Drive. Park along the road, and then walk back to Cabrillo Blvd and take the bike path around to the lagoon!
You can also start your walk on the other end. Exit Highway 101 at Milpas Street, and turn towards the ocean. Turn left on Cabrillo Blvd and follow it around the lagoon. Turn left on Los Patos Way. There is a parking lot beside the lagoon on your left.

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Visitor Ratings

Overall Visitor Rating:


krissy
10/06/2010 08:41
can't stop smiling looking at your work...luv it!

Janet
11/06/2009 15:10
a peaceful place to go on the weekend to run, bike, or walk. it's across from east beach, with gardens and reedy lagoon.

Last Updated Sun, 14 Oct 2012 22:54:42 GMT