Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Santa Barbara's Hidden Gem-LotusLand

Today I am teaming up with RelayRides to discuss my hometown's hidden gem! When RelayRides inquired about Santa Barbara's best kept Secret, LotusLand was the first and only spot that came to mind.

It took me three years of living in Santa Barbara to discover this botanical mecca. In fact, my all knowing, horticultural enthusiast mom spilled the beans during one of her visits. She had heard about Lotusland from a friend who grew up near the estate and insisted we must make the trip. The tour of the 37 acre estate did not disappoint, I was blown away by the vast and lavish landscape including, the Japanese garden, succulent terrace, and citrus orchard. The tour even included juicy tidbits about the garden's visionary, Madame Walska, who was a well known, wanderlust opera singer in the 1920's and 1930's. Madame Walska and her 6th husband purchased the estate in the 1940's with the intent to open a retreat for Tibetan monks. When the monks never showed face, Madame Walska turned her attention to the landscape and set out to create a grand garden oasis. Up until the 1980's Madame Walska was "head gardener" and called all the shots; a true spitfire as they say. To learn more about Madame Walska and this historical hidden gem visit their website here.

In the same vein as Lotusland, RelayRides is the "hidden gem" of rental cars. Their unparalleled service and unique business model is changing the rental car industry in a big way! To learn more about RelayRides, check out their website here.

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