The American Riviera lies between the steeply rising Santa Ynez mountains and the Pacific ocean allowing for pristine 360 degree views from any one location throughout. Known for its serene beaches, culturally booming Funk Zone, and exhilarating outdoor activities, this city is a wonderful place to call home.
Moreton Bay Fig Tree
Santa Barbara’s Moreton Bay Fig Tree located in Santa Barbara, California is believed to be the largest Ficus macrophylla in the United States.
A seaman visiting Santa Barbara in 1876 presented a seedling of an Australian Moreton Bay Fig tree to a local girl who planted it at 201 State Street. After the girl moved away a year later, her girlfriend, Adeline Crabb, transplanted the tree to the corner of Montecito and Chapala streets, just a few blocks from the ocean, on land then owned by the Southern Pacific Transportation Company. The tree was officially designated as a historic landmark in 1970, and the property was deeded to the City of Santa Barbara in 1976. The tree has since been placed on the California Register of Big Trees. The roots are protected by a chain barrier the size of the canopy. The tree may be viewed at the Amtrak Train Station, 209 State Street.
In July 1997, the circumference of the tree, measured at a height of 4.5 feet (1.4 m) above the ground, was 41.5 feet (12.6 m). The average crown spread was 176 feet (54 m) and the total height was 80 feet (24 m).
The Lobero Theatre is a historic building in Santa Barbara, California. The theater was originally built as an opera house, in a refurbished adobe school building, by Italian immigrant José Lobero in 1873. Located downtown at the corner of Anacapa and Canon Perdido streets, the Lobero Theatre is registered as a California Historical Landmark.
The Lobero was founded in 1873. By the early 1920s, the old opera house was becoming dilapidated and was rebuilt as a theater, to Spanish Colonial Revival style designs by architects George Washington Smith and Lutah Maria Riggs. The client was the Drama Branch of the Community Arts Association. The Lobero Theater opened in August 1924, during a period in which civic groups in Santa Barbara were beginning to unify the town’s architectural look around a Spanish Colonial style.
The theatre continues to host arts and cultural events on 250 or more days per year. Because of its live acoustics and relatively small size it is particularly suited to chamber music. The Music Academy of the West holds many of its summer concerts in the Lobero.
Alice Keck Park Gardens
Alice Keck Park Memorial Garden features a large botanical collection of 75 different tree and plant species included in the Alice Keck Park Memorial Garden Self-Guided Tree & Plant Tour; koi pond; sensory garden with audio posts and interpretive Braille signs; low water-use demonstration garden, walking paths, picnic areas; and Gazebo. It consists of one entire city block, bounded by Santa Barbara, Micheltorena, Garden and Arrellaga Streets. It is across Santa Barbara Street from the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara, and across Micheltorena Street from Alameda Park.
The property, formerly the site of artist Albert Herter’s El Mirasol Hotel (demolished 1960s), was purchased and donated to the city in 1975. The anonymous gift included funds for the land’s conversion into gardens, and an endowment for their maintenance. The donor’s identity remained a mystery until her death, two years later, when it was revealed to have been Alice Keck Park (1918–1977).