The Santa Barbara Car Free project and website have received publicity in more than 75 newspapers around the country, including the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Ventura Star, Los Angeles Times, San Jose Mercury News, the Oakland Tribune, the Seattle Times, and others. It has also been featured in television stories, travel publications, and on travel websites. We’ve received comments about the project, both on survey cards and unsolicited emails and postcards. Here’s a sample of what people are saying.
BRIDGES AND BALLOONS – August 9, 2019 – See article
The UK award-winning travel blog Bridges and Balloons featured Santa Barbara in a recent post. They say, “Santa Barbara is nicknamed the American Riviera, and oh my is it gorgeous. Apparently Oprah has a house there, and also Rob Lowe, Tom Cruise, Whoopi Goldberg, Ellen DeGeneres, and the list goes on… And it’s obvious why the celebrities like it: the whole place is stunning… And there are plenty of options for everyone and every budget when creating a Santa Barbara itinerary… Santa Barbara is an easily walkable city with all the main attractions situated in a three-mile radius of downtown, and there are also lots of public transport options too. The city is known for being eco-friendly and has a car-free programme that encourages you to walk by providing handy walking maps and details of all the alternative transportation options in the city.”
RED TRICYCLE – May 27, 2019 – See article
Kids who are ‘loco’ for locomotives will go off the rails for this unforgettable train journey to Santa Barbara. The great walkability of this coastal town makes leaving the car at home a total breeze. From trolley rides and whale watching to museums and marine life, explore the sights via the Santa Barbara Car Free ‘Take the Train’ promotion which includes discounts on hotels, restaurants and activities. Read on for the best places to eat, stay and play on your trip to Santa Barbara, a.k.a. the “American Riviera.”
Visitors who arrive in Santa Barbara by train are eligible for discounts on a wide range of entertainment and hotel accommodations in 2019 through a promotion organized by the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District. The Santa Barbara Car Free Project features specials on Amtrak Pacific Surfliner train tickets, bicycling, sailing cruises, wine tasting, dining, shopping, museum and zoo visits, as well as hotel savings.
“Cars contribute significantly to air pollution, and visitors to our area can help improve air quality by taking the train into town instead of driving,” said Lyz Hoffman of the Air Pollution Control District, which coordinates the award-winning Car Free program. “It’s easy and relaxing to explore our area without your car.”
KEYT SANTA BARBARA – February 20, 2019 – See article
A Santa Barbara organization is trying to encourage people in Santa Barbara County to use public transportation. Now through Dec. 31, people who take the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner from any county train station can save 20 percent off an assortment of attractions and activities. The “Take the Train” initiative is sponsored by Santa Barbara Car Free. The program also gives riders deals on bikes, cruises and dining, but you have to buy your tickets at least three days in advance.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA LIFE MAGAZINE – February 19, 2019 – see full article
Santa Barbara Car Free Project invites visitors to show their train tickets in Santa Barbara County and enjoy savings on fun experiences now through December 31, 2019. The new 2019 “Take the Train” offer features specials on Amtrak Pacific Surfliner train tickets, bicycling, sailing cruises, wine tasting, dining, shopping, museum and zoo visits, as well as hotel savings. “Cars contribute significantly to air pollution, and visitors to our area can help improve air quality by taking the train into town instead of driving,” said Lyz Hoffman, of Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District, which coordinates the award-winning Car Free program. “It’s easy and relaxing to explore our area without your car.” Complete details at https://www.santabarbaracarfree.org/2019-car-free-experience/
Now through Dec. 31, Santa Barbara County Car Free initiative, “Take the Train,” will reward travelers who take the train with a 20 percent discount on Amtrak Pacific Surfliner travel vouchers, in addition to special savings on Santa Barbara-based attractions and activities.
In exchange for utilizing the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner that connects San Luis Obispo and San Diego through Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, travelers going to or from Carpinteria, Santa Barbara, Goleta (UCSB), or Lompoc-Surf and Guadalupe (plus associated Amtrak thruway buses to Solvang, Santa Maria and Buellton), will receive a 20 percent discount on travel costs.
