Santa Barbara is a fabulous oceanfront city situated on the central California coast between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Mediterranean architecture reflects the city’s Spanish Colonial influences. Explore the lively downtown district, enjoy the beautiful beaches, and peruse the art galleries. The city is also widely known for its numerous urban wineries. But the gorgeous city doesn’t only cater to expensive tastes; there are countless activities that fit into any travelers’ budget.
The Hotel Milo is a chic, vibrant hotel that offers beautiful oceanfront accommodations. The Spanish Colonial architecture and natural beauty of the surrounding area create the perfect atmosphere for a relaxing vacation. Enjoy the open garden and courtyard with outdoor pools, cabanas, and a hot tub. It’s across the street from the beach and just a short walk away from downtown. Book the Wine Tasting Package to get a taste of Santa Barbara. The package includes a wine tour for two at four local urban wineries, a bottle of wine upon arrival, and complimentary breakfast.
Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens
Surround yourself with tranquility and lush greenery at the Alice Keck Park Memorial Garden. It’s an excellent place to take in fresh air and soak in the beauty of nature. Stroll through the park and enjoy the gazebo, koi pond, and picnic areas. The botanical collection boasts over 75 different species of trees and plants. There’s a sensory area that features plants with unique scents and contrasting textures, allowing visitors with visual impairments to appreciate the garden. Bring a few pieces of bread because the central pond is full of ducks and turtles that love visitors!
Arroyo Burro Beach Park
Spend your day at Arroyo Burro Beach Park, known to locals as Hendry’s beach, and take advantage of Santa Barbara’s consistently sunny weather. It’s surrounded by beautiful cliffs and covered in soft sand. The pet-friendly beach is ideal for swimming, surfing, or just laying out on a blanket. The surrounding park area has BBQ grills, picnic areas, equestrian trails, and a snack bar. The entire park spans almost 7 acres! Keep your eye to the sky and you might spot hang gliders or paragliders launching from the nearby cliffs. Come towards the end of the day to watch the gorgeous sunset.
Santa Barbara Museum of Art
The Santa Barbara Museum of Art holds over 27,000 works that span over 5,000 years of human creativity. The diverse collection is comprised of pieces from numerous Asian, European, and American artists. Peruse paintings, photographs, antiquities, sculptures, and so much more. The museum brings world-renowned exhibitions to Santa Barbara and holds the most Monet paintings on the west coast! They also hold events, art talks, and educational programs throughout the year. One exhibition we suggest is Looking In, Looking Out: Latin American Photography. Talented Latin American photographers share a glimpse of the life in their native regions. Admission to the entire museum is free through April 16, 2016.
Inspiration Point is a small summit that provides unparalleled views of Santa Barbara, the Channel Islands, and the Pacific Ocean. You’ll find plenty of locals walking, running, or biking on the surrounding roads. The hike is mostly uphill and less than 2 miles from start to finish. It begins at Tunnel Trail and reaches an elevation of 800 feet. There are plenty of rocks at the peak that you can sit on while you marvel at the beauty of the landscape.
Downtown Santa Barbara is a vibrant historic art district. It’s home to various shops, restaurants, galleries, and entertainment venues. Wander through the neighborhood and appreciate the outdoor courtyards, beautiful plazas, and brick-lined sidewalks. The colorful Mediterranean architecture is truly stunning. Public parking is free for the first 75 minutes. It’s a great place to enjoy a simple afternoon walk or have a seat and watch the crowds of people go by. There are also numerous events held in the downtown area each month. Many of them are free and showcase local talent. Stop by Fuzion Gallery and see the Paint & Metal exhibit which features mixed media, large-scale metal works by local artist RUSO. Check out the full event calendar online.