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I know this is not much of a drive, probably two hours or less but it is as much as we can squeeze in at the moment. We will be leaving in about 4 hours (approx. 3:30 PST). My wife and I will be travelling with our 3 year old and 6 month old children, so it won't be you typical romantic getaway. We will stay Friday and Saturday nights. So if anyone has any suggestions as to restaurants to visit in Santa Barbara, things to do, any cool off road opportunites, etc. etc., please post them here. thanks
 

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SB to-do

gokings55: Given the ages of your kids, you should visit the Natural History museum, just north of the Mission in Mission Canyon.

My personal favorite is another mile up Mission Canyon -- the unrivaled Botanic Garden. It has simple, easy trails, wonderful plants, and is overseen by angels. A must visit!

--Marne

P.S. The Courthouse also is fun, especially if you climb the tower and look out over the tile roofs of the town toward the harbor.
 

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Here's a picture of the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden...
 

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Thanks a lot for the suggestions Marne, those were great ideas. Unfortunately we had already left before I could read them but we all had so much fun we are going back in January and then we'll have an opportunity to use your suggestions, my son loves museums.:) The MDX performed beautifully, ofcourse, felt very stable in the little rain we encountered, and everytime we parked we would catch people walking up to the truck to have a close up look:cool: Having a DVD player for the kids really helped, my son watched his programs calmly and then would fall asleep. The only bad note is the traffic on the 101, unbelievable.:p
 

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My kids (4 & 3) love the Santa Barbara Zoo. It's small but the perfect size. Not a whole lot of walking and you get to see the basic animals. Go early and be sure to bring a picnic lunch because there are tons of picnic and grassy areas to each and run around. Could be alittle chilly in January. Haven't been by Santa Claus lane for years but may be a good little stop on the way home.

That traffic on the 101 gets worse every year. It's even bad now in the Ventura/Camarillo area. (Our little secret is out.) You really have to plan to get through there on the off hours. Sunday heading south is KILLER.
 
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