Postcards From Santa Barbara
We visited a lot of beautiful places on our West Coast road trip, but Santa Barbara was definitely one of my faves - it had me swooning hard. We arrived with zero expectations, but when we left 24 hours later, it was with a promise that we'll definitely be back.
It's not the most cosmopolitan place we've ever been to, nor could I write a huge list of things to see or do. But there's something about it that's so special. Maybe it's the beautiful beaches and the pier that looks out across the ocean, or perhaps it's the delicious eateries and wineries. The friendly locals definitely make a difference, and I suppose the abundance of palm trees probably help too.
Whatever it is, it's safe to say that I'm Santa Barbara's biggest fan...
I can't claim to have spent enough time in the city to write a proper guide, but I thought I'd still share a couple of our favourite spots, and some of the photos I took while we were there.
We stayed at the gorgeous Blue Sands Inn, which was located in the East Beach area. We were a short stroll away from the waterfront, and about a 15 minute walk to the "funk zone" area of town, where we found so many great restaurants, bars and shops. For a great beer selection and epic nachos we loved Finney's Crafthouse, and for something a little more special I'd recommend The Lark, where we enjoyed the best dinner of our trip al fresco on their patio.
In the funk zone area, you'll also find an abundance of beautiful independent shops - I swear I could have blown our whole holiday budget on beautiful candles, homewares and jewellery! I managed to restrain myself, but I did gather a hell of a lot of interiors inspo…
And if wine is your bag, Santa Barbara has got you covered. All of the local vineyards have spaces in the centre of town offering wine tasting and selling their wares. Be warned though - they're generally only open during the day, so go early for your vino fill!
My favourite thing about Santa Barbara though was just wandering around. Watching the waves roll in from the harbour, enjoying all of the local art and generally wishing I was rich enough to buy a house here and live my best beach hopping, indie shopping, red wine supping life. One day...
Have you visited Santa Barbara before? Did you fall for it as much as I did?