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Tuesday, January 22 , 2019, 7:58 am | Fair 53º


Santa Barbara Downtown Organization: Shop, Celebrate, Discover ... Downtown, Part II

Read about four stores that exhibit the diversity of the downtown experience

You know downtown Santa Barbara has some of the best shopping and dining on the Central Coast, but you might not be aware of its amazing variety of unique shops and treasured boutiques. Let’s take a look at just a few gems that show off the diversity of the downtown experience.

Wendy Foster State Street

Let’s play a little word-association game: classic, sophisticated, comfortable, beautiful. What comes to mind? Santa Barbara, of course. But they’re also the perfect descriptors for Wendy Foster State Street, a boutique that features collections from the world’s top fashion houses. Wendy and her buyers recently returned from New York and Paris, where they found “delicious” new offerings that perfectly complement Santa Barbara’s style. (And since you’re dying to know, gray and camel are the “cornerstone” colors this season.) The boutique, at 833 State St., features such designers as Enza Costa, Faliero Sarti, Steven Alan and more. A member of the Wendy Foster family of boutiques, the State Street store is a haven for women who appreciate fashion that’s fun, chic, wearable and clean.

Santa Barbara Loan & Jewelry

If you’ve never ventured into a pawn shop before, you’ve missed out on one of the great shopping experiences. A good one, such as Santa Barbara Loan & Jewelry, is a virtual cornucopia of goods. The shop, at 136 East Victoria St., is stocked with jewelry, electronics, musical instruments, tools, watches, games and more. There are two things you should keep in mind. One, the prices are great. Seriously. Two, this is not one of those sketchy pawn shops of 1970s private-eye movies. Santa Barbara Loan & Jewelry is a clean, well-lit place staffed by courteous pros who know their stuff and are there to help. And since the merchandise is ever-changing, every visit is a treasure hunt of new and unusual items. Give it a go and discover what you’ve been missing.

The Travel Store of Santa Barbara

Everyone loves to travel, so it’s no surprise that The Travel Store of Santa Barbara has been open downtown for more than 25 years. Formerly known as Pacific Travelers Supply, the Travel Store is even better-stocked and more indispensable than ever. Now open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., the store, at 12 West Anapamu St., has everything you need to hit the road, including luggage, travel wear, insect repellent, destination guides, first-aid kits and the best selection of maps in town. There’s even a new California reference section, complete with hiking guides and maps, if you’re going to stick close to home. And, for good measure, you’ll get a $10 spending credit with a $75 minimum purchase. Finally, if you left something at home, The Travel Store of Santa Barbara has a partnership with the Santa Barbara Airport gift shop, so you can pick up most anything you left behind while waiting for your flight. Bon voyage.

The Book Den

Bibliophiles, take heart. The Book Den is neither moving nor closing. No, the stacks of boxed books and all the activity at the back of Santa Barbara’s largest used-book store just make it look that way. Truth is, a new second story is being built at the back of the shop. The work has squeezed the store into a smaller footprint for now, but owner Eric Kelley has done all he can to ensure that The Book Den, at 15 E. Anapamu St., is still a literary oasis downtown. He’s shifted the hours to 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Although some noise is inevitable, Kelley said the new hours should minimize the impact on its devoted customers. Construction should be finished by late July.

This information was provided by members of the Santa Barbara Downtown Organization. If you’re a member and would like your business to be considered for a future article, e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

— Mary Lynn Harms is marketing director of the Santa Barbara Downtown Organization.


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