The struggle of dealing with L.A. traffic Monday through Friday is very real.We think the reason that most Angelenos put up with it is for the embarrassment of riches that are our weekend getaway opportunities. Ojai, La Jolla, Palm Springs and Malibu are just the first spots to come to mind, the list of quick and easy road trips outside the city is nearly endless – if you can bear more time in the car.
One of our favorite weekend getaways is Santa Barbara. A short drive up the coast, the lush and quiet coastal city is full of old California style and surrounded on all sides by either vineyards or the sea.
You really can’t miss a good time in Santa Barbara, but – just in case – we’re sharing our favorite places to enjoy while there. Our picks are inspired by a recent trip we took with Chevrolet to test drive their first-ever all electric car, the Chevy Bolt EV.
Where to Stay:
Four Seasons Resort – The Bitmore | This newly remodeled, iconic Santa Barbara hotel is everything you’d wish to find in Santa Barbara. Originally built in 1927, the dreamy seaside spot has a rich California history, gorgeous gardens and California charm at every corner.
Bacara Resort | Another Santa Barbara classic. This resort is all about laid back luxury. The pools lay just above their private beach, the brand new restaurant is a beautiful cliffside must-see and the spa is as Santa Barbara as things get.
Where To Shop:
Whiskey + Leather | This Montecito boutique, well-curated by two friends, houses the best smelling candles, beach-chic clothing for men and women that still feel modern, and an eclectic mix of home goods. Worth a visit for all the treasure to uncover – and their adorable dog.
Montecito Country Mart | Built in the 60’s, the Montecito Country Mart is a perfect picture of the Santa Barbara lifestyle. Shop for Californiaesque designers like Jenni Kayne. Take-away meals from local farmers and residents. Or just grab a green juice from Pressed Juicery, hang and soak up the sun.
Folio Press | The adorable paper goods boutique sells curated stationary and cards. It’s a local gem originally grown from Wootton Printing, the oldest continuously operating printing company in Santa Barbara. The shop is now Folio Press & Paperie but the OG print-shop charm remains.
Where To Eat:
Bella Vista at The Four Seasons | This alfresco ocean front dining spot is nothing short of magical. We were so inspired by the chef here – magical avocado toast, homemade nut milks, juice flights and all! Enjoy stunning views and a menu every kind of palette and diet can enjoy.
Pressed Juicery | On State Street, you’ll find a Pressed Juicery tucked away on a side street and it serves our ultimate edible afternoon pasttime: Freeze. It’s soft serve made of fruit, veggies and nuts and we basically live for it. Go for a swirl after a dip at the beach.
Mesa Verde | This super crunchy, organic vegan and gluten-free restaurant is the kind of food you’d hope to find in a stylish little beach town; bright, fresh and absolutely beautiful.
Somerset | Go for the golden velvet banquets inside, stay for the local seasonal menu and incredible design throughout. We love their modern garden seating too.
Olio Crudo Bar | We’re all about the crudo bar, which features an ingredient-driven menu of raw Italian seafood and meats, plus a few cooked items for balance, all inspired by the coast of Italy.
What To Do:
The Spa At Bacara Resort | Deep tissue or Thai? Spend the day wrapped in terrycloth and enjoy the ultimate spa day with an epic massage, transformative facial, the eucalyptus steam room, and lunch by their spa pool.
Coral Casino Beach + Cabana Club | This private club is member’s only, but still worth a special mention. Stepping into Coral Casion is like stepping into vintage Hollywood at it’s finest. The pale pink umbrellas, oceanside views and storied hallways are the ultimate Santa Barbara experience. If you’re lucky, you know a member who can get you in, if not, certain rooms at the Four Seasons across the street may help you get access too.
Take A Hike | But, really. The Santa Barbara coastline is stunningly beautiful. We love to hike Carpintaria Bluffs (3mi) or Inspiration Point (7mi) for fresh air, beautiful views, wild flowers and whale sightings.