Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park (outside Santa Barbara, CA)


The Chumash Indians were the dominant people in a portion of southern California that includes Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties. They left behind many examples of rock art throughout this region. The most accessible site is Chumash Painted Cave State Park, just off State Hwy 154. The pictographs, done in red and black polychrome paints, adorn the walls of a small sandstone cave, protected from the public by an iron gate. The symbols are thought to involve Chumash cosmology, but in fact no one really knows.

The art is similar to other pictographs that we saw last year in the Southwest.

Map

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Santa Barbara County Courthouse (Santa Barbara, CA)


A significant architectural building in all of California is the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, built in the 1920s. It is arguably the most impressive building in the city, reflecting a superb example of the Spanish Colonial Revival style that earned it a designation as a U.S. National Historic Landmark and a place in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. We were hoping to catch a late-afternoon tour, to no avail. But, even as we walked down the corridors and climbed up and down stairways, it was obvious why the building is so important.

From the clock tower, you can see the unique Spanish Colonial architecture throughout much of the commercial district, adopted by civic leaders after the devastating 1925 earthquake.