I shared with you my favorite east coast summer spot, Greenport, NY, and now I want to share my other love, Santa, Barbara, California. The first time I visited Santa Barbara I was hooked. The mountains, the beaches, the water, the air, it was all so intoxicatingly refreshing! I had never been to a place before when I felt such a deep connection. I feel so alive, so “me” there. It is strange to say, but if you truly love a place, you know exactly what I mean.
I fell so hard for Santa Barbara that I returned every opportunity I could! My husband and I have so many wonderful memories from there when we were first dating. When it was time to pick a destination for our 2011 wedding, we knew it had to be in our favorite spot, Santa Barbara!
Santa Barbara is an artsy town with lovely shops, restaurants, and an outdoor lifestyle that would make any east coaster jealous. The beaches are clean and you often see people walking, running, and playing volleyball all hours of the day. Then of course, there is the boating life. You can charter your own boat or take a whale watching tour from Stearn’s Wharf. And as if that wasn’t enough to woo you then there are the vineyards located nearby in the Santa Ynes Valley. For shopping, go to the State Street Shops. Explore the Old Mission in downtown SB and the Rose Garden (stunning), the Santa Barbara Zoo, and UCSB campus. For some exercise, take a walk or rent bikes for a scenic ride along the water.
Here are my recommendations on where to sleep, eat, and drink:
Our favorite vineyards are Foley Estates, Rusack, Firestone, and Wild Horse. If you don’t want to leave Santa Barbara, there are two tasting rooms in downtown, The Cask and SB Winery. In Summerland, the town next to Montecito, there is also the Summerland Winery which has a tasting room.
I am going to Santa Barbara next month and I am counting down the days!