CLIFF TOP WALK, Santa Barbara, CA

View of Pacific Ocean from the Douglas Family Preserve, Santa Barbara, CA
Santa Barbara sits between the coastal mountains to the east and the great Pacific Ocean to the west and is one of California's most beautiful cities. In early May, I went on a day excursion to Santa Barbara with friends, visiting the Museum of Art on State Street in downtown Santa Barbara, then lunch at the Boathouse Restaurant overlooking the beach, and ending with a nature walk along the top of the cliff above the ocean in the Douglas Family Nature Preserve.
Entrance to Preserve
The path was lined with towering eucalyptus trees, pines, oaks, some fallen and weathering and providing seats to rest.

Wild phlox, daisies and a host of other flowers bloomed along the path
Throughout there were patches of spring flowers wildly in bloom after a winter of super heavy rains. And at the end is a spectacular overlook of the ocean and beach below.
Overlook of beach and Boathouse Restaurant
On our return we stopped to read the memorial plaque placed at the intersection of the cliff top path and one of the paths going into the woods. On it is this poem honoring the Santa Barbara citizens who worked so hard to preserve this beautiful area for all to enjoy.

Here you may walk in peace.
Here you may walk in time and history.
Here you may experience an ancient beauty.
Here the community said yes,
this place is ours to preserve,
this precious wind of trails through the native plants.
Here you may lose yourself in oak and cypress
bend to wildflower and lift to the song of ocean breeze
through pine. Here you may watch the sun east down
over the horizon and at night feel the brush of owl wings.
Through the people of Santa Barbara’s generous spirit
and ability to prevail, here you may find yourself.

    by Perie Longo
Memorial Plaque
The walk is easy and not too long. It was the perfect ending to our day, before driving back home to the busy city of Los Angeles.
Depending on traffic, the drive between LA and Santa Barbara is between one and a half and two hours. For directions to and information about the Douglas Family Preserve, click HERE.

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