Sweet Dreams in Santa Barbara {Travel Week}

Santa Barbara 2 Santa Barbara Bacara
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.

I think it is always a good time of year to go to Santa Barbara, but it does get chilly in the fall and winter months. There are often seasonal street festivals and art events ongoing throughout the year, so look at the city’s events calendar for updates.

Here are my recommendations on where to sleep, eat, and drink:
Sleep
Hotels Hotel Milo  and  West Beach Inn Both of these hotels have a complimentary continental breakfast and are located in a nice area right across the street from the beach! My husband and I love to eat breakfast and grab coffee to go and walk along the water in the morning. Moderately priced.
 
-Our other favorite hotel is the Montecito Inn, and located in the quaint town of Montecito. 
-For close proximity to wine county, Hotel Corque is a nice option. 
-If you are going to Santa Barbara for a very special weekend or romantic getaway, then I would recommend The Bacara Resort & Spa and Belmond El Encanto. Both are top-notch, 5-stars resort hotels with exceptional service, amenities, and spas. Another great and luxurious option is the San Ysidro Resort.
 
Eat
Restaurants
Breakfast or Lunch 
The French Press for coffee
Sharkeez  (dive bar, go for the breakfast burritos!)

Dinner
Bouchon (amazing, locally-sourced!)
Stella Mare 

Drink

Wine

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!

Here are some photos from our wedding day! Exiting the church after our ceremony, walking down the wharf with our wedding party, and spending a few extra moments on State Street!
Santa Barbara, California PEC374 PEC358

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