48 Hours In Santa Barbara
A few weeks ago, we packed up the family, headed west, and spent Memorial Day Weekend in beautiful Santa Barbara.
My parents moved back to California when I was a junior in college- so I spent holidays, summers and a few random weekends there before I graduated. But it wasn’t until I lived there post-college that I fell in love with the American Riviera.
There really is something so special about Santa Barbara- its beautiful and elegant, while staying charming and beachy. The food can’t be beat, the shopping is downright dangerous, and the lifestyle is enviable- farmers markets every day, dining al fresco year round, dog friendly beaches. I could go on and on.
We were only in town for a few short days, but I managed to visit a few of my tried and true favorites while taking in a few new spots. Here are a few of my Santa Barbara musts.
*You can find some of other SB favorites in a travel guide from 2016 here- check it out if only to see what babies we all were.
When visiting my mom in Montecito, a smaller community in Santa Barbara, there are a few spots I always have to hit. This past trip we were up bright and early every morning- hi, jet lag- so I would stop by Pierre Lafond Montecito Market located in Montecito’s Upper Village for fresh baked muffins and other yummy pastries. You can grab a fresh pressed green juice there, or swing by Pressed Juicery in the Montecito Country Mart for a delicious juice to start the day. When it comes to lunch, I’m a creature of habit in Montecito. Los Arroyos is hands down my favorite spot for lunch- I dream of their Mexican food when I’m back home and would do just about anything for their Tostada Ranchera and guacamole. For dinner, we love Lucky’s Steakhouse for the perfect steak and martini; or Via Vai for some classic Italian food.
As someone that worked retail for the better part of three years in Santa Barbara, I can attest to the fact that their shopping is some of the best around. There’s such an easy coolness to all the shops- the vibe is sophisticated but laid back and easy at the same time. As always, I stopped by my favorite, Jenni Kayne to pick up a pair of their classic mules and see what goodies they had for baby and home. And while in Montecito, you have to stop by the Montecito Country Mart, home to one of my favorite children’s shops of all time, Poppy, as well as Malia Mills for swim, Mate Gallery for some New England goodies, and Hudson Grace for all things home.
We spent quite a bit of time in nearby Summerland this trip, and popped into The Sacred Space for some sage and crystals and all the zen. This was my first time visiting this spot, but it was love at first sight- the space was so calming- if you have some time, stay awhile and relax in their pavilions while meditating and enjoying some tea. I also stumbled upon the cutest Summerland boutique called The Mujeres Collective- a beautiful shop featuring female artisans, designers, and makers. I loved the vibe and wanted to take everything home, but settled on a print and mobile for the baby’s room, both of which I adore.
This trip we took a few beach walks at our favorite, Butterfly beach. Maddie loved watching all the locals playing volleyball, and collected a few seashells to bring home. If you’re up for it, you can walk all the way down to Stearns Wharf- home to Santa Barbara’s Sea Center and some of the best seafood spots in town. If you’re visiting during polo season, I would highly recommend an afternoon at The Santa Barbara Polo Club. It was a bit rainy the day we went, but we braved the drizzle and fog and ended up having the best time watching the match. The clubhouse is classic Santa Barbara, and the perfect spot to grab a cocktail; but if you’re going with a group, the cabanas are definitely the way to go.