Blue Sands Motel
A good option for families on a budget.
It’s not exactly the crown jewel of the “American Riviera.” In fact, if it weren’t for the red tile roof you’d hardly know you were in Santa Barbara. Yet this small motel with minimal landscaping is among the city’s best options for budget travelers --- particularly families. Kitchenette rooms feature a mid-sized refrigerator, oven and four-burner stove, and come fully equipped with pots, pans and utensils. The beach is only about a half-block away. And walking the same short distance in the other direction takes guests to a locals’ favorite produce store, where you can stock up on healthy fare. Located in the shadow (literally) of the oceanfront Santa Barbara Inn, this dog-friendly property’s outward appearance matches its name: outdated and perhaps a little tacky. But the eleven rooms are generally clean and tidy. While some of the second-story rooms have an ocean view, this isn’t the sort of place one lingers; it’s a base from which you can take the 25-cent trolley along the waterfront and up State Street into downtown --- a place to comfortably rest your head after a day spent elsewhere.
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