Summer season journey 2022 is in full swing, at the same time as erratic climate, COVID surges, gasoline gouges, and frequent flight cancellations make issues difficult. We’d all wish to overlook the truth of our environment and jaunt far, distant, however it’s simply not sensible for lots of us, financially or mentally. And that’s the place shorter jaunts and highway journeys are available. Final Summer season, LA Weekly printed sensible, up-to-date journey guides for pandemic instances, targeted on Las Vegas and San Diego. This yr, our issues might have shifted a bit, however we nonetheless need escapism made straightforward. So it’s time for an additional dive into one in every of our favourite close by getaways: Santa Barbara.

Let’s begin with our favourite factor about this stunning, breezy li’l city: the temps. It’s lower than two hours away, however even when L.A. is scorching on the peak of Summer season (July-August), Santa Barbara not often will get above 75 levels, and that’s as a result of most the whole lot you’d wish to do there’s positioned close to the coast. From biking to ingesting, consuming to buying, artwork and music appreciation, and extra, SB supplies a relaxed but rousing vacay vacation spot for {couples}, pals and households alike. Learn on to find out about all of them.

(Courtesy Go to Santa Barbara/Jay Sinclair)


The pandemic made us all readjust our lives in numerous methods. It additionally made us hunt down new pastimes and types of leisure, principally outside. In L.A., drive-ins loved a resurgence and outdoor movie screenings grew in recognition, for instance. A lot of our pals obtained into roller-skating and skateboarding (once more) as grown adults.  Personally, we rediscovered a love of motorbike using and began frequenting trails in Santa Clarita, Ventura and, in fact, Venice Seashore and Santa Monica. However nowhere in L.A. beats Santa Barbara for these of us who prefer to roll, by the seashore or in any other case.

SB wasn’t the one metropolis to shut off streets to site visitors, in an effort to offer extra out of doors amusements, however it’s so far probably the most profitable. State Road at all times was a hotbed for locals and vacationers, however since its “emergency closure” to vehicles in the course of the pandemic, it’s grow to be probably the most distinctive pedestrian boardwalks in California. One facet of the road is designated for walkers, the opposite for bikes, boarders and bladers, all of which is sandwiched by out of doors eating areas. It’s a blast for bikers, with a doable incline anybody can deal with and durable bike racks on each block for simple lock-up wherever you select to cease.

(Courtesy Go to Santa Barbara/Blake Bronstad)

In response to the native paper Santa Barbara Independent, “it stays unclear” if State Road can be a everlasting promenade. however it appears like it is going to, not less than till a newly shaped State Road committee comes to a decision about learn how to transfer ahead. And that’s a superb factor for guests. It makes this space really feel particular and totally different. The mile-long closure has revitalized the downtown hall, because it’s allowed pedestrians and peddlers alike to securely fill the streets, as distributors, performers and extra encompass the pathway.

Along with craft gala’s and the like, State supplies a bounty of companies for browsers and consumers to peruse. Sure there are chain shops like Previous Navy and Value Plus alongside the stretch, however there’s additionally some attractive outdated theaters –The Arlington and The Granada (each nonetheless operating)– and a few intriguing mom-and-pop retailers like Paradise Records & Trading Post for outdated vinyl, collectables and distinctive treasures; Punch Vintage and Antique Alley for groovy retro clothes, knick knacks and doo dads; and Namaste for boho threads, incense and yoga-vibey equipment.

(Courtesy Go to Santa Barbara/Ciro Coelho)

For those who’re the crystals and meditation kind, undoubtedly don’t overlook to take a look at Salt, that includes the most important Himalayan salt collapse North America. The retail boutique and spa has rooms crafted with 45 tons of 250-million-year-old Himalayan crystal salt, that are stored at a temperature of 72 levels Fahrenheit and 40 % humidity. Guests recline in zero-gravity chairs for mediation and halotherapy (which touts respiration air saturated with microsalt particles for respiratory well being) classes, and there’s additionally massages, salt scrubs and facials obtainable.

Additionally on State Road, one of many space’s greatest hashish dispensaries, Beyond/Hello options high quality flower, edibles, extracts, topicals, tinctures and pre-rolls at aggressive costs. The store is “ADA compliant and totally accessible, LGBTQ+ pleasant, and affords a ten% low cost to anybody 65 years or older, veterans and lively navy with ID.”

