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 would all wish to neglect 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 occasions, centered on Las Vegas and San Diego. This yr, our issues could have shifted a bit, however we nonetheless need escapism made simple. So it’s time for one more dive into certainly one 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 every thing you’d wish to do there’s situated close to the coast. From biking to consuming, consuming to buying, artwork and music appreciation, and extra, SB offers a relaxed but rousing vacay vacation spot for {couples}, pals and households alike. Learn on to study all of them.

(Courtesy Go to Santa Barbara/Jay Sinclair)


The pandemic made us all readjust our lives in several methods. It additionally made us hunt down new pastimes and types of leisure, largely open air. In L.A., drive-ins loved a resurgence and outdoor movie screenings grew in reputation, for instance. A lot of our pals obtained into roller-skating and skateboarding (once more) as grown adults.  Personally, we rediscovered a love of motorcycle driving 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 supply extra outside amusements, however it’s so far essentially the most profitable. State Avenue all the time was a hotbed for locals and vacationers, however since its “emergency closure” to vehicles throughout the pandemic, it’s develop into some of the distinctive pedestrian boardwalks in California. One aspect of the road is designated for walkers, the opposite for bikes, boarders and bladers, all of which is sandwiched by outside 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 keeping with the native paper Santa Barbara Independent, “it stays unclear” if State Avenue shall be a everlasting promenade. however it appears like it is going to, not less than till a newly fashioned State Avenue committee decides about how one can transfer ahead. And that’s a very good 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 soundly fill the streets, as distributors, performers and extra encompass the pathway.

Along with craft gala’s and the like, State offers a bounty of companies for browsers and consumers to peruse. Sure there are chain shops like Outdated Navy and Value Plus alongside the stretch, however there’s additionally some attractive outdated theaters –The Arlington and The Granada (each nonetheless working)– 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 neglect 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 Avenue, 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 absolutely accessible, LGBTQ+ pleasant, and presents a ten% low cost to anybody 65 years or older, veterans and lively army with ID.”

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

Sights, Sounds and Sea

Additionally on State Avenue, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art is all the time price a pop-in for its eclectic combine of up to date and basic works. After a six-year, $50 million renovation, SBMA revealed expanded galleries in 2021. Present exhibitions embody “Going World: Summary Artwork at Mid-Century” (displaying abstraction types throughout the Chilly Conflict and the proliferation of the globalized artwork motion) and “The Lens of Structure: Images, Buildings, and Which means” (exploring images’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 characteristic revolving displays. See their web sites for information.

(Courtesy Go to Santa Barbara/Blake Bronstad)

Our favourite look-and-learn locale needs to be the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, which may be reached through an uphill bike trek (the downhill trip again is price it!). Along with its dinosaur backyard and mini-observatory, its present exhibitions present moments of marvel: “Uncommon Earth that includes gorgeous gems, minerals and rocks, and “Butterflies Alive!” an out of doors immersion inside a colourful butterfly stuffed pavilion. Each are occurring through Sept. 5.

The Santa Barbara Zoo lately opened the “Australian Walkabout,” a 15,000-square-foot habitat recreating “Down Beneath,” with wallabies, kangaroos and emus; and the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden simply opened “The Backcountry,” a 4-acre outside path for child play and grownup discovery. Positioned alongside Mission Creek, it presents impediment programs, waterfalls, mazes, hikes by means of totally different habitats, and extra.

Extra oceanic exploring may be discovered at Stearns Wharf, California’s oldest wood wharf of its type. It celebrates its one hundred and fiftieth anniversary this yr (mark your calendar for October when there shall be an enormous occasion paying tribute). There’s additionally “Wharf Wednesdays” (first Wednesday of every month) with stay 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 gorgeous outside venue. Smaller than each the Hollywood Bowl and the Greek Theater, this mini-amphitheater nonetheless has an identical really feel and tends to get all the large excursions we do in L.A.  What makes it particular is the view (you’ll be able to 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 Lifeless musician lacking most of his center finger after a childhood wood-chopping accident. The Crowes, by the way in which, killed it. In case your favourite band is taking part in SB’s bowl, it’s definitely worth the go to. See the upcoming schedule at

Star Energy

Whereas we’re mentioning music, it could be a very good time to acknowledge that SB and, specifically, the Montecito space, is understood for being dwelling 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 town’s good climate, extra relaxed alternate options to Los Angeles).

