DOWNTOWN/LOWER STATE STREET
The downtown area runs the length of State, from the mountain side of the freeway to the 2000 block (near Mission St.) and fans outward from State on either side roughly to Castillo on one side, to Milpas on the other. Chock-full of local landmarks, downtown offers plenty for history buffs: dozens of the City's oldest adobe dwellings; the site of the original Presidio or fort (now the approximate location of the Historical Society Museum); the oldest street in Santa Barbara (Presidio Ave.); Plaza de la Guerra, site of City Hall since 1825; the picturesque El Paseo complex which includes the de la Guerra adobes; the Mission; the Courthouse: the Santa Barbara Museum of Art; and dozens of Victorian era homes built by Santa Barbara's leading citizens during the late 19th-century. Also downtown: some of the best restaurants, outdoor cafes, theatres, antique shops and first-run movie houses. Excellent shopping is to be had at the many specialty stores along lower State, and when it opens in 1990, the Paseo Nuevo shopping center will be the largest shopping mall in downtown Santa Barbara.