Santa Barbara is one of the most beautiful cities on the coast and has a quaint downtown and a pretty, if challenging, little harbor.
Thanks to private funding, a breakwater was built in the 1920's. Max Fleishmann wanted a harbor and a safe haven for his 250ft. yacht, Haida, contributing $450,000 before the project was completed in 1928.
This was only the beginning of an ongoing battle against sand, tides and weather.
Dredging barges are a common sight in the harbor. Until the 1870's, Santa Barbara was isolated from the outside world by the ocean and the mountains. In 1872, John Stearns built a wharf to provide access for his lumber business and opened up Santa Barbara's waterfront. Stearns Wharf is the oldest working wooden wharf in California.
Today, the harbor is home to more than 1,000 pleasure and commercial vessels, providing a safe haven and doorway to the Channel Islands and the open seas - and it is the last harbor before rounding Point Conception on your way up the coast.
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