(Courtesy Go to Santa Barbara/SB Museum of Artwork)

Sights, Sounds and Sea

Additionally on State Road, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art is at all times value a pop-in for its eclectic combine of up to date and traditional works. After a six-year, $50 million renovation, SBMA revealed expanded galleries in 2021. Present exhibitions embody “Going International: Summary Artwork at Mid-Century” (displaying abstraction kinds in the course of the Chilly Warfare and the proliferation of the globalized artwork motion) and “The Lens of Structure: Pictures, Buildings, and That means” (exploring pictures’s relationship with structure within the nineteenth and twentieth centuries).

The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, the Santa Barbara Historical Museum and MOXI (the Wolf Museum of Exploration and Innovation) additionally function revolving reveals. See their web sites for information.

(Courtesy Go to Santa Barbara/Blake Bronstad)

Our favourite look-and-learn locale must be the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, which might be reached through an uphill bike trek (the downhill trip again is value it!). Along with its dinosaur backyard and mini-observatory, its present exhibitions present moments of surprise: “Uncommon Earth that includes gorgeous gems, minerals and rocks, and “Butterflies Alive!” an out of doors immersion within a colourful butterfly crammed pavilion. Each are taking place via Sept. 5.

The Santa Barbara Zoo not too long ago opened the “Australian Walkabout,” a 15,000-square-foot habitat recreating “Down Underneath,” with wallabies, kangaroos and emus; and the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden simply opened “The Backcountry,” a 4-acre out of doors path for child play and grownup discovery. Positioned alongside Mission Creek, it affords impediment programs, waterfalls, mazes, hikes by means of totally different habitats, and extra.

Extra oceanic exploring might be discovered at Stearns Wharf, California’s oldest wood wharf of its sort. It celebrates its one hundred and fiftieth anniversary this yr (mark your calendar for October when there can be an enormous occasion paying tribute). There’s additionally “Wharf Wednesdays” (first Wednesday of every month) with reside music programming and dinner offers.

Jerry Garcia’s hand at Santa Barbara Bowl (Lina Lecaro)

We noticed The Black Crowes on the Santa Barbara Bowl simply final month, and as a music lover/frequent concert-goer, we couldn’t consider we’d by no means been to the attractive out of doors venue. Smaller than each the Hollywood Bowl and the Greek Theater, this mini-amphitheater however has an analogous really feel and tends to get all the massive excursions we do in L.A.  What makes it particular is the view (you may see the ocean from a budget seats).  The sound and stage setup are top-notch, and the place even has a cool bronze statue of Jerry Garcia’s hand, recognizable because of the Grateful Useless musician lacking most of his center finger after a childhood wood-chopping accident. The Crowes, by the best way, killed it. In case your favourite band is enjoying SB’s bowl, it’s well worth the go to. See the upcoming schedule at

Star Energy

Whereas we’re mentioning music, it is perhaps a superb time to acknowledge that SB and, specifically, the Montecito space, is understood for being residence to some main recording artists, from Katy Perry (and huS.B.and Orlando Bloom) to Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore (after we interviewed him a few years in the past, he famous the town’s good climate, extra relaxed options to Los Angeles).

In fact, the most important media moguls of all reside within the space too – Oprah Winfrey, Megan Markle and Prince Harry, and Ellen Degeneres and Portia De Rossi, have mansons/compounds there.  The world additionally obtained a great deal of media consideration when Travis Barker proposed to Kourtney Kardashian on a Montecito Seashore, as seen on their new Hulu present. However maybe SB’s most legendary inhabitant was Julia Little one, who lived there after she retired and till her dying. With the well-known foodie again within the highlight, because of a brand new HBO Max comedy and a child-themed TV cooking competitors at the moment on the Meals Community, it is perhaps a superb time to revisit a few of her favourite locations in Santa Barbara the place she retired and spent the rest of her days. Take a look at the Santa Barbara Culinary Expertise’s detailed map to just do that,  go to

Mon Marte’s entrance terrace (Courtesy Go to Santa Barbara)

Foremost Stays

Air BnB’s will get you extra privateness, however should you’re on the lookout for hospitality, Santa Barbara resorts are there to serve. And there are offers available proper now, too. Visit Santa Barbara has a “Third Evening Free” promotion now by means of September, with greater than a dozen resorts and resorts collaborating, together with a couple of of our high picks, some with L.A. ties. 

