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Best of Santa Barbara® Readers’ Poll 2017

Our Annual Celebration of the People and Places That Make Santa Barbara Out of This World


Hello, Earthlings.

Our names are, well, unpronounceable in your language, so just call us “Fred” and “Ethel.” We come from a solar system that you’ve never heard of, in a galaxy far, far away.

A few days ago, we crashed our Hyperion 3000-JJ Transporter — what you single-planeters apparently call a flying saucer or, even more offensive, a UFO — into the shoreline of your town. Luckily, it was a soft, sandy landing, so we survived. But Santa Barbara wasn’t our intended destination.

No, after entering the atmosphere near something called the “Space Needle” (not even close!), we zipped down the coastline in search of this magical place called Hollywood. Apparently, they’re welcoming to beings of all shapes, colors, and backgrounds, and they might even put you in the movies!

However, while starting our descent, we clipped a big orange bridge at the mouth of a large bay and started hurling down right toward your town.

Rather than fret over our dashed celluloid dreams, we decided to make the best of it and enjoy what appeared to be a very lovely place. The mountains, the beach, the shopping, the Funk Zone (do you sell any of those to go?) — you folks have got it all. So we hit State Street in search of clues about which places to spend our Bitcoin.

Lo and behold, we found this Best Of Santa Barbara® guide. What a treat!

In no time, we were scarfing down bacon charburgers at The Habit, guzzling cocktails at Joe’s, and speaking to Airport Motors about getting the Hyperion back in working order.

But you know what? While it certainly ain’t Hollywood, this little city of yours is pretty sweet. So we’re gonna stay put, at least until we hit every one of this year’s winners.

And if you spot us cruising Butterfly Beach at sunset, camping at El Capitán State Beach, or sipping on a sour beer at Lama Dog, be sure to say hi. You’ll never guess what we have on this Trump dude.

Best of Santa Barbara® 2017: Eating

Eating: Fancy dishes, big burgers, and taco triumphs can all be found in this best dining round-up.

Best of Santa Barbara® 2017: Drinking

Drinking: Who’s got the stiffest drinks and best red wine? All that and more in the best beverage category.

Best of Santa Barbara® 2017: Out and About

Out & About: Music, movies, bowling, theater, billiards — find the best things to do outside of work.

Best of Santa Barbara® 2017: Out and About

Looking Good: Dressing up or just need new kicks? Here are the best spots for your feet, face, and more.

Best of Santa Barbara® 2017: Romance

Romance: Beauty and the beaches — find the most romantic places to take a first date, get married, or celebrate an anniversary.

Best of Santa Barbara® 2017: Housing

Housing: From gardening to house decorating to buying a home, the housing category has answers to all of your questions.

Best of Santa Barbara® 2017: Driving

Driving: Cars, motorcycles, and more — here are the best places to get your automobile fixes.

Best of Santa Barbara® 2017: Sporting Life

Sporting Life: From martial arts studios to surf shops, here are the best places for keeping active.

Best of Santa Barbara® 2017: Little Creatures

Little Creatures: For all your kids’ and pets’ needs, check out the best toy stores, day care, pet shops, and doggie camps in town.

Best of Santa Barbara® 2017: Living Well

Living Well: Find the best places to indulge in life outside of work — from cameras to books to music to computer repair, and all things in between.

Best of Santa Barbara® 2017: Media

Media: From columnists to websites, here’s the best way to stay in touch with the world around us.

The description for Living Well was corrected.



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