Visiting Santa Barbara – Visit Santa Barbara Online Planning Guide
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Where To Stay when Visiting Santa Barbara
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A wide range of accommodations from charming B&Bs to mega-chains is available. The Wayfarer is a cool budget option with both private rooms and hostel-style shared dorms with bunk beds. It’s also got a pool and giant Jenga. Hipsters gravitate to Kimpton’s The Goodland, an upcycled boho-chic Goleta motel with a vinyl lending library and woven rug wall art.
If glamping is more your speed, reserve an El Capitan Canyon yurt, safari tent, or cedar cabin scattered throughout oak and sycamore groves alongside a seasonal creek. Stays are enhanced by wine tastings, concert series, and complimentary beach cruisers.
But if your bank account can swing it, check into a luxury hotel or resort because this town truly excels at high-end hospitality. A block from the sand, Hotel Californian, a mod-meets-Moroccan boutique opened in 2017, has a rooftop pool and a strong encaustic tile game. Set on a hillside that gently slopes toward two fairly secluded beaches, The Ritz-Carlton Bacara’s amenities—three infinity-edged saline pools, a 42,000 square-foot spa, and private patio fire pits with s’mores kits—help guests feel worlds away from civilization instead of 20 minutes from downtown. Set in a ritzy residential area in the hills, Belmond El Encanto oozes sophistication at every turn from its marble soaking tubs and lily pond to its personalized stationery guest gift, polo season experiences, and classic afternoon tea served in the alfresco lounge with panoramic views of the Pacific. In Montecito, the Four Seasons Resort, The Biltmore, is still as glamorous as it was when Old Hollywood starlets and studio power players hid away in the Spanish colonial bungalows, lounged poolside cooled by the breeze blowing off Butterfly Beach, and danced the night away at the art deco-dent Coral Casino social club.
PLANNING YOUR VISIT SANTA BARBARA?
Because of its close proximity to LA, you can expect much of the same temperatures in Santa Barbara, making it enjoyable to visit year round (though winter can bring bouts of rain).
When constructing a game plan for your trip, be aware that visiting in early spring and fall ensures fewer crowds and cheaper rates for both accommodation and transportation. Each season hosts its own events and gatherings, so plan accordingly if you want to attend or avoid draws such as the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (April to May) and Old Spanish Days Fiesta (August).
When leaving Los Angeles, we suggest hitting the road as early as possible to maximize your time up north. Buses and trains leave as early as 5:45 a.m. or, if you’re traveling by car, try hitting the road before dawn for golden views of the mountains and coastline as the sun rises over the horizon in the east.
What to Do on Your Visiting Santa Barbara Vacation
Go Horseback Riding on the Beach
Santa Barbara is the perfect place to go horseback riding on the beach. Los Padres Outfitters offers a sunset ride. If you’re into celebrity sightings this beach is lined with celebrity homes like Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis.
Visit Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
When visiting the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden you can see lots of California native plants, especially the California poppies and redwoods section of the gardens. You can also visit the cactus display or be entranced by the sounds of the various running streams. You will also see lots of wildlife as well including gorgeous butterflies and a few rabbits.
Why Choose Santa Barbara Destination?
Santa Barbara is a self-contained paradise conveniently located between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Santa Barbara is a vibrant community surrounded by undeveloped coastline with the Channel Islands National Park offshore and the Los Padres National Forest inland. The city’s signature red-tile roofs, white-washed buildings and lush gardens are nestled between a dramatic mountain range and the sparkling sea, evoking the topography and architectural aesthetic of the European Riviera—with a distinctly Californian twist.
Simultaneously sophisticated and bohemian, easygoing and energetic, Santa Barbara offers big city-caliber arts and entertainment in intimate, historic venues and a robust year-round lineup of colorful events and cultural festivals. The city is celebrated for its walkability and revered for its refined collection of resorts and hideaways, well-curated shops and abundant outdoor adventures on land and at sea. Add a thriving wine country world-renowned for its pinot noir and a hyper-local culinary scene fueled by local fisheries, farms, ranches and artisan purveyors, and there’s no denying that Santa Barbara is a destination where living well has become an art form.