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36 Hours

We are proud to be chosen one of the 150 Top Travel Destinations in the US and Canada by the New York Times! 

The bookstore is located in an adobe building dating from 1825, in Santa Barbara, California, and we love to have visitors. For directions click here. The New York Times 36 Hours series include both US destinations as well as many overseas exotic places.


36 Hours in Santa Barbara

Monica Almeida/The New York Times

Sunset at Hendry’s Beach. More Photos »

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., may be tiny — its 90,000 residents could be seated in the Los Angeles Coliseum — but it packs Oprah-like cachet. Indeed, the queen of daytime TV and other A-listers have made this former outpost of Spain’s American dominions their second home. Posh hotels, seven-figure mansions and trendy boutiques have opened along the so-called American Riviera, catering to members of the Hollywood set who drive up every weekend to frolic among the languorous palms and suntanned celebrities. But don’t let the crush of Ferraris and Prada fool you. With its perpetually blue skies and taco stands, Santa Barbara remains a laid-back town where the star attraction is still the beach.

3 p.m.

Walt Disney’s original will. A letter by Galileo. Lincoln’s second Emancipation Proclamation (the 13th Amendment). The Karpeles Manuscript Library and Museum (21 West Anapamu Street; 805-962-5322;; free) was started by David Karpeles, a local real estate tycoon, and has one of the world’s largest private manuscript collections. If this whets your appetite for collecting, wander seven blocks to Randall House Rare Books (835 Laguna Street; 805-963-1909;, where the ancient tomes and rare documents include a signed calling card from Robert E. Lee ($4,500) and the first official map of the State of California ($27,500).

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