Cold Spring Tavern
Set in the Santa Ynez Mountains just above Santa Barbara, Cold Springs Tavern is an old cabin and former stagecoach stop that dates back to 1886. But the crowds don’t drive up here just because it's a living museum. Cold Springs also serves some of the best tri-tip on the Central Coast: thick juicy slices of medium-rare beef grilled over oak and seasoned with garlic and spices. During the week make a reservation for a full meal inside the restaurant, or show up on weekends for the big outdoor barbecue where families load up on tri-tip sandwiches slathered in barbecue sauce or house salsa while drinking beer, picnicking in the gardens, and enjoying whatever live bands happens to show up.
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