|Subject: Re: Late January in Santa Barbara?|
Here is a great site for hiking in Santa Barbara http://tinyurl.com/4rnma Weather in January can be wet and blustery or downright beautiful. If no storms are around expect crystal clear skies with warm days (70's) and cool (40's) nights. We someetimes have a heatwave then and it can get into the 80's. This gives you an idea of the crazy weather of Cal's central coast. Prices in SB have skyrocketed in the last couple of years since the real estate boom. There has also been a "Malling" of SB. Which is to say there are many more corparate chain stores and less and less independent shops.
Earthling books closed after 3 decades but Borders opened. It is still one of this countries absolutely most beautiful places in regards to geography and nature. Though sadly it is not the SB I lived in for many years and loved so dearly. For places to stay with Kitchens there are many such hotels near West Beach. We liked this place. http://tinyurl.com/6zxo6 Or for a treat I found this http://tinyurl.com/6duar on craigslist and it sounds great if you don't mind being 15 minutes away from SB on a great beach.
Santa Ynez wine country has grown up as well and has dozens of wineries now with well marked routes.If you would like some more info just ask I'm happy to share.I have some dining spots to tell you about. I must admit writing this makes me miss the "old" SB even more. The day's of barefoot hippies selling art, bookshops, five dollar dinners and bicycles . Now its Bimmers, Restoration Hardware, five dollar coffee and Ralph Lauren.