AMTRAK From Los Angeles to Santa Barbara

Author: , April 29th, 2013

Santa Barbara - Carlos MeliaSo here is a funny story. After a week of work in Los Angeles for Rubin’s Special Appearances for Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills, we were invited by the new Orient-Express property El Encanto, to visit them in Santa Barbara. So we book our car to drive along the Pacific Coast on last Saturday morning, enjoying the lovely views and the amazing weather. Well not quite so. !!!!! A week before our trip, we realize that both of our Driver’s Licenses were expired. This shows we are both, although non of us are born in the United States, that by now we are two true New Yorkers – who needs to drive when you live in the heart of Manhattan right?

So the questions was: How to get from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara, in time, not to miss our relaxing weekend at El Encanto. We both knew that the drive was an experience itself, with all the lovely views of the Pacific Coastline… so we were disappointed to miss that. Luckily we found the right option, Amtrak Pacific Surfliner.

If you have read my previous reviews on Amtrak, I have not been one of their fans in the past, but I must say that this time, they brought the European Rail service flashback to us. Connecting San Luis Obispo and San Diego through Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, the Pacific Surfliner offers a unique vantage on the Southern California seascape. To get a closer look, you’d have to be on a surfboard.

Authored By Carlos Melia – See the Full Story at the Carlos Melia Blog

Click here for gay travel resources in California.


Visiting the Santa Barbara Wine Country

Author: , April 23rd, 2012

Gay Travel: Visiting the Santa Barbara Wine Country Given the reputation it has as conservative and affluent, Santa Barbara surprisingly has a sizable LGBT community. It is no shock to us though, for this coastal town is a blissful place to live and travel to. There’s always a steady stream of gay visitors especially ready to indulge in decadent Gay Santa Barbara. With beautiful beaches, wineries, and restaurants, Santa Barbara definitely holds its own as a great California vacation destination!

The Santa Barbara Wine Country emerged from a cluster of celebrities attempting to blaze their trails outside of the Hollywood limelight, and winemakers attempting to break free from the notorious shadow of Napa Valley. What began as a region full of upstart wineries that each developed their own cult followings has emerged into the abundant reputation of Santa Barbara’s Wine Country. Now, there are over 21,000 acres of land dedicated to growing grapes for wine in Santa Barbara as well as neighboring valleys of Santa Ynez and Santa Maria. The majority of the regions’ wineries remain family owned and operated, which contributes to the handcrafted aesthetic this wine country is known for. For an ass-kicking Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, or Cabernets, look no further than Santa Barbara.

The overall gay presence in Santa Barbara has expanded in recent years. The dyke scene specifically is known as a comfortable balance of Northern California’s granola-and-Birkenstock types and southern California’s chic club-goers. There are no exclusively-gay bars or clubs in this beach town though, so most members of the gay community are simply normal people living life in one of the most charming coastal towns of California.

Full Story from

Click here for gay travel resources on the Central California Coast.