NOOZHAWK – February 13, 2019 – see article
Santa Barbara Car Free Project invites visitors to show their train tickets in Santa Barbara County and enjoy savings on fun experiences now through Dec. 31. The new 2019 Take the Train offer features specials on Amtrak Pacific Surfliner train tickets, bicycling, sailing cruises, wine tasting, dining, shopping, museum and zoo visits, as well as hotel savings.
“Cars contribute significantly to air pollution, and visitors to our area can help improve air quality by taking the train into town instead of driving,” said Lyz Hoffman, of Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District, which coordinates the award-winning Car Free program.
“It’s easy and relaxing to explore our area without your car,” she said.
Complete details at https://www.santabarbaracarfree.org/2019-car-free-experience/.
FOOD WINE TRAVEL (Australia) – January 10, 2019 – See article
Award-winning Australian travel blog Food.Wine.Travel named Santa Barbara one of its Top Travel Experiences in 2018 with a special shout out to Santa Barbara Car Free. “…For a town of just 90,000, Santa Barbara has a surprising abundance of museums, galleries and historical attractions, excellent restaurants and cellar doors, cultural events and festivals. We can highly recommend it for a car-free Californian sojourn.”
FOOD WINE TRAVEL (Australia)– November 8, 2018 – See article
Once you’ve entered the United States through Los Angeles a few times, the city starts to hold less appeal than it might for a first-time visitor. Accommodation in L.A. also tends to be expensive, which is another deterrent to a stopover there. But hopping on another flight after the 14-hour flight from Australia is the last thing we want to do. So, on the last few occasions that we’ve flown into L.A. we’ve taken to exploring some of the lovely places within a few hours’ drive of the city, places like Solvang, Ojai and most recently, Santa Barbara. The beauty of Santa Barbara, as we discovered, is that you don’t even need a car to get there. The FlyAway bus from LAX takes you straight to L.A.’s Union Station, from where you can hop on an Amtrak train that delivers you to Santa Barbara in two and a half hours.
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE – June 15, 2018 – See article
Taking a completely car-free weekend vacation sounds amazing. In theory. In practice, well, there are surprises. Like discovering that the historic district shuttle doesn’t run on Sundays, the train station is in a (ahem) sketchy neighborhood miles from downtown, and the bike rental place is out of bikes. Now you’re dragging your suitcase across some grimy vacant lot, sweating through your shirt and swearing under your breath. Not in Santa Barbara.
LOS ANGELES TIMES – June 8, 2018 – See article
Whether you love sunrises or sunsets, oceans or mountains, our planet is a beauty — except for places mired in pollution and awash in plastic. World Oceans Day, celebrated each year on June 8, reminds us all to show some serious TLC for the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Arctic and Southern oceans. These are places we all love to explore when we go on vacation, but they also are profoundly affected by everything from trash to sunscreen. One way travelers can help Mother Earth’s vital waterways is to explore car-free destinations.
NOOZHAWK – April 18. 2018 – See article
48th annual event planned Saturday and Sunday at Alameda Park
The Community Environmental Council will host the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival this weekend, with a variety of activities and entertainment, free and open to the public as usual. The event, now celebrating its 48th year, will take place from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at Alameda Park, 1400 Santa Barbara St. “There’s something for everyone,” Festival Director Kathi King said. “Our general theme this year is to educate, inspire and act. Those are all the things we strive to do, in addition to making it a fun event.” …
The Santa Barbara Car Free Project announced festival-goers arriving without a car can register to win daily prize packages featuring round-trip tickets on the Amtrak Surfliner train. “If you’re coming to the Earth Day Festival from out of town, take the train,” Lyz Hoffman, county Air Pollution Control District spokeswoman, said in a statement. “If you live in town, walk, bike, or ride the bus or electric shuttle to the park. It’s easy and helps reduce pollution from cars and keeps our air cleaner.”
KEYT NEWS – April 10. 2018 – See article
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The Santa Barbara Car Free Project says that people arriving without a car to the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival on Saturday, April 21 and Sunday, April 22 at Alameda Park can register to win a prize awarded each day. Both day awards include round-trip tickets on the Amtrack Pacific Surfliner train.
