Literally and figuratively, Milpas Street is on the far side of town from Santa Barbara's upscale State Street shopping neighborhood. On Milpas, you'll find useful things for everyday people ― from the famed fresh tamales at La Super-Rica to old vinyl records.
The street runs from the Santa Barbara Bowl amphitheater through a largely Latino neighborhood and ends at a wide, white beach bordered by swaying palms.
Milpas Street is on Santa Barbara's east side. From U.S. 101, take the Milpas Street exit.
What to do
East Beach: Winter temperatures in the mid-60s are perfect for biking along the beach's paved path. Milpas Street at Cabrillo Boulevard; parking is adjacent.
American Pie Records: A "Vast Vault o' Vinyl" with 60,000 records, mainly '50s and '60s LPs, including a rare $1,250 Platters original. Info: Mon-Sat; 614 N. Milpas; 805/965-2161.
Centro Musical de Santa Barbara: Warmhearted Maria Perez has served the neighborhood for 25 years with "a little of everything," from cowboy hats to comic books to saints holy cards for Sunday Mass. Info: 514 N. Milpas; 805/962-2785.
Steven Handelman Studios: Ornamental iron lighting, fireplace screens, and home accessories. Info: Mon-Sat; 716 N. Milpas; 805/962-5119.
Tri-County Produce: Open-front warehouse offering local produce and staples (including more than 20 types of granola). Info: 335 S. Milpas; 805/965-4558.