San Marcos & Victoria Court, Public Market
||Santa Barbara, CA|
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San Marcos Courtyard is an exquisite walled courtyard behind Peet's Coffee on State Street. Its historical embellished friezes with busts at intervals enclose a Spanish fountain (that has now become a planter, in the drought). Grab a treat at Peet's Coffee then sit and enjoy the serenity. Early in the day is better because the courtyard catches sunlight in the morning- in the afternoon it can be chilly.
One block north of San Marcos Courtyard, Victoria Court is a pretty plaza. There are some tables in a shady courtyard, a pleasant place to sit. Upstairs is Soho, a classy bar with live music and an outdoor deck. On Victoria Street is the Ensemble Theatre Company, a theater in a former church with light blue trim.
One block north of Victoria Court is the Public Market. In a former supermarket, it is a hip indoor place with cafes. The decor is attractive and modern, with an ivy-covered divider in one spot. For ice cream, you can't beat getting an itty bitty cone at Rori's. Enjoy the fresh made waffle cone and a tiny scoop of gourmet ice cream, without the guilt! Corazon Cocina has very fresh, healthy, and delicious tacos. There are also some places with great sandwiches made on fresh-baked bread.
Next to San Marcos Courtyard, on Anapamu, is the small Karpeles Manuscript Library, where you can browse famous manuscripts for free. There is music notation by Beethoven, plus some paintings and sculptures. There are several of these libraries around the country.
Across the street from San Marcos Courtyard lies La Arcada, a Spanish paseo filled with historical details, fountains, sculptures, flags, flowerpots, and cute cafes. At night it comes alive with lights adorning everything! Santa Barbara Museum of Art, with great temporary exhibits and wonderful 19th century European paintings, is just steps away.
For more exquisite architecture, walk up to the 1300 block of State Street and explore the entrance to the Arlington Theater. Wow! Creamy yellow columns and archways, colorful tilework, beauty everywhere. If you get a chance to go inside, you will be mesmerized by the little Spanish village within.
Other Spanish paseos and courtyards on State Street include El Paseo at the 800 block, a hidden paseo with Spanish arches, flags, and fruit vines growing up the whitewashed walls, and Paseo Nuevo at the 700 and 800 block, a mall with layer upon layer of lovely Spanish architecture- sit out by the jacuzzi fountains and enjoy!
Within walking distance from Victoria Court are two gorgeous parks. Tall regal trees and lush green lawns beckon you to stay a while. Check out Alameda Park with its castle playground called Kidsworld, and Alice Keck Park, where you'll find an abundance of flowering trees, plus a large pond with turtles, ducks, and koi.
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San Marcos Courtyard is on the 1100 block of State St. You can walk into Victoria Court from the 1200 block of State St.
By car, exit Highway 101 at Carrillo Street. If coming from the 101 northbound, turn right at the exit. From the 101 southbound, turn left. Follow Carrillo Street and then turn left on Chapala Street. The parking for Victoria Court will be on your right after you cross Anapamu Street. It costs $1.50 an hour and the first 75 minutes are free.
Peet's Coffee, 1131 State St, Santa Barbara CA 93101, call (805) 722-1912.
Soho's Restaurant and Music Club, 1221 State St, call (805) 962-7776.
Ensemble Theatre Company, 33 W. Victoria Street, call (805) 965-5400.
Rori's Creamery, 38 W. Victoria St, call (805) 845-2223.
Corazon Cocina, 38 W. Victoria St, call (805) 845-0282.
Karpeles Manuscript Library, 21 W. Anapamu St, Santa Barbara CA 93101, call (805) 962-5322. Open Wed-Sun 12-4. Entrance is free.
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Overall Visitor Rating:
|oh the old plaza|
|Peets has a sick mocha freddo- try it!|
|The courtyard behind Peets Coffee is great- quiet, good place for a chat with friends.|
|I so wish I could be there! AMs before work...|