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  • Writer's pictureJefferson Graham

Santa Barbara #Photowalk

A visual guide for your Santa Barbara #Photowalk, step by step, from the old Santa Barbara Mission down to the Waterfront.

START HERE: 2201 Laguna Street

The Mission, take note,  has strict photography rules, so don’t plan on shooting wedding or engagement portraits here and leave your tripod and drone at home. Or else they will stop you and ask you to pay a hefty filming fee. The Mission, circa 1786, is a building you can capture from the outside, during the day, with bright sunlight seeping all over it, to bring out those pink colors.

You can only photograph inside the Mission if you take the tour. Side trips from the Mission include Inspiration Point, a popular hiking spot.

The above photo was taken from the clock tower observation deck on the 4th floor of the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, with a Sony RX10mm at 600mm.

The Arlington Theater, 1317 State Street was built in 1931 in the historical Mission Revival and Spanish Colonial Revival styles. The inside “was created to resemble an outdoor courtyard, making you feel like you’re sitting under the stars while you watch the big screen or stage,” according to the website, as if you’re sitting outside the plaza of an old Spanish town.

You can see movies and occasionally stage performances at the Arlington, which also serves as the home base of the Santa Barbara Film Festival.

From the Arlington, head down State Street, the main shopping district in the city, which runs all the way down to Stearns Wharf. Here you’ll see the usual collection of stores (Gap, Coffee Bean, Nordstrom) and some Spanish style malls that look to be in the old style.

For authentic, the San Marcos building, 1129 State, really caught my eye. It was built in 1913. It’s a designated city landmark that once housed an F.W. Woolworth’s store.

From here, turn left and walk one block to 1100 Anacapa St, home of the stately Santa Barbara County Courthouse. Here’s where you’ll get the best view in town. It’s open seven days a week.

Now head back to State, and continue walking down to the Wharf. Here’s where you will see lots and lots of old Spanish style tiles, and my favorite neon sign in Santa Barbara, advertising Joe’s Cafe, which has been in business here since 1928 at 536 State.

Now let’s go to the Wharf, the most popular tourist attraction in Santa Barbara, attracting over 5 million visitors yearly.

Let’s end the #Photowalk with lunch. You’ll want to get a ride to La Super Rica at 622 N. Milpas Street and get yourself a place on the line. It’s worth it.

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