Paseo Nuevo Mall
||Santa Barbara, CA|
Print Leave a comment
Paseo Nuevo is not just a shopping center. It's an architectural delight! All about you, above and behind you, there are gorgeous lines and curves, shadows and light, white and pink stucco, ivy-covered walls, yellow umbrellas, flower pots decorated with zigzags...it's gorgeous!
Walk around and check out the fountains and flowers everywhere. There are some good stores: kids enjoy Gamestop, women love H&M Clothing, Victoria Secret, American Eagle, Gap and Kids' Gap. There's a Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream and a good movie theater with grand stairs leading up from the entrance.
Little kids absolutely love running around the center area. A horseshoe-shaped area provides a safe place where kids can run around the chairs and tables. There are wide stairs all around the horseshoe where you can sit and watch your kids while soaking up the sun. Two fountains that look like jacuzzis beckon kids to stop and watch the water bubbling. The best part is a window the shape of a circle. Kids can climb through it and then run down the ramp back to the horseshoe and then repeat the same trick a hundred times! This area is very beautiful, with blue and green tiles of every hue on the wall, and pink Spanish architecture towering above you.
Kids also like to check out the sunface fountain by the movie theater, and the whirly lines on the ground that they can trace with their steps.
Around the corner, by California Pizza Kitchen are pretty Spanish stairs that you've probably seen from travel photos of Santa Barbara. Climb them to the top where you will have a view down on the horseshoe area. Here, you can escape the crowds below and look out on the Spanish architecture with the Santa Ynez mountains behind. Center Stage Theater Company and the Contemporary Arts Forum are up here. There are benches where you can relax in the sun.
At Christmastime, Paseo Nuevo is decorated everywhere with tiny lights. The palm trees have white lights on their trunks and orange lights in their fronds. It's magical!
If you're hungry, enjoy delicious chicken kebobs, tasty fries, and super fresh salads at Kahuna Grill. Kids like the surf decor, surf videos, and the large tank with fish and coral. Another good bet is California Pizza Kitchen, though it's overpriced. Colorful and fun, it has huge arched windows looking out on Paseo Nuevo. They have satellite radio playing with all the top hits, and they treat kids well, giving them a kids menu, a packet of crayons, and a coloring book with mazes and puzzles. The 99c kids brownie at the end is so yummy you all might just have a bite!
If you're carefree and kid-free, head over to Elsie's, a secret dive bar where a DJ spins groovy triphop numbers that add to the funky ambience. Snuggle up on one of the velvet couches. Elsie's is located at 117 W. De La Guerra Street just west of Paseo Nuevo, between Chapala and De La Vina Streets, in what looks like a little house. There's no sign but just walk on in.
If you're looking for a quiet place to have a cup of tea, head to the cafe at the top of Nordstroms. There, on the balcony outside, you will be high above the plaza. Choose a table on the patio all the way at the end (to your right as you walk out the glass doors), because the views of the mountains are amazing from there. It's peaceful and restful and there's a nice breeze. The salads, sandwichs, and soups are all good here, though a little too salty.
There's a new development across Chapala Street from Paseo Nuevo called Paseo Chapala, where you can look up at Spanish architecture and blue skies while eating at Silvergreens Cafe. 1 1/2 blocks away on Canon Perdido St, check out the Susan Quinland Doll & Teddy Bear Museum, which has modern dolls too, like ones from the Twilight series!
For more interesting places nearby, check out the entry on State Street, and the other Spanish paseos on State Street: El Paseo at the 800 block, and La Arcada at the 1100 block. Don't miss out on these! They are wonderful, and pretty at night too.
Photo GalleryClick on photo to see large version
Paseo Nuevo Shopping Center spans from Canon Perdido to Ortega Street, between Chapala Street and State Street (2 entire blocks).
Exit Highway 101 at Carrillo St. If northbound, turn right at the exit. If southbound, turn left at the exit. Turn right on Chapala Street. There will be two parking lot entrances on the left after you drive one block down Chapala Street. Parking is $1.50 an hour and the first 75 minutes are free- Santa Barbara is the best!
Cafe Nordstrom, 17 West Canon Perdido Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, call (805) 564-8770.
California Pizza Kitchen, call (805) 962-4648.
Elsie's Bar, 117 W. De La Guerra Street, call (805) 963-4503.
Kahuna Grill, call (805) 965-6770.
This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.
Overall Visitor Rating:
|love 2 take in some sun at paseo!|
|I want this picture!!!|
|i remember this place, elsie's, deejayed bro grad party here in 03 i believe,,.....great times...|
|I second that... I miss it a ton!|
|Today my daughter enjoyed the funny fountains in the stage area and running around the steps that lead to the round window to the other side of the mall.|
|The fountains and the window have been a favorite of my kids since they started walking! It's a good place for kids. =-)|
|those fountains are toddler-magnets! Aw, I miss SB!|