The Mar Monte Hotel not too long ago accomplished the ultimate section of its multimillion-dollar “reimagination,” and the result’s a fascinating seaside oasis, refreshed and renewed. The historic Nineteen Thirties constructing, Vista Mar Monte, has been embellished and remodeled with new facilities and inside design touches by Los Angeles-based Beleco, with an open and ethereal foyer/lounge space and library, opening out onto its courtyard. The Spanish-influenced setting additionally has been amplified in rooms, suites, eateries and bars, together with the slick new Lido Café and the swanky/attractive Cal-Mediterranean Costa Kitchen & Bar, each providing attractive oceanfront views whereas ingesting and eating, particularly throughout sundown hour. That is the spot to your romantic getaway.

Colourful eating at Costa Kitchen (Courtesy Mon Marte/Go to Santa Barbara)

Likewise, the Kimpton Canary Hotel has invested in its stylish but whimsical property, together with cozy redesigned rooms, rooftop pool space, foyer, bar and restaurant. About its restaurant: Finch & Fork is a should go to whereas on the town. The renovated house (additionally designed by Beleco) simply reopened this previous spring with a brand new look and enjoyable menu from Govt Chef Craig Riker.

We spoke with him on our final go to and realized that his creativity goes means past the kitchen. Riker is also an expert musician, enjoying bass with the metallic rock outfit Deadsy (led by LA’s Elijah Blue Allman, son of Cher and Gregg Allman). He tells us he lived in L.A., attending Cordin Bleu in Pasadena and enjoying in bands together with Simi Valley punks Strung Out, earlier than becoming a member of Deadsy. He labored on the Montage Beverly Hills and Mastro’s in Malibu earlier than transferring to Santa Barbara, establishing himself, and his dishes at F&F don’t disappoint. The Canary’s restaurant renovation is the primary stage in an in depth resort revamp from Kimpton, a model Angelenos will acknowledge through a string of trendy stays, together with the Everly, Palomar, Resort Wilshire and the LaPeer.

Finch & Fork is for foodies (Courtesy Kimpton Canary/Go to Santa Barbara)

Different high resorts value checking in and out: the historic Hotel Santa Barbara within the coronary heart of downtown; Riviera Beach House previously Resort Indigo, close to the Funk Zone space (it was not too long ago bought by the household that owns the Culver Resort in L.A.); and coming quickly, Drift Santa Barbara from TCM Hospitality, a classy “tech-driven” resort with properties in Cabo, Mexico and Nashville.

SB Bites and Bars
In relation to delicacies and cocktail tradition, Santa Barbara stands formidably proper alongside San Francisco and Los Angeles. SB has greater than a dozen eating places within the present Michelin Information to California, and Wine Fanatic simply declared it “Wine Area of the 12 months.” Along with Finch & Fork and Costa Kitchen, there’s a couple of extra locations that needs to be in your radar while you go to.

Lucky’s Steakhouse, additionally seen in a current episode of Hulu’s The Kardashians, is tops for a lot of locals’ special day eating record. The Montecito landmark occupies the previous Montecito Bungalows on Freeway 1, the unique Pacific Coast Freeway. It’s now thought of Montecito’s “second lounge,” which suggests celeb sightings are frequent. The white tablecloth, outdated Hollywood vibe (classic pictures line the partitions) enhances the steak and traditional cocktail Musso & Franks-esque vibe, and the service is the perfect within the metropolis.

Christopher Thompkins has enjoyable with shellfish at Broad Road Oyster Firm (Courtesy Broad Road/Go to Santa Barbara)

For a extra informal however no much less tasty lunch or dinner choice, we suggest Broad Street Oyster Company, which originated in L.A. — Malibu seashore to be precise. Identified for its succulent lobster rolls, Christopher Tompkins’s colourful institution was solely opened in 2019, however it rapidly turned beloved for its lobster sandwich (served heat with butter or chilled with mayonnaise). The SB location opened earlier this yr including native sea urchin and oysters on the shell to the menu. We love the animated murals that line the stroll in and its handy location behind one in every of State Road’s greatest bars (see beneath).

