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.
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!”
redbook – April 18, 2017 – see article
“Park your car and take advantage of the trolley, water taxis, and bike paths while you’re in town — it’ll save you money on hotels, activities, and restaurants thanks to the city’s Car Free initiative. Plus, it’s gorgeous out in the summer months — or any month, really, as Santa Barbara boasts 300-plus days of sunshine each year — which means there’s plenty of time for hittin’ the beach, eating fish tacos (along the Taco Trail, of course), and sipping rosé on the Urban Wine Trail. And if you just can’t stay in one place, take a train or drive up to Los Angeles — it’s only an hour and a half away. “
Santa Barbara SEASONS – April 14, 2017 – see article
“Sponsored by the Santa Barbara Car Free Project, people arriving without a car to the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival on April 22 and 23 at Alameda Park can register to win some terrific prizes. The Grand Prize which is a two round-trip tickets from Santa Barbara to Seattle or Portland on the Amtrak Coast Starlight in a private roomette. This room features breathtaking views along the trip and meals included.
Additional prizes for car free guests include a pair of Amtrak Pacific Surfliner tickets, a one-night stay at the Upham Hotel, passes to the MOXI, tickets to the Santa Barbara Zoo, MTD reusable bags with a 10-ride pass and schedule guide, a ticket for a Funk Zone food and photo tour with Eat This, Shoot That! and round-trip tickets to the Santa Ynez Valley on the Clean Air Express Saturday Service.”
Southern California Life Magazine – April 13, 2017
“The Santa Barbara Car Free Project announced that people arriving without a car to the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival on April 22 & 23, 2017 at Alameda Park, can register to win prizes—including the Grand Prize: round-trip tickets for two from Santa Barbara to Seattle or Portland aboard the Amtrak Coast Starlight in a private roomette with incredible scenic views and meals included.
To learn how to arrive at Santa Barbara Earth Day car free, and discover more about the Santa Barbara Car Free Project, visit https://www.santabarbaracarfree.org/santa-barbara-earth-day/ and watch the new video. Learn about Earth Day Festival highlights at http://www.sbearthday.org“
What’s Cookin’ Today on CRN – February 23, 2017 – see interview
Laura Kath joins us to talk about a great program in Santa Barbara “Take the Train”. Encouraging visitors to soak up all that SB has to offer, and save money too!!
RootsRated – February 21, 2017 – see article
“All of the quintessential Santa Barbara experiences, from cruising along the beachside bike path to enjoying the region’s wineries and fine dining, are all entirely possible without a car. Thanks to a downtown with pleasantly walkable and rideable neighborhoods, convenient options for public transportation (trains, pedicabs, trolley, you name it), an Amtrak station just blocks from the coastline, and a wealth of resources available through Santa Barbara Car Free, you can leave the car at home (or at the hotel) for your entire stay.”
Santa Ynez Valley Star – February 21, 2017 – see article
“Santa Barbara visitors who arrive by train in 2017 can enjoy special entertainment deals by showing their train tickets.
The new “Take the Train” offer features “car-free specials” on bicycling, sailing cruises, horseback riding, museum and zoo visits, hotel savings and more.
‘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,’ said Lyz Hoffman, coordinator of the award-winning Santa Barbara Car Free project at the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District.”
Macaroni Kid – February 20, 2017 – see article
“The Santa Barbara Car Free Project invites visitors to show their train tickets to Santa Barbara merchants, hotels and attractions and enjoy car free fun and experiences through December 31, 2017.
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…
Fourteen Amtrak trains arrive/depart Santa Barbara every day including the Coast Starlight (Los Angeles to Seattle) and the Pacific Surfliner (San Diego to San Luis Obispo).The train discount of 20% off is good for travel to/from any station in Santa Barbara County or from Ventura County including Camarillo, Oxnard, Ventura, SB, Carpinteria, Goleta, Santa Maria, Buellton, Solvang, Lompoc, Surf, Guadalupe.”
