Located about 92 miles north of Los Angeles, the city of Santa Barbara is a wonderful getaway for those looking for some much-needed rest and relaxation. With its mild climate, great beaches, and beautiful architecture, the city attracts plenty of tourists. These attributes are what led me to the city and to State Street Nails, named after Santa Barbara’s shop-laden main drag.

I was a little nervous as I entered the salon. After all, this was going to be my first pedicure, and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. However, owner Linda McBride, who’s been in the industry for 15 years, quickly put me at ease with her friendly demeanor. The salon’s comfortable, homey atmosphere also calmed by nerves, as it does for so many other clients who go to Linda and her team of two technicians for that same reason.

After taking a quick look at my hands, she deemed me an out-of-towner. “I know when people are from out of town because of their nail length,” she said. However, she’s accustomed to handling clients who are not from the area. Although she usually takes clients by appointment only, Linda tries to make room for walk-ins. Most clients seem to prefer short, neutral-colored nails, and she deemed my medium-length ones a bit too long for Santa Barbara standards.

After soaking my feet in a footbath, I sat back in a comfortable rocking chair and placed my feet – one at a time – on Linda’s lap. “Clients seem to like the chairs,” she said. “They’re much more comfortable than thrones.” As she worked on beautifying my feet, she began to tell me a little more about her salon, which she’s owned for about four years. Prior to the salon, the building housed and insurance company. For years, Linda drove by the locale and thought it the perfect place to set up shop. When the space became vacant, she didn’t think twice about moving in. Today, the salon attracts so many clients that Linda is planning to hire a fourth nail technician.

Undoubtedly, the best part of my visit was the paraffin dip. As I slowly placed each foot into the warm wax, Linda promised that my feet would soon be smoother than a baby’s bottom. After wrapping my feet in plastic and placing them in booties for a few minutes, they did feel much softer. As I made my way down State Street afterwards, I couldn’t help but admire my smooth, freshly polished feet, courtesy of Linda.

When I first laid eyes on the salon’s cozy, cottage like façade, I knew I had gone to the right place.

After a few minutes of working on my feet, nail tech Linda McBride had me completely relaxed.


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