Getting Around: Tropicana’s Tips for Day-to-Day Transportation

Throughout high school, I had my “independence baby steps,” aka little things to prove to myself, and my parents, that I would be able to take care of myself as an adult. Little things like cooking for myself, doing my own laundry, obtaining a job, and the big one—driving. I think the first thing I did when I got my license was book it to American Apparel to buy a top I’d been eying. But who could blame me? I had a car, I had my freedom!

“So what am I getting at?” you might be asking. Well, just as soon as many of us have gotten our licenses, we are shipped off to college and must resort back to our early years when our bike, skateboard, or public transportation were our only means of getting anywhere on our own.

So I’ve put together a guide, one might say, to how everything will be okay without a car.

Your skateboard can get you pretty much anywhere in Isla Vista, and you don’t have to worry about the time or hassle of locking it up because you can simply carry it with you. Skateboarding can easily get you to the Rec Center, IV Deli, Freebirds (for world-famous burritos!), and the beach. And if you are one of the many who has not yet mastered the art of balancing, might I suggest you dig out that trusty scooter you refused to let your parents give away? Come on, you kept it for a reason.

Your second means of transportation: your bike. We know you still have it from those glorious years of high school, so bring it with you to college. (If you don’t have a bike, don’t fret. There is a bike shop just a few blocks away that has a wide variety of pretty colors). Tropicana Gardens has bicycle racks throughout the property, so you won’t have to worry about where to lock it. Take advantage of all of the bike paths throughout UCSB and Goleta. I highly recommend biking over to the Farmer’s Market at the Camino Real Market Place.

However, if you’re not up for the challenge, the bus becomes an excellent resource. Your SBCC student ID works as a bus pass on the Santa Barbara MTD and can take you to many other places besides school. You can look over to the Santa Barbara MTD website to get a more descriptive look at which busses will take you where. The 24x will take you to the Kmart/Costco Shopping center and it runs about every 30 minutes. The 24x will also take you downtown to the transit center. Finally, the 15x express bus will become your new best friend because it will take you directly from Trop to school and back!

Yes, taking the bus to school can take some planning (you’ll have to wake up a little earlier to secure a seat), but it’s also a great opportunity. Many SBCC students use the bus each day, so what better way to get to know people? Everyone is super friendly and eager to meet new people, especially those first few weeks.

So what if you are one of the luckiest people on earth who gets to bring their car with them to school? Don’t take this for granted. In addition to being able to easily get to Kmart, you will also be able to venture throughout Goleta. You can hit up Trader Joe’s, Michaels craft store or Bed Bath & Beyond. You will also have the opportunity to venture to Santa Barbara’s beautiful downtown, perhaps to visit the famous Mission, or to the many hiking trails Santa Barbara has to offer.

Now if you have a car, I highly recommend finding people who have classes at SBCC at the same time as you. You can offer to carpool with them, which will get you a pass to the carpool lot, saving you a lot of time trying to find a parking spot on campus in the morning. I’m sure those who you’re giving a ride will be generous and chip in for gas. But all in all, it’s just nice to have someone to accompany you.

I hope this information makes getting around in Santa Barbara a little simpler and a lot less uncertain.

Tropicana Gardens Residence Hall Welcomes Kobe Basketball Academy

Santa Barbara, CA – July 10, 2013 – Tropicana Gardens is proud to welcome Kobe Basketball Academy for its 2013 summer camp. This year, Tropicana will be providing housing for over 600 participants, who range in age from 8-18. With its convenient proximity to the UCSB Thunderdome, Tropicana Gardens is in easy walking distance for the campers, with suite-style accommodations and an on-site Café in its residence hall.

“Being a basketball fan myself, I am excited that Tropicana Gardens is again hosting Kobe Bryant’s amazing camp this summer,” said David Wilcox, Executive Director. “The kids love that they get to meet Kobe and get a signature from him while attending the camp.”