M’Lisstravels.com – February 7, 2017 – see article
“Beaches, wine, contemporary food and modern hotels only begin to describe Santa Barbara, California. Known in the past for being a surfing city with palatial homes overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the “American Riviera” is inviting to vacationers…
Santa Barbara is easy to reach by Amtrak train, in fact, Santa Barbara participates in the Car Free project by partnering with businesses for discounts and suggestions to make your stay hassle free.
www.SantaBarbaraCarFree.org has more information about the special benefits of travelling car free by using Amtrak trains.”
The San Diego Union-Tribune – February 1, 2017 – see article
“Savvy San Diego travelers will hop Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner to get to and from Santa Barbara. For the first time in 14 years, Amtrak has added another train linking our cities; now there are five daily round trips. The Santa Barbara Car Free promotion offers a 20 percent discount on Surfliner tickets. (When we checked late last month, pre-discount round trips were running $84 for adults, half price for kids 2-12 years old.) To get the discount, tickets must be purchased three days before travel at a link on this website: www.santabarbaracarfree.org/train/#sbcf. Once you arrive in Santa Barbara, use your Surfliner ticket to get discounts on local activities and at attractions. Your Surfliner ticket will even get you free transportation on Santa Barbara buses and shuttles. Learn more at www.santabarbaracarfree.org.”
www.SantaBarbaraCarFree.org Press Release – February 1, 2017 – see pdf
Santa Barbara, California—The Santa Barbara Car Free Project invites visitors to show their train tickets to Santa Barbara and enjoy car free fun and experiences through December 31, 2017. 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.”
The Post-Journal – January 1, 2017 – see article
“We departed San Diego on Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner traveling five hours along the coast to the town of Solvang where everything is centered in the Danish tradition — replicating true Danish architecture and customs. Then we’ll return to Santa Barbara, sometimes called the “American Riviera” with its seaside location, old missions, Spanish architecture, vineyards and endless things to do for visitors.
Traffic? What traffic? On board, relax in spacious seats and enjoy the scenery. Hugging the coast by train affords beautiful ocean vistas from windows on one side and mountain views on the other side of the train. Amtrak provides snacks with coffee, tea or wine. There is true luxury in being able to relax and not worry about driving a car in traffic. All this convenience for a ticket that costs far less than renting a car for even a day…
After an exciting four-day whirlwind trip, we hopped back on Amtrak and headed for San Diego and the flight home.
The return train ride gave me time to reflect on the extraordinary adventures that were revealed to me each of these four days. I began planning my next trip to this wondrous area.”
The Irish Times – August 13, 2016 – see article
“Dude, this is the greatest place on earth!” I’m sitting at an outdoor table, tucking into a salad of baby kale, avocado, dates and roasted almonds, all locally grown, of course. The guy sitting at the table next to me – perfect abs, ultra-white smile – is thrilled when I tell him I’m just visiting for a few days.
“Man! It’s so cool that you get to travel to places like this. You should stick around a while.” Because this is California and not the south of France, the preening smugness that comes with living la dolce vita is offset by a casual, friendly charm that both disarms me and makes me resentful I can’t stick around for any more than a few days.
What makes it worse is that all this privilege comes with a conscience, especially in relation to the environment. Almost everything comes with an eco prefix, from car-free initiatives to the enthusiastic embrace of the locavore movement.
National Jewish News – July 2016 – see article
Santa Barbara–“America’s Riviera”–sits on a prime Pacific perch overlooking sweeping vistas of the sea-wedged Santa Ynez Mountains. Basking in a flawless Mediterranean climate, the city of Santa Barbara lures visitors to this seaside sanctuary by a captivating blend of glistening palm-lined golden beaches, a thriving arts community, historic architecture, terraced vineyards, and exotic vegetation. Great weather, romantic spots, and weekend getaways abound in Santa Barbara.