In fact, the most important media moguls of all stay within the space too – Oprah Winfrey, Megan Markle and Prince Harry, and Ellen Degeneres and Portia De Rossi, have mansons/compounds there.  The realm 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 Baby, who lived there after she retired and till her dying. With the well-known foodie again within the highlight, due to a brand new HBO Max comedy and a child-themed TV cooking competitors at the moment on the Meals Community, it could be a very good time to revisit a few of her favourite locations in Santa Barbara the place she retired and spent the rest of her days. Try the Santa Barbara Culinary Expertise’s detailed map to do exactly that,  go to

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

Important Stays

Air BnB’s will get you extra privateness, however in the event you’re searching for hospitality, Santa Barbara lodges are there to serve. And there are offers available proper now, too. Visit Santa Barbara has a “Third Night time Free” promotion now by means of September, with greater than a dozen lodges and resorts taking part, together with a couple of of our prime picks, some with L.A. ties. 

The Mar Monte Hotel lately 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 consuming and eating, particularly throughout sundown hour. That is the spot on your romantic getaway.

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

Likewise, the Kimpton Canary Hotel has invested in its elegant 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 Government Chef Craig Riker.

We spoke with him on our final go to and realized that his creativity goes method past the kitchen. Riker is also an expert musician, taking part in 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 taking part in 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 shifting 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 lodge revamp from Kimpton, a model Angelenos will acknowledge through a string of fashionable stays, together with the Everly, Palomar, Resort Wilshire and the LaPeer.

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

Different prime lodges price 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 lately 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” lodge with properties in Cabo, Mexico and Nashville.

SB Bites and Bars
Relating 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 Yr.” Along with Finch & Fork and Costa Kitchen, there’s a couple of extra locations that ought to be in your radar if you go to.

Lucky’s Steakhouse, additionally seen in a latest 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-about Montecito’s “second lounge,” which suggests celeb sightings are frequent. The white tablecloth, outdated Hollywood vibe (classic images line the partitions) enhances the steak and basic cocktail Musso & Franks-esque vibe, and the service is the perfect within the metropolis.

Christopher Thompkins has enjoyable with shellfish at Broad Avenue Oyster Firm (Courtesy Broad Avenue/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 actual. Identified for its succulent lobster rolls, Christopher Tompkins’s colourful institution was solely opened in 2019, however it rapidly grew to become 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 certainly one of State Avenue’s greatest bars (see beneath).

Tiki fanatics 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 essentially 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 good. (Lina Lecaro)

We love a flowery cocktail spot, however because the writer of the guide Los Angeles’ Finest Bars, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out the unfettered neighborhood joints the place locals prefer to dwell. Try 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, think about the “Santa Barbara’s City Wine Path,” your new different to a Napa go to. Made up of practically 30 member wineries inside strolling distance of one another, new tasting rooms are continually opening and shifting 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 practically 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:

Outdated 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 areas.

(Courtesy Go to Santa Barbara)

Pacific Pleasure Competition — After a two yr hiatus because of COVID, this SB Pleasure occasion is again.  Aug. 27, at Chase Palm Park.

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

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

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

fiftieth annual Santa Barbara Outdated-Time Fiddlers’ Competition has live shows, 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 Competition A Seaside rendezvous. Oct. 15, Santa Barbara Harbor.

(Courtesy Go to Santa Barbara)

Particular due to Visit Santa Barbara for assist with this story. 

Try 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 Outdated 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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