Once leaving metro L.A. one feels that the journey may begin. Now you're on your way to Malibu.
Malibu is a nice celebrity town with about 12.000 residents, which is really worth to get discovered. Check out the 27-miles of beautiful beaches, the steep coast stretches and the pier. After a coffee continue your trip to Santa Barbara, which tops Malibu regarding exclusivity and outnumbers it by celebs. After approx. 2 hours you'll arrive.
Santa Barbara has its reputation for being expensive, exclusive, clean and of course a little touristy not for nothing - the visitor will immediately know when getting out of his car. Bring enough money when you'd like to go shopping in the nice shops. After having enjoyed the pleasures of the city you might be ready for some history: the "Mission Santa Barbara", which has the nickname "Queen of the Missions", was built in 1786 as the 10th of 21 missions in California. Hungry? At Stearns Wharf you get the chance to find seafood or other tasty stuff. The pier is full of restaurants and shops, so you can walk off the meal afterwards. Don't miss to take a photo at the Dolphin Fountains, sculptured by local artist Bud Bottoms.
An attraction of a different kind is a special tree: it is said to be the 'biggest fig tree' on earth - located at Chapala and Montecito streets. At least this tree is registered as one of the biggest trees in California. The "Moreton Bay Fig Tree" now spans more than 165 ft (50 m), its height is about 78 ft (24 m) and was planted in 1874 by a sailor, who returned from a trip from Australia. It's said, that it was a present for his loved one and only and he planted the seedling in her garden. Later, a new owner brought the tree to its current location.
When you feel, that you are ready to continue your trip you're actually heading towards another botanical highlight:
Lompoc (~44.000 people) is the name of the little town, which has adopted the meaningful slogan: "The mural city in the valley of flowers" or also: "City of Arts & Flowers". Arts and flowers dominate the little town. More than 60 murals are now finished. The history dates back more than 10.000 years before the first European arrived here. The Chumash Indians lived here and their history is captured in the Lompoc Museum in downtown. From the language of the Chumash Indians derives the name Lompoc, which means "little lake or lagoon". By the way, the name is pronounced "Lom-Poke" - never Lom-pock. Flower valley gives already a hint what the visitor can expect: flower fields wherever you look - most of all flower seeds for the entire world are coming from Lompoc. When visiting in June then don't miss the Annual Flower Festival mid / late June. The first European settlers in the region built in 1787 the Spanish Mission "La Purisma Conception Maria Santisima", which is restorated and can be visited nearby. The 10.000 acre (40.000qm) park invites to relax. Further along the coast on our way north we find the little town of Guadalupe. Well known in this area and popular as movie setting are the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes which are rising more than 500 ft into the sky (150 m) - thus they belong to the highest in the nation.