Santa Barbara County
Route Information: May 17, 2016 - Stage 3 Finish
When people around the world think of getting away, they think of Santa Barbara County. Visitors can start the day with a sunrise ride through the oak-dotted hills of Santa Ynez and finish at sunset with a glass of wine on a Santa Barbara beach. Community celebrations as diverse as Fiesta, Danish Days, rodeos, a county fair, and an international film festival ensure there is something here for everyone.
Santa Barbara County's appeal is due to the preservation and abundance of agriculture, history, and recreation. The Pacific Ocean breeze drifts through the sloping hills and mountains of Santa Barbara County's five American Viticultural Areas to create some of the world's most exciting wines. The County's agricultural vibrance is evident in cities like Lompoc, the Flower Seed Capital of the World, and Carpinteria, the home of the California Avocado Festival every October.
Santa Barbara County is rich with cultural history, from the Chumash who first inhabited this gem of the California coast to the 20th century architects who defined Santa Barbara's visual style. Visitors can enjoy the Santa Barbara Mission and the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, which was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 2005. Further north in Los Alamos, Bell Street's galleries and restaurants are settled in next to a former Pacific Coast Railway depot and a hotel dating back to the late 19th-century.
You can find front country canyons and day hiking trails outside of Santa Barbara and camping at Lake Cachuma and El Capitan State Beach. Further north, visitors can surf or relax at Jalama Beach, Ocean Beach, or the Rancho Guadalupe Dunes, which Sunset Magazine listed as "three Santa Barbara beaches with big scenery and no crowds." If you want to experience what DEEP Surf Magazine calls "arguably the best point break in California", check out Rincon Beach Park at the Ventura County border and the annual Rincon Classic surfing competition.
County Supervisor Janet Wolf said, "Santa Barbara County is excited to host Stage 3 and cheer on the racers as they make the iconic Gibraltar Road climb and cross the finish line at La Cumbre Peak. The Tour of California is one of the most important races in the UCI America Tour, and it is an honor for Santa Barbara County to host one of the most rigorous stages of the race."