We lunched at Long Boards; the second story outdoor patio offers the best view of the wharf and ocean. The same great clam chowder is offered in both Long Boards and The Harbor below. That evening the Shanghai H.O.G.s commandeered the pier for dinner at The Harbor Restaurant. We reminisced about our antics in China and planned next day’s trip north towards San Francisco.
My favorite hotel is the Harbor View Inn. It overlooks the harbor and wharf and the accommodations are exceptional. It’s a full-on ritzy resort with all the amenities including a spa but has extremely reasonable rates. Go to the website and sign up for their special promotions and coupons. I don’t know how they afford to do it. Eladio’s restaurant is on the Inn’s premises and offers a full bar and a special sunset happy hour menu. Offering secure covered parking, Harbor View Inn is amazingly quiet and serene with an adjacent stream and park-like setting. Keep that in mind if you’re heading out early, no need to show off the new thunder blaster exhaust pipes.
My favorite place for breakfast is Sambos, a block away on Cabrillo Blvd. This location was the very first Sambos and now the only remaining restaurant in the chain. It opened in 1957 and by 1970, there were 1,200 outlets but controversy over the name (associated with the Story of Little Black Sambo) was ultimately its demise. This first location is the only one left and owned by the founder’s grandson. I used to eat at Sambos regularly and the food was always great. My breakfast included blueberry mini-muffins, two eggs any style, fresh fruit or hash browns, and pancakes for only $5.95.
And my favorite touring motorcycle is the Harley Electra Glide Ultra Classic. The four-speaker, 80-watt Harmon/Kardon Advanced Audio System sounds great at speed. The one-piece, two-up Electra Glide seat with passenger backrest is plush and comfy for both riders. Adjustable fairing-mounted air deflectors are amazing; it’s astounding what a difference they make in the cockpit aerodynamics. As do the vents in the fairing lowers with integral glove boxes. The Tour-Pak carrier and injection-molded hard saddlebags hold ample gear for a long haul and there’s even an available trunk rack for more gear. Electronic cruise control is standard and you’ll use it. Alan’s mount was a 2011 Road Glide. Its short windscreen and lowered stance is a much more aggressive look than my Ultra but that suited Alan and his passenger just fine.
There are only three piers you can ride onto and its great fun to hear the wooden planks creak and groan as they rumble beneath you. Santa Barbara’s idyllic riding location, adjacent amenities, and free motorcycle parking earns Stearns Wharf the number-one spot on the list of motorcycle friendly wharfs/piers in California.
Pull Over & Stay
Harbor View Inn Santa Barbara
28 West Cabrillo Boulevard
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Ty Warner Sea Center
Santa Barbara Maritime Museum