18 Ways to Experience Santa Barbara

March 29, 2018 - garden totes

Following wildfires and mudslides, a American Riviera is bouncing back—and with so many new hotels and boutiques, it’s never been a improved time to visit

Lower State Street


Dripping in Spanish Colonial Revival pattern and Moroccan pattern details, a new Hotel Californian (rooms from $550) is separate into 3 buildings connected by alfresco walkways, gardens, and fountains. The 121 bedrooms have a glamorous, art deco vibe in valuables tones, with Moorish-inspired tiles and large-scale photos of Hollywood icons—like a tattoo-covered Marilyn Monroe digitally altered by artist Cheyenne Randall—as a curtsy to Santa Barbara’s film attention past. Located nearby a Amtrak station, it’s tighten adequate to transport to State Street’s restaurants and boutiques yet being in a thick of things.

Hotel Californian

Closer to a airfield is a beach-chic Kimpton Goodland (rooms from $175), a hip 158-room skill with a independent SoCal vibe and sentimental American accents, like a selected Airstream and in-room record players. There’s a exhilarated outward pool, a infrequent eatery portion general transport food, and giveaway bikes to borrow.


Food + Drink

One of a many renouned cafés is The French Press, whose Anacapa Street plcae offers some-more legroom than a comparison one on State Street. You’ll see a brew of families, students, and couples slow over espresso drinks and laptops. For a some-more off-the-beaten-path cuppa, stop by Handlebar Coffee Roasters, started by former pro cyclists. Get a cappuccino and take it to their desirable side patio.

Handlebar Coffee Roasters

A one-stop emporium of internal culinary talents, a indoor Santa Barbara Public Market has vendors slinging Thai food, pizza, poke bowls, we name it. Don’t skip a artistic tempura cauliflower date taco during Corazon Cocina, and notwithstanding a lines you’ll see during McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams in town, we consider a organic scoops during Rori’s inside a marketplace are even better.

Avocado toast, chia seed pudding, croissants, and falafel-quinoa bowls are all on a menu during Goat Tree. It might be a partial of Hotel Californian, yet a bright, beautifully designed space is a distant cry from general hotel cafés. You’ll perspective copiousness of locals dining from morning by evening, too. Settle in for a friendly cooking during a hip Loquita, a dinner-only Spanish grill on revoke State Street with a comfortable midcentury complicated interior and sharp-witted bar area, and an outward square flanked by bougainvillea and fibre lights. The menu focuses on tapas, and paellas that take 30 mins to prepare. We advise sipping one of their resourceful solitaire and tonics while we wait.

Funk Zone

Odd moniker aside, a Funk Zone area is home to a dozen Santa Barbara wineries in converted warehouses splashed with murals and other artwork. One of a tip picks is Santa Barbara Wine Collective, with a shaggy square and a renouned Helena Avenue Bakery inside. Elsewhere in a city, sip on glorious pinots noirs during Au Bon Climat, a longtime favorite internal winery.



Launched by a internal mom who named a boutique after her dual sons, a new Jake Jones in a up-and-coming Presidio area is lined with smart brands including Diane Von Furstenberg, Carolina K, and Vince, yet she also sells home decor, pet accessories, and coffee-table books.

Jake Jones

Around a corner, you’ll find Make Smith, a emporium run by third-generation leather craftsmen offered totes, pivotal chains, bags, and dog collars—all of that are done on-site. They’ll even emboss your item, yet it takes dual days.

If your character leans vintage, try The Blue Door in a Funk Zone. Unlike some antique shops that demeanour like a pointless collection of knickknacks, this three-story space is packaged with wow-worthy finds—think midcentury complicated furniture, Catherine Holm kitchenware, and new equipment like locally poured candles. Also in a Funk Zone, The Shopkeepers is led by a married integrate who have stocked their emporium with stationery, apparel, and eco-friendly beauty products.



Government buildings aren’t customarily a must-see. Not so in Santa Barbara, where a ancestral County Courthouse final time on a itinerary. The building itself is impressive, a resplendent instance of Andalusian Spanish pattern down to a exuberant lamps, yet it’s a (free!) breathtaking perspective from a rooftop that will make your jaw drop. Save time to hang out on a far-reaching grassy grass behind a courthouse, where you’ll mark families with their dogs and small ones.

Less than dual miles outward of town, Old Mission Santa Barbara is one of a city’s other climax jewels. The 1786 landmark is a tenth of California’s 21 missions and offers self- and docent-led tours of a 13 acres, including a church, cemetery, and museum. Or, only container a cruise and take in a views from a grassy grass and plenty rose garden, home to some-more than 1,500 varieties of a bloom.

For something a bit different, haven a container during Salt, a largest subterraneous clear salt cavern in North America. Dress absolutely for a 45-minute session, where you’ll recline in zero-gravity chairs inside an synthetic cavern done of Himalayan pinkish salt, whose microparticles are pronounced to revoke lung inflammation, correct asthma, and palliate congestion.

Got a kids with you? They’ll go furious in Moxi, a new 17,000-square-foot museum with hands-on exhibits widespread opposite 3 stories. Activities embody formulating sound effects for a film clip, rising atmosphere rockets, and experimenting with 3-D printers.


Getting There

While there are no nonstop flights, joining during LAX is a common route. If you’d rather transport by automobile or train, it’s about 5 hours from downtown San Diego. Within Santa Barbara, there’s an alfresco electric convey that traverses State Street for $0.50 per trip.

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