Zellie Hudson, Kobe Basketball Academy Camp Director, says, “We look forward to another great year at UCSB and Tropicana Gardens.”

Kobe Basketball Academy was founded in 2006. For more information, see the Kobe Basketball Academy website.

Tropicana Gardens residence hall is just blocks from UCSB’s main campus. During the academic year, Tropicana Gardens provides Santa Barbara City College students a campus residence hall living experience with furnished suites, and an unlimited dining plan and a direct bus to SBCC. Tropicana Gardens is known for its exceptional student life programs, its lush resort-style setting and amenities such as a heated pool, fitness room, rec room and 24-hour study lounge.

What’s Included in your Tropicana Gardens Residence Hall Suite & What to Bring

There are many things that you won’t have to worry about schlepping when moving into your Tropicana Gardens suite. Trop outfits your bedroom with a mattress and bed frame (it’s a Twin XL) as well as a dresser, desk and chair. The living room is furnished with a couch, chair and tables plus a bookshelf. You may want to bring a rug, pillows and posters to personalize your space, but the living room is ready to go. I do suggest a door mat for wiping the sand off your feet after returning from the beach! A microwave is going to come in handy for those late nights where all you want to eat is your cup of ramen. You’ll probably want to bring a TV, but work that out with your roommates in advance to decide who will bring it. You might also want to bring a DVD player so you can check out one of the many DVDs Tropicana has available for residents to check out at the front desk. You can bring your own mini fridge for the living room or your bedroom to store yogurt, fruit, and favorite juice, or rent one from Tropicana at move-in day.

Your bedroom list will be a little longer. Make sure you bring your favorite pillow and blanket, in addition to the Twin XL sheets you’ll be purchasing especially for your college. In order to make your bed more comfy, I suggest investing in a mattress topper. A fan can not only help you stay cool at night, but provide some white noise to help you sleep. Your bedroom has privacy blinds, so curtains or drapery panels are optional.

It’s a smart idea for you to bring a lamp (desk, floor, or clamp-style) to shed a little more little in your room for those late-night study sessions. Bringing your computer is a must, but your printer is optional as Tropicana Gardens provides a printer in the study lounge for residents to use (as long as you don’t print out War & Peace!). Bringing a white board will serve many functions: creating to-do lists, drawing, writing notes to your roommates, keeping a chore log, or a way to keep score during game night. You’re going to want a laundry basket or bag to transport your clothes to and from the laundry rooms, located in St.Croix and Barbados.

A huge help for me this year has been having storage bins. You can find pretty, cheap fabric boxes that fit perfectly above your closet. Under-bed storage also comes in handy. You’ll want to get an alarm clock also, preferably one that doubles as a charging station for your phone. My favorite purchase that I’ve made for college has been this nifty door hanger from Urban Outfitters (http://tinyurl.com/lzmbpcj). It has a mirror, hooks for headbands, and trays for my make up. Command strips are going to be really useful for hanging everything up – and I mean EVERYTHING – from posters to framed photos to extra towel hooks.

When it comes to the bathroom, your shower has a sliding glass door, so a shower curtain is not a necessity, unless you just want to decorate! You’ll want to get a shower mat that sticks to the floor to prevent embarrassing slips. Shower caddies are a huge help for storing all your shampoos and gels; it’s a good choice to get one that hangs over the shower nozzle. You may also want to get a container/holder for your toilet paper so that you can store a few extra rolls in case you run out (this prevents that awkward call to a roommate – trust me!).

I recommend that if you don’t already have a bike that you purchase a cruiser, but wait until you’re in Isla Vista to do so. This will save storage space in your car and there are normally local deals around move in time.

Another great way to save space in the car on moving day is to use Bed Bath & Beyond’s “Shop Here. Pick Up There” free service. Just go to your local Bed Bath and Beyond, select your dorm décor, and pick it up at the Goleta store, just one freeway exit away from Tropicana.

