All you need to do is make a pledge to use your vehicle less than you normally would, and the discounts can really start adding up. Travelers can begin by taking Amtrak to downtown Santa Barbara, where the train station is within just a few blocks of hotels, restaurants, shopping, wine tasting, and the beach. Train tickets to any Santa Barbara County destination serviced by Amtrak are 20 percent off, if booked three days in advance and registered through the SantaBarbaraCarFree.org Train Discount page.
Those visitors who choose to drive into Santa Barbara, simply need to park their car and leave it, in order to cash in on the discount offers. Some hotels are cutting their rack rate prices by up to 50 percent for those customers who make the car free pledge.
"The Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District, which sponsors Santa Barbara Car Free, came up with this idea of incentivizing visitors to, you know, park your car for a while," said spokesperson Laura Kath about the country's first-of-its kind program. "Take alternative transportation, reduce smog for cleaner air, a healthier planet, and a healthier you, and a healthier wallet."
For those looking to explore beyond the city limits, the car-free discounts extend county wine. The picturesque Santa Barbara wine country—made famous in the 2004 movie Sideways—has offers on bicycle and wine tasting tours throughout the Santa Ynez Valley.