CJ's Fave Santa Barbara Spots!
- by CJLA Admin
When it comes to traveling, we often think big. We like thinking of traveling across the country to a beautiful tourist destination, or even going abroad across the world. But, did you know that you can experience the same excitement and adventures of travel right near home?! Exploring local spots can uncover hidden gems and new favorites! And for our founder Carly, there's been no better local spot to explore than Santa Barbara! If you're looking for the perfect way to spend an afternoon, a full day, or a weekend, Santa Barbara is bursting with amazing shops, stops, and hidden wonders! Let's hear from Carly for the best spots to visit in Santa Barbara.
Hey y'all! CJ here! Santa Barbara is one of my most favorite spots to visit! It’s definitely my most visited staycation location! There is so much to do and see, and if you’re heading up for a weekend here are a few of my must see, do and eat spots!
Santa Barbara Sailing - If you were looking for an awesome sailing adventure in the ocean I highly recommend Santa Barbara sailing company! They are such a great group and they have such amazing boat charters! With family or friends, Santa Barbara Sailing is perfect for special occasions or fun coastal adventures! If you're curious about what they offer, or if you want to book your next adventure, you can check them out here!
Montecitio Hot Springs Hike - This is a really fun hike that we have done a few times as a family! The view is beautiful from the top and the Hot Springs are so unique and cool!
The Santa Barbara Zoo - This is a great spot to visit with little ones! It’s a much smaller zoo than most! But they have tons of animals and there is still so much to see! They have an awesome big open play area as well as a fun train that goes around the entire property! I definitely recommend doing the train; our family has loved it over the years, even as my kids get bigger!
Places to Stay
Kimpton Canary - This is an awesome spot right in the heart of town! Everything is walkable and the hotel is so pretty! We have stayed there a few times and love all the little details! The restaurant downstairs is delicious for breakfast or dinner and the rooftop pool is a perfect spot to spend a sunny day! If you’re looking for a nicer spot but also relatively reasonable to stay I would recommend this one!
Rosewood Miramar Beach Hotel + Restaurants - If you’re looking for a fun splurge spot to stay, this location is so beautiful! It is right along the coast and has so much to offer! The service is phenomenal and they do such an amazing job of hospitality! If you’re just looking for a fun place to visit for the day I highly recommend lunch or dinner at one of their beautiful restaurants on property! The amazing views and atmosphere is too good to turn down!
Delicious Food + Sweet Treats
Field + Fort - This place is one of a kind! I love that it’s two amazing things in one! It’s a delicious café with a fabulous vanilla latte and awesome breakfast! Plus, it has a specialty home, kitchen and garden store with so much to shop and see!
Bettina - This is hands-down my favorite pizza place in all of the land! Bettina is a Michelin rated restaurant and it’s basically a fine dining pizza joint! Beware: their pizzas + crust is so delicious, you’ll be hooked! And their Caesar salad is out of this world! You literally cannot go wrong with anything on their menu! Pro tip: reservations are encouraged, as it is very hard to get a table! If you’re going by last minute I highly recommend grabbing takeout! You can grab a picnic from them and take it to Butterfly Beach just down the road for an amazing dinner and sunset!
Honor Bar - This is one of my favorite restaurants in Montecito and everything on the menu is delicious! My family loves the French dip and the chicken salad! Oh, and you might want to also try the dip duo! It’s pretty delicious too!
Rori’s Ice cream - Talk about delicious homemade ice cream! Rori's is a great spot! They are located right next-door to Bettina so you might want to finish off your dinner with ice cream next door! My family loves their malt ball ice cream as well as all of their seasonal flavors! There’s always something new and delicious at Rori's!
Funk Zone - This area is bursting with unique shops and delicious restaurants! There’s so many fun places to visit, eat and see around here!
La Paloma - This is a delicious restaurant that we just discovered recently! Their menu is super unique and the food is fantastic!
Best Shops + Stops
Pierre Lafond Market - I love the area that this is located in Montecito! This is such a beautiful neighborhood village and I always enjoy popping by this local grocery! They have a great ready to go food as well as smoothies and coffee’s and things to make a picnic with! It’s a classic stop that's been in the neighborhood forever, and the grassy area outside is the perfect spot to picnic lunch!
Vintage Shops + Estate Sales - Don't tell anyone... but I love hunting around Santa Barbara for vintage treasures! And this stop is definitely one of my favorite secret spots for finding beautiful one-of-a-kind things! When you’re driving around town on the weekend look for estate sale signs or vintage shops! Be sure to check them out; you never know what treasures are there to be found!
The Well - Talk about inspiration - the well is an amazing spot! They have collected and curated antique treasures from all over the world and have them incredibly displayed all over their outdoor garden! Whether you’re on the hunt for fancy furniture or not, just pop in and take a look it’s worth it! I guarantee you will walk out inspired!
Porch - This home store in Summerland is a beauty! They have such special unique pieces and curate it all so well! Our dining room table was found here! And it’s one of my most favorite pieces in my house! I think they actually still carry it as well!
I could go on and on, and I'm just barely scratching the surface! There are honestly soo many amazing spots and hidden gems in Santa Barbara, but these are just a few I thought I would share! Happy travels!