What’s Included:

  • Bed Frame
  • Mattress
  • Dresser
  • Desk & Desk Chair
  • Couch
  • Chair
  • Tables

What To Bring:

Bedroom

  • Sheets (Twin XL)
  • That favorite pillow
  • Mattress Topper
  • Blanket/Comforter
  • Desk or Clamp Lamp
  • White Board
  • Photos
  • Hangers
  • Storage bins
  • Laundry Basket/Bag
  • Alarm Clock
  • Fan
  • Rug
  • Command strips (to hang up posters, photos, etc.)

Bathroom

  • Towels
  • Hanging Shower Caddy
  • Shower Mat
  • Toilet Paper Holder

Living Room

  • Door Mat
  • Microwave
  • Mini Fridge
  • Television
  • DVD Player
  • Door Mat
  • DVD Player
Finally, bring a few mementos to personalize your space. Pick your favorite photos of you with your friends and family to remind you of home. You’ll be able to find lots of cool ways to display them by checking Trop’s Pinterest page. Soon, you’ll make yourself a new college home!

Five Ways TEMPO Can Make Your Stay at Tropicana THAT Much Better

Leaving for college is such a love-hate relationship. On one hand you’re like, “Get me out of here! I can’t take this place anymore! I’m ready for my next adventure!” But on the other hand you’re saying to yourself, “Wait! What do you mean I have to leave, and be on my own, and be without my mom? I’m not ready. Please don’t make me go”.

When I was heading for college my freshmen year, I had spent the entire summer working at my local theater. I had only taken two weeks off, one to participate in a sleep away camp (my first, I might add), and the other was the week before I left for Santa Barbara. However, it was a decision of how I would spend that final week. I had the option of using it to have one last hurrah with my friends, saying my final goodbyes, and celebrating my birthday with my family. The other option was moving to Trop, my home for the next year, a week early to settle in, get to know people who would be my friends, and get myself acquainted with beautiful Santa Barbara. I opted to stay home to say my farewells.

At the time it seemed like the better choice. Shortly after arriving to college, however, I realized I had chosen poorly.

Returning to Tropicana Gardens as a Resident Assistant (RA), I was able to experience the magic and wonder that is TEMPO (Tropicana Early Move-in Program & Orientation). I honestly regret not doing TEMPO my freshmen year because ,while I would’ve been homesick for those first few nights, I would’ve been able to make friends sooner which would have bettered my overall freshmen year experience.

I got to see firsthand the amazing perks these residents experienced by moving into Tropicana Gardens a week early.

First off, residents could get their room unpacked and set up with no worries having to be in bed by a certain hour because of starting classes the next day.

Secondly, they got familiar with the City College campus. One of the great opportunities Trop offers is a “field trip” to SBCC. This is great preparation in figuring out where your classes are, so you won’t have to be that kid with a map when the first day arrives. You can also take advantage of this time to stop by the student center to get your student ID, which also includes your bus pass. That will help you save a few bucks getting to class that first day, and every day thereafter.

Third, you’re going to have more of a feel for both Santa Barbara and the Isla Vista community. Trop and SBCC offer a few programs to help you know your way around. One of the most popular that Trop offers is the famous Landshark, an amphibious vehicle that drives you through the downtown State Street area of Santa Barbara and right into the Pacific Ocean for a harbor cruise. Within Isla Vista, you will get to eat at many of the popular joints, so that you become familiar with places to get a late night study snack (my all-time favorite being Silvergreens).

Point Number Four: At Trop, you’ll also be able to stop in for some helpful advice from your RAs on topics that might be of use to you this year. They’ve “been there and done that” and are a great resource on everything from classes and teachers at SBCC to getting along with your new roommates.

Finally, there will be the opportunity to make friends with a variety of events that will be planned for incoming freshmen, including a trip to Zodo’s bowling, an ice cream social, and a scavenger hunt through Isla Vista. One of the coolest things that I witnessed during the scavenger hunt was two girls who were both friendly but a little nervous, finding out that they were both going to be on the Track and Field team. Connection made!

