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Archives for July 2015

Gaviota Side Trip: Nojoqui Falls Park

The Farm-Stead is a fun side trip off Highway 101 between Santa Barbara & Solvang (photo Traffic411)

The Farm-Stead is a fun side trip off Highway 101 between Santa Barbara & Solvang (photo Traffic411)

Here’s a fun little side trip the next time you drive Highway 101 in Santa Barbara County between the Gaviota Coast and Solvang:  Nojoqui Falls Park & The Farm-Stead.

The Farm-Stead is a cute little store that sells fresh organic produce, and offers the opportunity to pick your own.

Families were gathering raspberries and strawberries in their roadside garden during my recent Sunday visit. I bought some heirloom cantaloupes which were sweet and delicious!  There are goats, mules and pigs in a pen out back, with a bucket of veggies that customers can feed the animals. The Farm-Stead is located along Old Coast Highway Road in Gaviota, although the ocean is nowhere in sight.

The Farm-Stead has goats and pigs out back (photo Traffic411)

The Farm-Stead has goats and pigs out back (photo Traffic411)

Nojoqui Falls Park (pronounced no-HO-wee) is just up the road from The Farm-Stead. Shaded by rustic oaks dripping with moss. There are picnic tables for day visits, so pack a lunch or pick up fresh snacks at The Farm-Stead. It’s typically an easy hike to Nojoqui Falls (although chances are you won’t see much water because of the drought), but the trail was closed on the day I visited (July 2016) because of a mudslide.

The trail to Nojoqui Falls is closed because of a mudslide (photo Traffic411)

The trail to Nojoqui Falls is closed because of a mudslide (photo Traffic411)

These spots are located above the Gaviota tunnel off Highway 101, heading north you’ll make a right just off the highway. You’ll come to the Farm-Stead first, and then make a left on Alisol (easy signage) to get to Nojoqui Park.  This route is also a scenic short cut into Solvang.

Nojoqui Falls sign & street sign Old Coast Highway & Alisal (Photo Traffic411)

Nojoqui Falls sign & street sign Old Coast Highway & Alisal (Photo Traffic411)

Traffic411 Insider Tip: There’s a free electric vehicle (EV) charging station outside the Farm-Stead. Pick some berries while you’re charging your EV battery!

Distance from LAX: 139 miles

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Visit Santa Barbara: Refugio State Beach reopens

Refugio State Beach, damaged by an oil spill, is known for its beautiful clear waters and diverse sea life. (Photo Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)

Refugio State Beach, damaged by an oil spill, is known for its beautiful clear waters and diverse sea life. (Photo Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)

The last remaining State Beach closed since a pipeline ruptured in May, sending 100,000+ gallons of oil gushing onto the shore and into the ocean, is now open.  While campers and beach goers are allowed to return, news of the spill has caused a lot of would-be visitors to Santa Barbara to change their travel plans.

Refugio State Beach is located along the Gaviota Coast, a pristine stretch of coastline known for its clean waters and diverse sea life. The spill site is several miles west (north) of the city of Santa Barbara. Still, as soon as news of the spill splashed across newspaper & website headlines, the city’s billion-dollar a year tourism industry took a hit.

Tajiguas Beach, looking toward Refugio State Beach, pre-spill.  Located along the Gaviota Coast, near Santa Barbara, it's known as the "Galapagos of the North." (Photo Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)

Tajiguas Beach, looking toward Refugio State Beach, pre-spill. Located along the Gaviota Coast, near Santa Barbara, it’s known as the “Galapagos of the North.” (Photo Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)

It’s not just the sea sport industries such as kayak and stand up paddle board operators who have noticed a drop off in customers. One winemaker with a tasting room downtown said business remained down by 50% two months after the spill.

Also read:  Gaviota Coast, Santa Barbara

Every year, Santa Barbara attracts visitors from around the world. Tourism is the city’s biggest industry. So, let’s let everyone know that Santa Barbara is as beautiful as ever – there’s no need to cancel or change plans to visit.

Tajiguas Beach was among the beaches along the Gaviota Coast impacted by a 100,000+ gallon oil spill in May 2015 (Photo Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)

Tajiguas Beach was among the beaches along the Gaviota Coast impacted by a 100,000+ gallon oil spill in May 2015 (Photo Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)

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