Southern California Life Magazine – February 21, 2018 – see article
The Santa Barbara Car Free Project invites visitors to show their train tickets to Santa Barbara County and enjoy car free fun and experiences through December 31, 2018. The new 2018 “Take the Train” offer features specials on Amtrak train tickets, bicycling, sailing cruises, horseback riding, museum and zoo visits as well as hotel savings and more. Lyz Hoffman, coordinator of the award-winning project at Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District remarked, “Just show your train ticket when you check into a participating hotel to receive special offers. Plus, our partners are also offering some great car free experiences, like a walking food-and-wine tour, sailing excursion, whale watching, wine tasting, and a visit to a museum or the zoo.”
Santa Barbara Independent – February 15, 2018 – see article
‘Santa Barbara Car Free’ Coordinates Discounts for Train Travelers
Through 2018, Santa Barbara visitors who arrive on Amtrak can get discounts from participating hotels, attractions, tour guides, and recreation vendors. Take the Train, hosted by Santa Barbara Car Free — a Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District program — also offers 20 percent off Amtrak travel to or from Carpinteria, Santa Barbara, UCSB, Goleta, Guadalupe, Lompoc, Surf, Solvang, Santa Maria, and Buellton. For more information, visit santabarbaracarfree.org.
TravelingMom.com – October 2, 2017 – see video
“Hop abroad Amtrak’s Coast Starlight as it hugs the Pacific Ocean on the most scenic route in the US. With a dining car, observation car, sleeper cars, both business and coach cars along with the vintage Pacific Parlour Car, this route is an experience. With service from Los Angeles’s Union Station to Seattle, skip the highways and pass by the airport and take the train instead.”
TravelingMom.com – September 19, 2017 – see article
“Sometimes you have to leave the car behind when the stress of driving gets to you. And in Southern California, that happens a lot. Fear not! The National Parks TravelingMom actually felt freedom when exploring nearby Santa Barbara without a car. With a combination of a train, a sight-seeing trolley, walking and ride share, never once did she pine for her car.
I will admit it. Sometimes I need to break up with my car. If you spend all day or part of the day shuttling kids or driving around town for work, the last place you want to spend your vacation is in your car. So when I learned I could hop an Amtrak train from most cities in Southern California to Santa Barbara, I did. I’ve got all the details for Santa Barbara without a car.”
Taste California Travel – June 10, 2017 – see article
“The new 2017 “Take the Train” offer features specials on bicycling, sailing cruises, horseback riding, museum and zoo visits as well as hotel savings and more. Lyz Hoffman, coordinator of the award-winning project at the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District remarked, “Our partners are offering some great experiences when you arrive by train; just show your ticket when you check into a participating hotel for perks; then have more car free fun such as a sailing excursion, whale watching, a walking food tour, a museum or zoo visit and so much more.”
NBC Los Angeles – May 8, 2017 – see article
“WHEN WE TRAVEL TO A PLACE, we’re often told to keep certain things handy, from a helpful app to a trusted guidebook to the phone number of a friend of a cousin of a co-worker. We want these items at the ready, in case we need to find a restaurant or a tour or a little local friendship, so we stow them in our phone or in our bag or in our noggin. But there’s something a little special to keep close, in a pocket, perhaps, should you call upon the American Riviera before the final day in 2017. It’s your Amtrak train ticket, for once you arrive in Santa Barbara via the train, you’ll find that a number of deals will suddenly flower up, like so much bougainvillea up a red-tiled building, out of the seeming blue. But those deals aren’t from nowhere: They’re a part of the Santa Barbara Car Free 2017 program called “Take the Train,” which gives travelers a host of perks when they show that “I arrived by the tracks” ticket.”
TravelSquire.com – May 2, 2017 – see article
“Beaches, upscale food and wine joints and modern lodging only begin to describe Santa Barbara, California. Formerly a haven for surfers and touted for its perfect blend of Spanish Mission Style architecture, today there’s a mini-fascination with this “American Riviera” situated in Malibu’s backyard. The charming community along California’s Central Coast with a surfeit of palatial homes overlooking the sea offers resorts perfect for romance and relaxation while indulging in scenic surroundings.
…skip the driving and the traffic and consider taking Amtrak. Both Santa Barbara and Solvang participate in the Car Free project which partners with local businesses that offer discounts to make your stay more budget friendly. And as these California heritage towns are both perfect weekend getaways, you’re going to need the extra bucks!”