Santa Barbara Independent– June 25, 2016 – see article
So, what do bald eaglets have to do with cycling? Eagle parents have less than four months to teach their young everything they will need to survive in the world. That is their legacy. When we are young we think about our future, career, love, children, and family. As we get older thoughts turn to the legacy we leave behind when the bouncing dot turns into a straight line. I’m inspired by the legacies that others are leaving to our cycling community.
For example, Ralph Fertig left Santa Barbara cyclists a lasting legacy. Recently, the California Transportation Foundation awarded the Ventura/Santa Barbara US 101 HOV and Ralph Fertig Memorial Bike Path the Bicycle Pedestrian Project of the Year….The path benefits everyone. Separating cyclists and pedestrians from high-speed motorists has made this section of road safer for all users. SBCAG is applying for state grant funding to connect Rincon Beach County Park to Carpinteria Avenue. In the future other missing gaps in the California Coastal Trail constructed. Whether you are a cyclist or not, we should all be united in the belief that our community is stronger when our roads are safer for all users.
Vitamin World Blog – June 24, 2016 – see article
Santa Barbara doesn’t actually need any help selling itself as a vacation spot. The city’s balmy Mediterranean climate, beaches, parks, and Spanish Colonial and Mission Revival architecture are enticing enough to encourage even the most hardcore workaholic into some downtime.
If, however, you prefer a less-sedentary getaway, Santa Barbara is still one of the nation’s most appealing destinations. The city encourages a “Car Free” ethos, with plentiful bike paths, rental shops and self-guided tours. There’s also excellent mountain-biking (and hiking) in the nearby Santa Ynez mountains, and bikes are free if you make advanced reservations on Amtrak (the train station is located on lower State Street, downtown’s main artery)…
BigBlendNetwork.com– June 17, 2016 – see article
I am a Southern California girl in the most “diva” sense of the word. I think car first for doing anything whether it be shopping or travel. It never crossed my mind to be without a car anywhere in the US, but especially in California. That being said, I do have an adventurous spirit, blinged-out walking shoes, and I am open to new experiences. So, when PR great Laura Kath offered me an opportunity to visit nearby Santa Barbara for a couple of days IF I would agree to do the travel by Amtrak train and be carless in Santa Barbara once I arrived, I choked back “Are you crazy,” dusted off my walking shoes and headed for the nearest railway station.
SoCal Restaurant Show – May 14, 2016 – see article (and audio recording of show)
There is a new, au courant way to experience America’s Riviera, Santa Barbara. The Santa Barbara Car Free Project invites visitors to show their Amtrak train tickets and enjoy car free fun (with special discounts) in Santa Barbara. Laura Kath with Santa Barbara Car Free joins us with all the needed 411.
“Start your vacation when you get on the train! Relax on your trip to Santa Barbara, then show your Amtrak ticket to our partners for some amazing experiences.”
Examiner.com – May 12, 2016 – see article
There is something to be said about visiting a city car free. Hoofing it, breathing in the local culture and taking local transportation can get you right into the spirit of the location you are visiting. Santa Barbara has made it easy for you to discover the city without having to get yourself behind the wheel of your car. Come onboard and visit Santa Barbara Car Free experience. Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner has better facilitated getting to Santa Barbara from environs as far south as San Diego. Boarding the train in Van Nuys gave us the opportunity to enjoy the scenic coastline from Oxnard to Santa Barbara in about two hours. The ride is relaxing…
…We are so attuned to spending so much time in our cars, it is literally a breath of fresh air to visit Santa Barbara car free. It also makes for good exercise. You will not regret leaving your car at home or getting away from the rush hour traffic that accumulates on Highway 101 or the Interstate 405.
VacationIdea Magazine – April 22, 2016 – see article
…The downtown area has its own offerings for those looking for a fun night out. The trolley carries visitors to the shopping district, full of more artistic venues, fine restaurants, and the famous Urban Wine Trail. The nearby Amtrak station can transport visitors to a variety of locations along the seaside. Part of the Santa Barbara Car Free Project, there are special discounts to those making the effort to sightsee without the use of a car in order to take part in eco-friendly vacationing.