Travel Guide: Santa Barbara in 24 Hours

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The second stop on our California road trip was Santa Barbara. While Nick had been there before, I had never experienced, so I was stoked. Whenever I mentioned it to people, they would always ooh and ah over SB, and now I know why. We were only there for roughly 24 hours, so I'm going to give you an overview of our time spent there and then give you recommendations in general. Here goes!

 

TUESDAY:

Lunch at Sandbar: We flew into LA the night prior and then drove to SB the next day, just in time for lunch. We had tacos and yummy margaritas!

Ice Cream at McConnell's Fine Ice Cream: For an after lunch treat, we walked to McConnell's! I had wild berry chip and Nick had some toffee flavor. Both delicious! They have been making ice cream since 1949, so you know it's good;)

Checked in at The Cheshire Cat Inn: We stayed at the most darling bed and breakfast! It was the perfect location, amount of space, and hospitality. 

Walked East Beach: It's the closest beach to The Cheshire Cat Inn and was the perfect little pre-dinner jaunt. 

Drinks at Brophy Bros: It's right on water! You can eat there as well, but we just had cocktails on the top deck.

Dinner at Bouchon: We sat on the patio of this adorable little restaurant. The food was amazing and the staff was impeccable. We had the field mushrooms, the nectarine salad, and the duck. Everything was WONDERFUL.

 

WEDNESDAY

Breakfast at The Cheshire Cat Inn: In true B and B fashion we had a delightful breakfast, before beginning the day. We packed everything up and got on our way.

Coffee from Handlebar Coffee Roasters: Nick needed his morning joe ;)

Toured the Santa Barbara Courthouse: This was on my list of MUSTS just because it loked so pretty. Spoiler alert!! IT WAS. Plus, it's free to tour!  It was the 4th of July when we were there, so there were decorations and lawn chairs out in preparation for fireworks.

Lunch at Jeannine's Bakery: Talk about a yummy sandwich shop! We ate out on the patio and it was perfection. The special that day was the Cubano and it was tasty.

Chocolate from Chocolats du CaliBressan: We wanted something sweet and this fit the bill! They have a variety, so there will be something for everyone.

Coffee from The French Press: One more coffee stop, before we began the drive to Santa Barbara! I grabbed a peach tea and a kombucha here as well.

 

See? Like I said, pretty quick, but the perfect little trip! Here's a deeper look, with more specific recommendations:

 

WHERE TO STAY:

The Cheshire Cat Inn

 

WHERE TO EAT:

  • Barbareno (California's central coast cuisin)
  • Boathouse at Hendry's Beach (Seafood, open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner!)
  • Bouchon (central coast wine focused cuisine)
  • Brophy Bros (seafood and clam bar, has cool rooftop/deck bar, overlooks water)
  • C'est Cheese (cheese shop)
  • Finch and Fork (farm to table American cuisine)
  • Handlebar Coffee Roasters (coffee/pastries)
  • Joe's Cafe (sandwich shop)
  • Jeannine's (sandwich shop)
  • Juice Ranch (cold pressed juice)
  • La Super Rica Taqueria
  • Lilly's Taqueria
  • Lucky Penny (pizza) 
  • McConnell's Fine Ice Cream 
  • Mesa Verde (organic, GF, V options)
  • Montecito Coffee Shop
  • Mony's Mexican Food
  • Pane e Vino (Italian)
  • Renaud's Patisserie and Bistro (breakfast or lunch)
  • Sakana (sushi)
  • Sandbar Mexican Restaurant
  • The Lark (tapas style cuisine)
  • The French Press (coffee / pastries)

 

WHAT TO DO:

  • Beaches

Butterfly Beach (in Montecito, next to the Four Seasons)

East Beach

Santa Barbara Beach

  • State Street (the downtown area - tons of shops and eats)
  • Drive around (honestly it's really fun just to see all the houses and beach life. we did drive around where the mudslides occurred and that was heart wrenching to see in person. I would have loved to see San Ysidro Ranch, but it was closed due to mudslides. All that history... so sad.)
  • Santa Barbara Courthouse (tour for free!)
  • Santa Barbara Public Market (dining options and merchant booths)
  • The Santa Barbara Farmer's Market (there are different locations, but one occurs Tuesday-Sunday!)
  • Salt Cave (yoga studio and spa in actual salt caves!)
  • Old Mission (Tour a mission from the 1700's)
  • Inspiration Point (popular hiking trail)

 

Have you ever been to Santa Barbara, California? Do you have any favorites I need to check out next time? Let me know in the comments below. Here's to hoping my next trip there is longer than a day!

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