Spring is the perfect time to take a long weekend jaunt and I know just the place. Santa Barbara is a classic coastal California destination and like its grapes, it’s just ripe for the picking!
You don’t have to be particular about when you visit Santa Barbara as the weather is fantastic year-round. Couple that with its beautiful beaches, Spanish architecture, Santa Ynez Valley wineries, an urban wine trail, nightlife, and some great restaurants and hotels, and you have a vacation in the making!
Wine on Tap in Santa Barbara
When you ask, “what’s on tap” at Santa Barbara bars, you might be surprised to hear pinot noir and sauvignon blanc in the mix with the beer list. The hottest trend is the growing prevalence of wine on tap. The Wine Cask Bar-Café was the first establishment to go this route and remodeled its bar to accommodate wine kegs. They are more sustainable — think of all of the bottles and corks that are spared — and ultimately benefit the consumer by lowering the by-the-glass price point, ensuring freshness and speeding up service.
The Santa Barbara county wineries are located in the Santa Ynez Valley. If you’ve always wanted to do a wine tasting getaway, I think Santa Barbara is ideal because you can experience the wineries along with the beaches and culture of downtown. A word of caution: Plan ahead. Not all the wineries that you may want to visit are located close to each other. So allow for driving time and drive carefully.
Land of Health and Wellness
You will find a talented collection of local lifestyle gurus in Santa Barbara sharing with you “Sustainable, Outdoor, Momentous Adventures.” SOMAdventures gives you choices from paddle surfing to horseback riding and biking.
Download the Taste of Santa Barbara mobile app
Santa Barbara even has its own free mobile application focused on its culinary tourism. “Sip & Savor: A Taste of Santa Barbara” lets mobile users book restaurant reservations and locate gourmet food shops, as well as download directions to wineries and find foodie-friendly deals.
1. Bacara Resort and Spa – This five-star resort is located just outside Santa Barbara on a pristine stretch of beach. It offers a full service spa and golf course. Hotels.com rates from $289/night.
2. Hotel Oceana Santa Barbara – This beachfront hotel offers complimentary breakfast and Wi-Fi. Hotels.com rates from $157/night.
3. Hotel Santa Barbara – Located in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara. This hotel is perfectly situated for shopping and dining and is reasonably priced. Hotels.com rates from $159/night.
Let me know if you visit this area. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!