Explore: Santa Barbara

And we are now officially closer to the upcoming weekend than we are to last weekend.

Progress, my friends.


Today’s came in the form of a Mat Pilates class and then ~40 minutes on the Elliptical (Incline 20, Resistance 9), which happened while I was engrossed in my Kindle reading. (I’ll review it when I’m finished but thus far, Stories I Only Tell my Friends by Rob Lowe is excellent. Who knew the guy could write?)


You may have noticed on the main page, there’s a little tab called “Explore” where I highlight excursions, destinations, etc about life in Northern California. It’s been seriously lacking as of late but we’re about the change that!

Explore Part 1: Santa Barbara

Living in San Francisco, we have a lot at our disposal – the snow is 3 hours away, the beach (with water warm enough to go in) about 2 hours away, and about 6 hours from LA.

One of my favorite spots to road trip to is Santa Barbara!

Where It Is: About 5 hours South of San Francisco (via the 101, the scenic route, Highway 1 takes about 7 hours) and about 1.5 hours north of LA. The city sits between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean and is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to

What To Do: Hike, relax the beach (a perfect strip for a barefoot beach run too!), stroll and shop along State Street, check out the boutiques of El Paseo Shopping Mall (California’s First Shopping Mall!), check out the SB Botanical Gardens, eat to your heart’s content, drive up to Montecito and gaze at all the mansions, explore UCSB, relax and as Mindy brilliantly pointed out, wine tasting! (I get spoiled with Napa Valley so close and forget about all of the amazing wineries and vineyards down south! Just be sure you have a DD to get you back!)

Botanical Gardens

State St.

Where To Eat: Acai Bowls at Epic Bowl (amazing and fresh!), Carlitos (huge portions, outdoor seating, live music), Brophy Brothers (right on the water, my favorite clam chowdah), Pascucci for Italian (outdoor patio, well-priced, great food) and taste test about 5 different frozen yogurt places! You can also bet we frequent the Chipotle on State Street for burrito bowls and people watching!

Carlitos Patio

State St.

Brophy Bros!

Where To Stay: We’ve stayed at 2 different places, the Castillo Inn, which is almost right on the water, and Hotel Santa Barbara, right on State Street (a main drag in SB). Hotel SB is pricier, with smaller rooms, but you’re right in the middle of the action. Castillo has huge, brand new rooms, and you’re right on the water but a 10-15 minute walk to all the action of State Street.

Santa Barbara is hands down, my favorite spot to go for a weekend in California. It’s beautiful, has a laid back beachy vibe, amazing weather, great restaurants, and is so relaxing! I can’t wait for our next trip! 🙂

Are there any Explore posts you want to see? Let me know!

What’s your favorite weekend get-away spot?


8 thoughts on “Explore: Santa Barbara

  1. Oh cool I’ve always wanted to check Santa Barbara out! No wine tasting though while you were there? I heard there is fab wine tasting down there…?

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