So if you weren’t already planning on coming a week early, I really hope you learn from my mistake and create an experience that will last a lifetime. For more information on TEMPO and other early move-in options, click here.

Tropicana Student Housing Announces Apple iPad® Sweepstakes Winner

Isla Vista, CA – June 25, 2013 –Tropicana Del Norte announced the winner of its Apple iPad sweepstakes this week.  The lucky winner was Edward Gaspar of Huntington Beach, California, who entered for a chance to win an Apple iPad after taking a tour of Tropicana Del Norte Residence Hall  for UCSB Students. Gaspar is a Group Lead for Logistics at JC Penney. His daughter, Cynthia, a Southeast High School graduate, will be the first member of the family to attend UCSB as a freshman next year. She is undecided, but may major in Biology.

“We were delighted to give Mr. Gaspar and his family a tour of Tropicana Del Norte Residence Hall,” said Dave Wilcox, Executive Director , “and we hope that he enjoys his new iPad.”

Winner Gaspar said he will share the iPad with his family. “I am so surprised; I never win anything!”

Tropicana Del Norte Residence hall, at 6525 El Colegio Road, Goleta , is located directly adjacent to UCSB’s main campus.  Tropicana provides UCSB freshmen and continuing students with suite-style living and an unlimited dining plan. In addition to the onsite café, rec room and 24-hour study lounge, Tropicana Del Norte offers UCSB students amenities not found in a typical dorm: an onsite   fitness center, private movie theater, heated pool and a tanning lounge. To schedule a tour, visit www.tropicanadelnorte.com/home/schedule-a-tour.html or call (805) 968-0351.

Top 25 Things To Do In Santa Barbara

Here are links to some really fun things to do in Santa Barbara and Goleta to keep your college life filled with adventure and beautiful sights!
  1. Kayaking: http://www.sbsail.com/kayaking.html
  2. Hiking: http://www.santabarbarahikes.com
  3. Jet Skiing: http://www.sbjetboats.com
  4. Shopping on State Street: http://www.santabarbaradowntown.com
  5. Drive-In Movie: http://www.westwinddriveins.com/westwind/index.php?r=drivein/location&idtheater=24066
  6. Eat On The Waterfront: http://www.yelp.com/search?find_desc=Restaurants+On+The+Pier&find_loc=Santa+Barbara%2C+CA
  7. Beach Volleyball: http://teamsideline.com/Org/Home.aspx?d=q1Nmq%2ftIOQGatKO7vaAzyg%3d%3d
  8. Biking along the Beach/Pier/ Downtown: http://www.wheelfunrentalssb.com
  9. Whale Watching: http://www.sbsail.com/whale_watching.html?gclid=CIy3w4bfyLYCFQTonAodBxUA4g
  10. Sailing: http://www.sbsail.com
  11. Santa Barbara Zoo: http://www.sbzoo.org
  12. Mission Santa Barbara: http://www.santabarbaramission.org
  13. Concerts at the Santa Barbara Bowl: http://www.sbbowl.com
  14. Land Shark Amphibious Tour: http://www.out2seesb.com
  15. Camino Real Movie Theatre: http://metrotheatres.com/location.asp?location=7113
  16. Golfing at Glen Annie Golf Club: http://www.glenanniegolf.com
  17. Roller Blading: http://www.wheelfunrentalssb.com
  18. Lotusland Garden Tour: http://www.lotusland.org
  19. Santa Barbara Museum of Art: http://www.sbmuseart.org
  20. Granada Theatre: http://www.granadasb.org
  21. Santa Barbara Botanic Garden: http://www.sbbg.org
  22. Stearns Warf: http://www.stearnswharf.org
  23. Santa Barbara Beaches: http://www.santabarbara.com/activities/beaches/
  24. Rock Climbing: http://sbrockgym.com
  25. State Street Ballet: http://www.statestreetballet.com
One of the best parts about living in the Santa Barbara area is the fact that there are so many things to do here and the weather is beautiful to be out and about.