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Santa Barbara Savings: Go Car Free

Show your Amtrak ticket and score deals around the American Riviera.

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    Santa Barbara Car Free
    Show your Amtrak ticket and score deals around the American Riviera.

    BRINGING YOUR WHEELS ALONG... on a getaway truly is a two-sided coin (or any other two-side thing that floats your boat, if coins are too common). On the one hand you need to get to your destination, somehow -- spoiler alert -- and cars have a very handy way of making that dream a reality. On the other hand once your car is there, with you, at the place you want to chillax, there's the figuring out where to put it, and how much it'll be to put it there, and if you take it out of where you put it how much it'll be to put it somewhere else, like a restaurant or attraction. Finding that restaurant or attraction, from your homebase of your hotel, can be more delightfully, and money-saving-ly, done on foot, of course, or with public transport. Questions, question, should I take the car or should I not, if I plan to walk a lot. Santa Barbara sweetly helps out the traveler in this querying regard, each and every year, via the Santa Barbara Car Free program. It's back around, for 2016, and the savings and suggestions are plentiful, and earth-nice-able, as always.

    SHOW YOUR TRAIN TICKET: If you arrived in the American Riviera by Amtrak -- both the Pacific Surfliner and the Coast Starlight are included, natch -- then hold onto your ticket to show around town. Why? You'll get discounts on hotels like the Cheshire Cat Inn, institutions like the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, and on those all-important bike rentals (check out Wheel Fun Rentals for your deal). There are more spots, too, that want to see your train ticket and help you save cash, so eye all.

    IF YOU DID DRIVE TO THE CITY, but you plan on keeping your ride stowed for your entire weekend stay, there are other cool car-free things to do. Santa Barbara Car Free has several recommendations, from hopping on the MTD Electric Shuttle to biking around wine country to strolling Stearns Wharf. You don't need to do any of the usual stressing over where to move your car next while on vacation. Leave it at where you're staying, hop a shuttle or rent a bike, and off you go. Is an entirely vehicle-less vacation possible? In several cities, absolutely, with Santa Barbara, once again, at the robust forefront of car-free fun-having.