Tiki lovers will adore the tasty concoctions on the Shaker Mill, housed in the identical constructing as Broad. Proprietor Brandon Ristaino additionally owns two different nice bars in Santa Barbara, together with The Good Lion and the extra tropically minded Test Pilot, however Shaker’s probably the most open and ethereal of the three, and with COVID nonetheless on the market, that’s a priority for many people. Whimsical patio-style furnishings and creative drinks, such because the Miami Vice (half pina colada, half strawberry daiquiri served glass shell) or the Orange Sky (bourbon, orange, lemon, citrusy white ale, white buffalo orange marmalade) — $1 of every drink donated to White Buffalo Land Belief — make this atmospheric spot a favourite to get shook.

Shaker Mill’s “Miami Vice” is sweet. (Lina Lecaro)

We love a elaborate cocktail spot, however because the creator of the e book Los Angeles’ Greatest Bars, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out the unfettered neighborhood joints the place locals prefer to dwell. Take a look at the Sportsman’s Lounge, The Jolly Tiger/ Roy’s the place Jack Johnson obtained his begin, and the perfect named ever Pickle Room, in SB’s outdated Chinatown, serving stiff drinks and a mixture of deli and creative Asian snacks.

If wine is your factor, take into account the “Santa Barbara’s City Wine Path,” your new various to a Napa go to. Made up of almost 30 member wineries inside strolling distance of one another, new tasting rooms are continuously opening and transferring round. Kunin Wines () identified for glowing rosés and beautiful cheese pairings, simply opened a brand new tasting room at its Goleta vineyard; Frequency Wine Co. () moved to the up-and-coming Presidio Neighborhood; and Valley to the Sea Winery () opened within the Santa Barbara Public Market late final yr. And don’t miss an opportunity to go to “The Funk Zone,” the last word tipsy stroll, the place almost each storefront is a tasting room. Notable wineries together with La Lieff Wines, Santa Barbara Winery (the oldest in SB County) and Pali Wine Co. are all new to the realm.


Upcoming SB Occasions:

Previous Spanish Days Fiesta — Santa Barbara’s Spanish heritage is paid homage to at this five-day fiesta, starting this week. Aug. 3 to Aug. 7, at a number of places.

(Courtesy Go to Santa Barbara)

Pacific Delight Pageant — After a two yr hiatus as a consequence of COVID, this SB Delight occasion is again.  Aug. 27, at Chase Palm Park.

twenty first Annual Open Studios Tour — Santa Barbara artists, 28 to be precise, present open studio excursions.  Sept. 3 to Sept. 5, at a number of places.

(Courtesy SB Museum of Pure Historical past/Go to Santa Barbara)

twenty ninth annual Goleta Lemon Pageant — The southern area of SB (Goleta) is understood for its citrus fruit, so count on a number of lemon dishes, pie-eating contests, bake-offs and reside music. The Goleta Fall Basic Automobile and Road Rod Present occurs the identical weekend. Sept. 24 and Sept. 25, at Girsh Park, Goleta.

fiftieth annual Santa Barbara Previous-Time Fiddlers’ Pageant has concert events, workshops, jams, and an “instrument petting zoo” the place the general public play banjos, fiddles, spoons and different “old-time” devices. Oct. 8, Rancho La Patera & Stow Home, Goleta.

Santa Barbara Harbor and Seafood Pageant A Seaside rendezvous. Oct. 15, Santa Barbara Harbor.

(Courtesy Go to Santa Barbara)

Particular because of Visit Santa Barbara for assist with this story. 

Take a look at the town’s newest COVID-19 restrictions and protocols here.


Get pleasure from a few of S.B.’s splendor in footage, beneath:

(Courtesy Go to Santa Barbara)

(Courtesy Granada Theatre/Go to Santa Barbara)

(Courtesy SBMTD/Go to Santa Barbara)

Courtesy Go to Santa Barbara/Karna Hughes)

SB’s weekly arts and crafts truthful (Courtesy Go to Santa Barbara/Jay St. Clair)

(Courtesy Previous Mission SB/Go to Santa Barbara)

(Courtesy Go to Santa Barbara)


Learn our guides to different drivable journey locales beneath:

Vegas Baby! A Guide to Sin City’s Biggest and Best New (and Old School) Destinations

San Diego Staycation: The Perfect Pandemic Getaway From L.A.




































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