Santa Barbara – the American Riviera Walk

On Sunday, we took a chapter from Walk Santa Barbara by Cheri Rae & John McKinney and walked a 4-mile stroll through America’s Riviera. I’m looking to learn more about this city and explore. Plus, it’s fun to get outside, wander, see what you can see, and take pictures.

This particular walk starts at the Old Mission where the rose garden is in full bloom these days.

Old Mission Rose Garden

The scent is scandalous!

Old Mission Rose Garden

Roses of every color were everywhere!


It was a super windy day – 30-40 knots – and a great day for flying kites so the lawn was covered with kids and parents trying to set their kites aloft.

As we past the Old Mission and started up the path by the ruins there was this ginormous cactus.

Steve thrown in for scale:

ginormous cacti

The cactus flowers are some of the prettiest I think.

cactus flower


Up a little further and a long view over Santa Barbara with a cruise boat in the channel.

view over santa barbara

Then onto a park site that holds the remains of a property purchased by Dr. Emmanual Orazio Fenzi – a horticulturist who moved here from Florence, Italy in 1893. He changed his name to Francesco Franceschi and built this redwood house. He managed to introduce over 300 species into the area and catalog 600 natives. Rumor has it he introduced the zucchini to America.

Francesco Franceschi's home

Poor guy, his house is in ruins – huge mess. Owned now by the city there are plans to rehabilitate the house.

Later, there is the all of frogs. No kidding – every froggy thing you can imagine.

wall of frogs

Everyone has apparently taken their frogs here and left them.

frog wall

wall of frogs

And ending in the frog grotto.

frog grotto

fourteenergirl Written by:

A mother, sister, wife, and daughter who writes, knits, hikes, and practices yoga on the west coast. Loves a zippy chardonnay or a tart margarita!

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