The California Riviera :: Santa Barbara

I spent January through June living up in the mountains of Santa Barbara between the beaches and the wine country.. AKA heaven. They call this area The California Riviera in reference to the placement of the mountains which mimics the French Riviera and is one of the many reasons you find such incredible wines all over the region. It's also the reason you have dramatic pink sunsets and morning mist which comes off the Pacific and dances along the mountain tops creating the most perfect environment for Pinot Noir grapes to grow. There are a handful of amazing hotels to choose form. My favorite being El Encanto. Perched just 10 minutes above town. The views from this property are incredible and it feels like you are miles away but its just a short drive to all the best spots to shop and dine. For a smaller more intimate property just a stroll from State Street, check out the Simpson Inn. Reach out to book and receive VIP perks and more of my favorite tips!

 Poolside at El Encanto

Poolside at El Encanto

 El Encanto Suites Sprawled out along the Hillside

El Encanto Suites Sprawled out along the Hillside

Some of my Favorite Restaurants in the City :

-The Lark, delicious and unique plates in the Funk Zone. Stop by Les Marchands beforehand for a delicious cocktail or a great bottle of wine on the patio.

-Sun Sushi, this is a newer restaurant with the best Sushi in town. It's much more casual then some of the other bustling Sushi Restaurants, the sushi is simple, classic, and fresh!

-Stop into The Public Market! The Empty Bowl Gourmet Noodle Bar and Corazon Cocina have some of the best food on State Street. Also stop in at Wine Plus Beer for a tasting!

-For the best Croissant and Cup of Coffee stop in at Handlebar, but be patient as there may be a line :)

 Sunrise from the Mountain Tops of Santa Barbara on your way to Wine Country

Sunrise from the Mountain Tops of Santa Barbara on your way to Wine Country

For the ideal Santa Barbara Itinerary be sure to build in a couple of days to drive out to the wine country. There are so many incredible wineries to visit including Andrew Murray, Rusack, Fess Parker and the list goes on. My best advice is to stop in at C'est Cheese and grab your favorite meats and cheeses for a winery picnic after you've had a tasting or two. It's the perfect afternoon to share with friends and loved ones amongst the vines!

 Zaca Mesa Winery

Zaca Mesa Winery