Santa Barbara Travel Guide

Josh and I traveled to Santa Barbara for our babymoon since it’s drivable and a beautiful city we’ve always wanted to visit together. Santa Barbara is very outdoor-friendly making it safe for COVID, and full of Mediterranean-style architecture. We stayed for 2-nights and although it rained the majority of our time there, we made the most of it and can’t wait to go back after the baby arrives. Below are my recommendations for where to stay and what to do in Santa Barbara based what we did.

Where we stayed in Santa Barbara:

Hotel Californian:

  • Rated 5-stars, one of the best luxury hotels in Santa Barbara. I loved the entire vibe and style.
  • One annoying thing though is that the buildings aren’t connected so you have to publicly walk across the street to get to the other side of the hotel. It was more annoying for us since it rained, but they have umbrellas by the entrance. There are 3 buildings, 1 has the reception/lounge area, 1 has the pool/spa, and another has conference rooms (which we never visited).
  • Location made it worth it. It’s situated in a prime location, walking distance to the Funk Zone, Stearns Wharf, downtown, and a ton of great restaurants, bars and shopping. We basically never left the area.
Wearing Anna October knitted midi dress, shorter version also here.

Where to eat and drink in Santa Barbara:

  • Coffee shop: Dart Coffee on 121 E Yanonali St Santa Barbara, CA 93101. Super cute coffee shop with delicious drink options. I got their “June Bug” which is a lavender latte and it was delicious. Highly recommend
  • Coffee and Bakery: Helena Avenue Bakery located in the Funk Zone which has a ton of other great restaurants and bars. I specifically loved Helena’s coffee and sandwiches.
  • Brunch: Jeannine’s American Bakery & Restaurant. They have a few locations, but we went to the one on 1 State St Santa Barbara, CA 93101. It’s across the street from Stearns Wharf which is a nice pier to check out/walk by to burn off those brunch calories.
  • Casual American Lunch: Finney’s Crafthouse We ate here since it was right next to the hotel and had 4-stars on Yelp, but the food was great. Very chill, laid-back vibe with traditional American food. They also have a ton of beer options.
  • Seafood: Brophy Bros is a classic, staple, casual seafood restaurant. The food was pleasantly good (get the clam chowder) and their menu has a great array of options. I liked everything and would definitely come back.
  • Bars: Since I’m pregnant we only went to 1 bar which was Pearl Social in the Funk Zone. I loved the setting of the bar and their outdoor seating was very cute. There’s also wine tasting rooms in the Funk Zone which we would have checked out if I wasn’t pregnant (another reason we plan to come back post-baby!)

Things to do in Santa Barbara:

  • Relax at Butterfly beach: a pretty quiet and clean beach. It’s called “butterfly beach” because of the shape.
  • Visit Lotusland: named one of the 10 best gardens in the world. Lotusland was closed the days we went, but from photos and research it looks like a whimsical garden worth checking out.
  • Walk down State Street in Downtown Santa Barbara. This street has tons of shopping, restaurants, and ice cream shops. I particularly liked shopping at the home decor gems like Habitat Home and Garden.
  • Visit Superior Court Of California County Of Santa Barbara: I was pleasantly surprised at how beautiful it was here. The Spanish Colonial Revival style architecture is gorgeous.
  • Explore Solvang: We stopped by Solvang on our drive back north, (it’s a 45-min drive from Santa Barbara) and I’m so glad we went. This quant town made me feel like I was transported to Denmark. It was fun walking around and checking out the small stores here.

If you decide to go to Santa Barbara I hope the weather is on your side and you have an amazing time! It’s such a beautiful destinations with great outdoor activities and restaurants. I can’t wait to go back one day.

Us at Superior Court Of California County Of Santa Barbara. I propped my camera against a trash can to take this self-timed photo haha.

You Might Also Like