Straw surprised me with a weekend trip to Santa Barbara (Favorite place. Very excited!) for Mother’s Day. We’ve been going down there every year since we’ve been dating and it’s a place that’s near and dear to my heart. I adore the town of Santa Barbara and love that it has an almost tropical feel to it. The architecture, the beach, the great food, shopping, and laid back attitude make it a terrific place to go with a significant other, friends and family. I thought I’d put together a getaway guide of my favorite places in SB. Enjoy and have a relaxing weekend!
Bacara Resort & Spa
Bacara is an amazing place to unwind and spend the day at the beach or at the pool. Beautiful guest rooms, great food, and one of the largest spas in California. So nice to relax with a drink at one of their outdoor fireplaces after dinner or down at the beach for a bonfire and s’mores.
San Ysidro Ranch
Situated at the foothills of Southern Cal’s wine country, The San Ysidro Ranch is in nearby Montecito and is one of the most beautiful resorts I’ve ever been to. There’s a number of cottages that frame the property and it was voted #4 resort in the world. It’s also the place where Jackie and JFK honeymooned.
Carlito’s Cafe y Cantina
This place is a must on your visit to SB. Really good mexican food (I love the carne asada tacos and fresh guacamole) and margaritas. Lovely to enjoy dinner on the patio on a warm evening.
The Palace Grill
Delicious cajun food and a fun and lively atmosphere (they give out Mardi Gras beads and the whole restaurant pauses to sing “What a Wonderful World” during dinner). Don’t miss the popcorn crawfish, the hurricane margarita, gumbo, and yummy bread pudding.
Upscale Pizzeria right off State Street. I have not had pizza this authentically Italian since we were in Sardinia years ago. Delicious! Friendly staff, great food and a nice place to go on a date night out or with your entire family. Their sister, restaurant, Olio e Limone, has a full Italian menu with savory pastas and hearty entrees. We’ll definitely return.
McConnell’s Ice Cream
Ice cream is one of my favorite things ever. I never pass up a trip to McConnell’s when we’re in town. The place has been around since 1949 and they hand craft all of their ice creams using the best ingredients. And you can tell. The salted caramel and cookies and cream is to die for and a must stop after the beach.
I love antique stores, and you’ll never know what you’ll find here. Everything from cool antique jewelry, to classic records, housewares, toys and clothing. A fun place to get lost in and treasure hunt.
The Blues Jean Bar
Go in and tell them what your favorite jeans are. From the “boyfriend” to the “skinny,” the gals here will pull from the wall and find the perfect fit for you. They have stores everywhere from Colorado to San Francisco if you can’t make it to SB.
Rooms & Gardens
Probably my favorite store on State Street. California Casual with a hint of french flair for their furniture and beautiful bedding store. Great coffee table books, lanterns, rugs, artwork from local artists, and a darling patio “garden” with rustic terra cotta pots. I wish my whole house looked like this!
Besides touring the many wineries in the area, don’t miss the Santa Barbara Mission, relax on Haskell Beach while the sun goes down and toast some s’mores over a beach bonfire, pick your own avocados, take a drive down to picturesque Montecito, and enjoy a walk down to Stearn’s Warf at the end of State Street.
Like I said, it’s one of my favorite spots. I always come home feeling refreshed and relaxed and already miss the sunshine and the saltwater air. Until next time…..C
(Photos Courtesy of Kevin Steele, Bluebird Wedding Photography, 805 productions, Google, and Rooms and Gardens)