I will be visiting Santa Barbara for the first time the first weekend in February, and I want to make sure I make the most of my 3 days there. What are the MUST-see and MUST-do's while I'm there?
Also, where are the best food spots that are healthy and delicious? I eat a primarily raw vegan diet and love, love, love restaurants that encompass the farm to table, slow food philosophies. Any good suggestions?
- Wine Cask - Santa Barbara813 Anacapa St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101recommended Wine Cask - Santa BarbaraAdorable wine bar and restaurant away from the hustle & bustle of state street. Not in the mood for wine? Try one of their specialty cocktails. They are ALL delish.Tiffany Melone "@GogobotSD"
This place is delish. Kind of pricey, but totally worth it. Amazing wine list too!
- Santa Barbara County Courthouse1100 Anacapa St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101-2002recommended Santa Barbara County CourthouseGorgeous Mission Revival and Moorish-style architecture combine in this downtown Santa Barbara landmark. Make sure you go during the regular opening hours so you can climb up inside the clocktower -- ... read moreit almost feels like being in Hitchcock's movie "Vertigo" -- for the views over a sea of red-tiled roofs. If you've got extra time, swing by the 2nd-floor mural room (so beautiful that people get married there) and take a docent-guided tour.
- The Palace Grill8 E Cota St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101recommended The Palace GrillWhere else can you sing-a-long with the whole restaurant?! Get your Cajun-Creole on at this cute spot right off of the main strip in Santa Barbara! Try the any of their martinis in pint or quart size ... read more(great prices for the amount of alcohol), the lamb chops and veal are amazing. And, famous for their Louisiana Bread Pudding Souffle with Whiskey Cream Sauce, you can't leave without it!Tiffany Melone "@GogobotSD"
If you like Cajun-Creole go here!
- Deep Sea Central Coast Wines219 Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara, California
- Stern's WharfW Cabrillo Blvd, Santa Barbara, California
- Enterprise Fish Co - Santa Barbara225 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
recommended BouchonThis restaurant is amazing! They use local, fresh ingredients and have an extensive wine list from the area. Plus, the ambiance is country chic and romantic.Gina OneDayinaCity
This is my favorite restaurant in Santa Barbara. I'm not completely sure they have vegan options, but I know they had vegetarian ones when I was there. And the wine list is amazing: http://www.onedayinacity.com/a-wine-discovery-in-santa-barbara/
- Chumash Casino Resort3400 East Highway 246, Santa Ynez, CA
- State Street Shopping & DiningState Street, Santa Barbara, CA
- Channel Islands National ParkOxnard, CArecommended Channel Islands National ParkGorgeous day trip or overnight escape from Ventura County, between LA and Santa Barbara. Check out the NPS visitor center at Ventura Harbor, which has kid-friendly nature displays and a rooftop ... read morelookout. Then hop on an Island Packers boat over to Anacapa (for a day trip) or Santa Cruz (for an overnight camping trip). Sea kayaking is amazing in the islands. The hiking trails are quite a challenge, but beautiful when spring wildflowers bloom.Sara Benson
Reserve tickets in advance for a winter whale-watching cruise or a day trip over to Anacapa Island. Boats depart from Ventura, about a half-hour drive from Santa Barbara on southbound US Hwy 101.
- Babcock Winery & Vineyards5175 E Highway 246, Lompoc, CArecommended Babcock Winery & VineyardsThis is a very unassuming little winery - it shares a driveway with Melville next door and you walk past all the winemaking equipment on your way into the tasting room. Don't let that fool you - they ... read moremake some of my favorite wines from this area. The winemakers and people in the tasting room are very friendly and knowledgeable.Traci
not sure if you are into wine tasting but this is one of my favorite wineries of all time!
- Old Mission Santa Barbara2201 Laguna Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93105-3611recommended Old Mission Santa BarbaraThe last time Gayle and I were in Santa Barbara, we decided to a "short" walk from the Fess Parker Doubletree Hotel to Mission Santa Barbara. We both refer to it now as the "Death March" since our ... read morescattered sense of direction sent us all over the hills, until I think we finally stumbled on the Mission by accident. We even stopped and asked for directions a few times, which didn't seem to help much. I think we also somehow missed the direction signs to the Mission that we later saw on our way back. At one point, Gayle looked over at me and said: "It's a good thing for you that this walk was my idea!" And seeing Mission Santa Barbara and the surrounding gardens and park land was well worth the time and trouble. You can't help but being awed by it all (the history, the architecture, the pageantry, etc.) regardless of who you call G-d (or don't). The Mission and the grounds are simply drop dead gorgeous. And afterwards, I guess we were physically (and spiritually) refreshed enough to walk further. So far in fact, that we ended up at Brophy Bros (on the water) for dinner.Eric Brink
Cool History and a Brisk Walk
- McConnells Ice Cream of Santa Barbara201 West Mission Street, Santa Barbara, CArecommended McConnells Ice Cream of Santa BarbaraGayle and I stopped by on the way back to the hotel from dinner. At a distance, McConnell's looks like a long established neighbourhood institution. And it probably is. There was a short line outside ... read morethe door and happy families eating their ice cream or frozen yogurt outside on this nice warm evening. The service was also prompt, helpful, and friendly. What took us by surprise was the quantity served. Gayle's "piled high" medium cup of frozen yogurt would have been XXL anywhere else and my one scoop of a most delicious Brazilian Coffee Chip ice cream was perhaps 1/3 too much in quantity. Gayle and I also enjoyed her custard yogurt, which vaguely reminded my of Leon's in Milwaukee. The selection of both frozen yogurt and ice cream is also impressive, but the next time we'll push for kid size portions.Eric Brink
A Community Classic
- Brophy Brothers119 Harbor Way, Santa Barbara, CA 93109recommended Brophy BrothersChowder to die for and it's definitely worth the wait. It's crowded with mostly locals as far as I can tell and the view is wonderful. Our fish entree was also excellent. The service was friendly and ... read morevery attentive. The only downside is that it is really noisy and hard to carry on a conversation. Definitely worth a return trip.Eric Brink
A favorite of me and Gayle