To: A <>

From: Sury <>

Subject: A Love Letter to Camino Corto


Dear A,

My favorite thing to do in Isla Vista is walk. Specifically, to wake up on a weekend morning, grab a hot mocha from CAJÉ and just stroll around town with the audiobook I’m working through in my right airpod. My sojourns have taken me through the beige apartment-lined sidewalks of Abrego Road and the low-slung bungalows of Sabado Tarde Road. I’ve walked in the warm weather of early fall and the cold, gray, slightly rainy climes of mid-January. Regardless of where or when I walk, I love the walking itself: waving to cats in the windows and dodging dead palm leaves on the nonexistent sidewalks. I love the fact that no matter where you are, there’s a little bit of sea breeze from the south, and that you can see the mountains from any intersection. My favorite part, though, is the little hidden gems you find. And nowhere are these more plentiful than Camino Corto. 

The first time I was walking through Camino Corto, “Homo Deus” in one ear and a mocha in hand, I was instantly pissed. Camino Corto has almost no sidewalks, so I was forced to walk in the road and keep a lookout for speeding convertibles. After dodging my third Toyota Camry Solara, I was ready to make a left onto Sueno and traverse the same streets my friends and I would take to parties on a Friday. Just as I made to cross the street, I spied the most bizarre structure I’ve ever seen. If you’ve been to the little park on Del Playa Drive between the 67 and 68 block, you probably remember the absurdly designed wooden structures that dot the edge of the cliffs. I knew I had to check them out, if only for the sheer absurdity. 

As I walked, little things began to jump out at me. There’s the wooded area on the west side, in complete contrast to the duplexes that dominate the rest of I.V. There’s a red house that looks like it was built by an 8-year-old in The Sims (affectionate), with rooms stacked on top of each other in a hodgepodge, topped by the coziest bay window staring out on the mountains in the north. There’s a white house with green trim and a floor to ceiling window that reveals a peek into an impeccably decorated living room with bookshelves and plants. There are little tree-lined side streets that continue into the wild west of I.V. There’s my favorite building on the block between Sabado Tarde Road and Del Playa Drive, a gray, warehouse looking thing that would make a wonderful coffee shop with a rooftop deck. And the crown jewel of the street: the oceanside park at the end, with the aforementioned seating structures that look like they were designed by a first year architecture major in the thick of finals week. The park has a path that continues down along the bluffs, with the best ocean view in all of Santa Barbara, bookended by campus point on the left and coal oil point on the right. On cloudy days, the water is filled with the tiny dots of surfers, and on sunny days, the waves glint like they’ve been polished overnight. 

Camino Corto is the perfect slice of I.V. It gets me excited to get out of bed on a lazy Sunday morning, and keeps me coming back to school after a particularly tiring gauntlet of fall finals. It epitomizes the I.V. life: slow, relaxed, breezy, cozy in its own way. So, Camino Corto, I’d just like to say thank you for everything you’ve done: you’ve kept me in school and given me a reason to waste away thousands of steps every weekend. You remind me why I chose UCSB, and why I keep coming back: to look around, appreciate the little things and just keep walking.

See you at Cajé sometime,


A version of this article appeared on p. 12 of the January 25, 2024 print edition of The Daily Nexus