Santa Barbara Heights
Santa Barbara, California, United States
No matter which direction you travel, you have fantastic views when driving over Santa Barbara Heights. Santa Barbara Heights is the hill between the mesa and downtown. To drive over it, take W. Carrillo Street from the freeway. After you cross over the hill, W. Carrillo Street becomes Meigs Rd and takes you to the mesa and its wonderful oceanfront parks.
Heading over the hill from the freeway to the mesa, you are rewarded with sparkling views of the ocean and islands. At the top of the hill are lovely pines and greenery. Coming back to the freeway from the mesa, the views are just as good. The Santa Ynez mountains, the riviera, and downtown with all the little churches and red-tile roofs are laid out before you.
A trail winds its way at the top of Santa Barbara Heights, amongst fifty acres of open land called Honda Open Space. At the beginning, it feels like an alpine trail in Switzerland, with its narrow, winding path among flowers and grass. You can enter it from Carrillo Street, just below La Coronilla Drive (park on La Coronilla Drive). Or you can enter the lower part of it from the beginning of Miramonte Drive. The spring flowers are lovely. Soon the trail becomes a wide, steep, gravel trail, which we had to abandon because of slippery shoes. Let us know if you've hiked the rest!
After crossing over Santa Barbara Heights, you have some wonderful exploring to do at the mesa. After Carrillo Street becomes Meigs Rd, on the right you'll find La Mesa Park, my favorite park in Santa Barbara with a grassy lawn high over the sea and a playground tucked next to a eucalyptus forest. Next, Meigs Rd becomes Shoreline Dr where you'll find Shoreline Park with its stunning clifftop walkways, toddler playground with dolphin sculptures, and views of the harbor. The mesa is home to Santa Barbara City College with its amazing views over Leadbetter Beach.
View over downtown from Santa Barbara Heights.
This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.
Exit Highway 101 northbound at Carrillo St and turn left. Exit Highway 101 southbound at Carrillo St and turn right. Stay on Carrillo St as it heads over the hill and to the ocean. Carrillo St becomes Meigs Road. Check out La Mesa Park or Shoreline Park while you're there.
On your way back you will have a view of downtown.
For the hike, from Carrillo St, turn east on La Coronilla Dr and park. Don't park on the west side of Carrillo Street because crossing the street is an exercise in extreme risk-taking!
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