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La Arcada

Santa Barbara, California, United States

Description

La Arcada, a Spanish courtyard and paseo, is a magical place. By day it is filled with color, with its flags, murals, archways, vines and flowers, lifelike statues, and fountains. By night, it is lit with little golden lights and it looks its most delightful! La Arcada was built in 1926 around some older historical buildings. Many of the buildings are labeled so that you can read about them and when they were built. The surprisingly lifelike statues and murals are by J. Seward Johnson Jr: the father with his son on his shoulders at the fair (on State Street), the grandpa and little girl with a doll (at the Figueroa Street entrance), the seated man holding a hamburger (near the alley that leads out to the parking) and the window-washer (in the alley that leads to State Street). Also in this alley is the movable statue, Mozart trio, by Stirnberg, which has music that you can turn on. There are bronze dolphin statues by Bud Bottoms that kids can pretend to ride and the statue of Ben Franklin sitting on a bench. You can sit next to him!
If you're hungry, Jeannine's Bakery is a pleasant place to have a scone or sandwich and look out the huge windows at the pretty architecture outside.
Or try Andersen's Danish Restaurant. It's nice to have cake and tea on their patio on State Street while people watching. Their meals are so so. Kids enjoy eating in the fancy interior and pretending they are the Queen (or King!).
Across State St from La Arcada is San Marcos Courtyard, with a Spanish fountain and the most gorgeous historical architecture. You can grab a coffee at Peet's Coffee and enjoy it out back by the fountain.
Just outside La Arcada, on Anacapa Street, is the Courthouse, which is also magical at night. The sunken gardens at the courthouse are lush with exotic palms and you can sit on the huge lawn and look up at the Spanish architecture. There are 360 degree views from the top of the tower. On the same block as La Arcada is the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, a small museum with an impressive collection of late 19th century European art, Asian art, and some great temporary exhibits. Other colorful Spanish paseos are: El Paseo, a quiet paseo at the 800 block of State Street, and Paseo Nuevo, an outdoor mall at the 700 and 800 block of State Street.

Photo Gallery


The alley that leads to State Street, where you will find the Ben Franklin Statue, Mozart Trio Statue, and bronze dolphins.

The entrance to La Arcada on State Street, where you will find Andersen's Danish Bakery.

Beautiful La Arcada.

The side entrance to La Arcada, off Figueroa Street.

The side exit, that leads to Santa Barbara Museum of Art on the left, and the courthouse on the right.

The fountain area, where restaurants come and go.

Little Spanish archways lit up at night.

Nighttime at La Arcada- if you want to impress your date, bring her here! I'll never forget the first time I saw La Arcada at night!

The statue and mural of a father with his son on his shoulders at a fair.

The incredibly lifelike sculpture of a man cleaning the real store window!

Dolphin sculptures.

Ornate entryway.

Look up and feast your eyes!

Ben Franklin statue on a real bench!

The Mozart trio statue and flowerpots.

La Arcada looking pretty in the evening. Photo by Giovanna Anghera.

Andersen's Danish Restaurant and Bakery.

Shady sidewalk outside La Arcada Bistro.

Ladies sitting at a cafe in La Arcada.

Colorful umbrellas in La Arcada.

Chocolates du CaliBressan sells icecream.

Beautiful design on the building across from La Arcada.

Four planters of flowers!

The amazing flags, lampposts, and decorations in La Arcada.

The pretty lights and the purple sky.

The restaurant by the fountain.

La Arcada Bistro, at night. On weekends, a cool Irish band called The Foggy Dew play there.

The Mozart trio statue.

The fountain.

La Arcada is a dream at night...
   

Directions

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Exit Highway 101 at Carrillo St. If coming from the 101 northbound, turn right. If southbound, turn left. At the fourth street, Chapala St, turn left. Go two blocks and turn right on Anapamu St. Turn right on Anacapa St and pull into the driveway for the parking lot immediately on your right.
Parking costs $1.50 an hour. The first 75 minutes are free.
From the parking lot, walk down the driveway towards the back entrance to the art museum. Turn left and you will enter the tiny alley that leads to La Arcada.
Jeannine's Bakery, 15 East Figueroa Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, call (805) 966-1717.
Andersen's Danish Restaurant, 1106 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, call (805) 962-5085.
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