My husband and I had the best time getting away to California for a few days back in September and today I am sharing where we stayed, what we did and – most importantly – what we ate! I would highly recommend this as a destination for a long weekend getaway, especially if you don’t to go out of the country. It is like living in a movie – everything in Santa Barbara is so picturesque!
After doing research on all the many fabulous hotels in the area, we settled on the Ritz-Carlton Bacara Santa Barbara. It was a dream and the view from our room even more. (Head to my Instagram stories to see a video!). We chose it because had the resort feel we wanted with 78 acres of luxurious grounds, including three pools and a top rated spa. It’s about 15 minutes outside of Santa Barbara so felt a bit more secluded and is built right along the rocky Pacific coastline. Very romantic!
Avocado Toast with Scrambled Eggs – Going to Recreate this at Home!
We only ate breakfast at Ritz Carlton – and didn’t do the concierge level room – because there are just too many fabulous restaurants in the area we wanted to try.
Our absolute favorite brunch spot in Santa Barbara was Scarlett Begonia. The pictures below speak for themselves…SO good. We then piddled around that part of town for a bit, which was fun to explore. Every turn you find something even more beautiful than before.
On the recommendation of a friend we had afternoon drinks and lite bites at the more casual beachside bar at the Rosewood Miramar Beach hotel. This hotel is an Instagrammers’ dream – every detail of the interiors and exteriors was just fabulous. We stayed here for several hours just enjoying the ocean view and gorgeous property. Note: this hotel is back from the water a bit – and a train runs right through the property – but no one seemed to mind. This would be my second hotel choice in Santa Barbara!
We also did a little hiking around the Bacara property. Nothing too strenuous but it nice to just walk with my husband, talk about nothing and everything and enjoy the view. Tip: several locals recommended Rattlesnake Canyon for more serious hiking. However. I passed on that one :).
We also ventured out to explore San Ysidro Ranch and Montecito as well. San Ysidro Ranch sits on 500 acres overlooking Santa Barbara and is made up of all individual cottages sprinkled among their beautiful gardens. Each cottage is very secluded and it is SO quiet, perfect for a romantic getaway or true “escape.” Jackie and John Kennedy honeymooned here!
There are two restaurants at San Ysidro but most seem to recommend The Stonehouse!
I loved exploring Montecito a few times. We drove through the neighborhoods and tried to peek at all the gorgeous homes. One morning we had brunch at Jeannies Bakery Cafe which was cute, but it’s an order at the counter type of place and there was a long wait. Tre Lune also had great reviews for brunch and is more of a sit down restaurant.
We loved just strolling along Coast Village Road and window shopping. We also popped over to the Upper Village Coast to the Jenni Kayne store and loved window shopping the stores near that. Pierre La Fond is a neat market/gift shop.
While Santa Barbara is known for wineries, they also have a beer scene as well. We spent one afternoon beer tasting at Third Window Brewing co.! This brewery also bakes their sourdough own bread on site and let me just tell you, this is a must-visit! They have tons of “toppings” for the bread and it just might have been the most delicious thing we had on the trip. There’s a wine tasting room next door that looked pretty cool.
My husband and I also enjoyed walking along the Santa Barbara Harbour. It has a more touristy feel but liked people watching and dinner at Brophy Brothers on the patio was solid. A classic casual seasfood restaurant. I would go early and put your name down and walk around the Harbour while you wait. Down the road a few minutes is The Boathouse, also with water views. Several people recommended for both lunch and dinner but we did not make it this trip.
The last night we went to the Funk Zone which is a hipper area of Santa Barbara. We did another beer tasting and then dined at The Lark. Definitely make reservations if you want to go to this popular restaurant.
A few tips:
You can take Ubers everywhere but we liked having a car to do our own exploring.
You can fly directly into Santa Barbara but we flew into Burbank and drove up the coast. We like to drive (and I have a companion pass on Southwest!) so it made sense for us to do that.
We went in September and the weather was perfect. Warm enough for the pool during the day but it cools down at night so bring a sweater or fleece. I’ve heard the summer is a bit more foggy and I am not sure about spring!
We did not do any wineries this trip because it’s a good 45 minute drive each way and we just wanted to stay put. But we want to next time! But there are lots of wine shops owned by those wineries and micro breweries in Santa Barbara if you want to do some tastings. Your concierge should be able to help you with that!
I think this would also make a great girls’ weekend or babymoon destination.
For all the details about what I packed for our trip can be found here.
For more Santa Barbara recommendations, see Could I Have That’s guides. She is a blogger who lives in Santa Barbara so felt I could trust a local’s guide.
Any questions I didn’t cover? Ask away! And be sure to see my Santa Barbara highlight on Instagram for more pictures and videos of our trip.
So thankful that we were able to take this trip!