And, lucky for us, it's only a two-hour motor from the heart of L.A. Whether you're a spa junkie or a culinary queen, we've got a to-do list spanning from State Street to Montecito that grants the best quest in the West. So, pop on those chic sunnies, wander on up PCH, and let this future vacay welcome you with all of its perks!
Photos (clockwise from left): Via Bouchon Food, Canary Hotel, Santa Barbara Famers Market, Coral Casino
Looking for a cozy place to crash that’s in proximity to historic hotspot State Street? We suggest checking out the swanky Canary Hotel. It’s located right on bustling shopping strip, so you’re a skip away from all the hip retail haunts and restos, but still secluded enough to enjoy your Santa Barbara sojourn in peace.
Canary Hotel, 15 West Carrillo Street (Near Chapala Street); 805-884-0030.
Sure, you may have to be a member, or be staying at the Four Seasons Biltmore across the street, but it is worth it to at least pop by and have a light lunch (if you can swing it). The sweeping views, stunning architecture, huge lap pool, and lounge-y ambiance are only a few of the offerings this top-notch joint has. Plus, we hear it’s the place to be if you want to spy celebs like Halle Berry and Jennifer Aniston.
Coral Casino, 1260 Channel Drive (Near Olive Mill Road); 805-565-8285.
Santa Barbara Farmers Market
Who doesn’t dig shopping around for fresh foodie finds — especially on a cool, coastal afternoon? The Santa Barbara Farmers Markets hosts an array of color-soaked produce every Tuesday and Saturday. It’s a collaborative market with a diverse atmosphere, and supplies eco-conscious customers with tasty, locally grown eats on the reg. We advise picking up a few organic avocados, and warm, ready-to-serve mini pies. Nom.
Santa Barbara Farmers Market, 232 Anacapa Street (Near East Montecito Street); 805-962-5354.
Tecolote Book Shop
Nestled in the breathtaking Montecito community, this one-of-a-kind bookstore has been around for over 80 years. The lush interior — from the beautiful shelving to the carpets — make this a marvelous place to display tomes. And once you’ve found your book of choice you can pop outside, read, and enjoy the hilly surroundings. Sounds like a perfect day to us.
Tecolote Book Shop, 1470 East Valley Road (Near San Ysidro Road); 805-969-4977.
Lewis and Clark
You can’t come back from a trip empty handed now, can you? Those on the hunt for a Santa Barbara souvenir may want to bounce over to Lewis and Clark. This place has the goods if you’re looking for cute, unique items you won’t find anywhere else on State Street. From vintage opera glasses to domino sets, this charming shop is an unexpected hit.
Lewis and Clark, 1116 State Street (Near East Figueroa Street); 805-962-6034.
The Wine Cask Restaurant
We love this Santa Barbara dining staple for many reasons. The romantic vibe is upscale, but still cozy and comfortable. It boasts a colorful wine selection (would you expect any less from a Santa Barbara resto?), and the mushroom risotto is finger-lickin’ good. This is the stop for diners that don’t want the frills or hoopla, but are still in need of wow-worthy bites.
The Wine Cask Restaurant, 819 Anacapa Street (Near East De La Guerra Street); 805-966-9463.
Santa Barbara Museum of Art
In a city so rich with striking artifacts, a trip to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art is definitely in order. Not only does this intimate space feel more like a teensy gallery than an actual museum, but it also is a lovely way to brush up on the history of the city. You’ll want to check out the pretty pieces that populate this quaint spot.
Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1130 State Street (Near West Anapamu Street); 805-963-4364.
They had us at “farm to table.” Really though, this sustainably-minded dining haven cooks with only the freshest ingredients found at surrounding farms (usually within 30 miles). Nothing piques our interest as much as eating an entirely self-sustained meal while watching the Santa Barbara sunset — so good. We highly recommend booking a reso at Julienne.
Julienne Restaurant, 138 East Cannon Perdido (Near Santa Barbara Street); 805-845-6488.
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