So you might have read my recent Travel Guide for San Francisco. It was the first stop on my trip down through California. My second stop was Santa Barbara. What a lovely place, a cute little area with a chilled out vibe.
Again I’ll start with Packing tips:
A bikini, a camera and a little jacket for the evenings will suffice! It was really hot during the day and then cooler at night when I was there in June. It’s a pretty small place (I think the main area is only about 1 mile long).
We stayed at a place called The Presidio. It’s technically a motel but it was very nice and a good price (about $129 per night). The woman at the front desk, Lily, was so helpful and friendly! The room was quite comfortable and spacious, the bathroom was also spacious, which I liked a lot. They also have parking (which was included in the price), so if you have a car, it is quite handy.
It has a cute deck with some nice couches & some music for lounging.
(Pictures taken from Tripadvisor)
They have bikes (with locks) you can take (for free) to cycle around. We did this and loved it. I would 100% recommend people to stay here.
Here are some of my favorite places we ate at.
Such an amazing place for breakfast, definitely get the pancakes!
Another great place for breakfast. Attractive layout, nice staff, and reasonable prices.
This restaurant /bar is really good for dinner in the evenings or drinks at night. Serves Mexican and American food. There is a great, lively atmosphere and the food is delicious too!
We ate here one of the evenings and really liked it. They served fish & chips and general American cuisine. Although it was very pleasant inside we actually got the food to go and ate outside on the pier overlooking the water, which was really fabulous. The food & service was very good.
Things to do
There are a good few things to do, and I have listed below my favorite:.
Old Mission Santa Barbara (old church mission)
So as I mentioned above in the hotel section, we used the bikes from the hotel to cycle around. This was my favorite part. We cycled up the Old Mission Santa Barbara. It’s really beautiful there and there is a good view. We also did the self-guided tour which was pretty cool (yes, you will see real nuns – felt like I was back in the midlands of Ireland, haha)
This City Hall is pretty old and really cool inside. We visited it on our cycle around. Not only is is beautiful inside, you can go up to the very top where you can see all of Santa Barbara and the surrounding area.
Stearns Wharf (Pier)
This area is lovely. There are several places to eat, shops and water activities (my favorite)! We got a kayak at the local surf shop and went all around the harbor. You can take them further up the coast where there are often schools of dolphins. Unfortunately, it was quite late in the day when we did this, so we didn’t have enough time to go very far. You can also go around under the pier and see plenty of shellfish.
The beaches are wonderful here, and when we were there in June they were not crowded at all. They have a calm and relaxed atmosphere. We chilled out and threw a frisbee about. We also cycled along the bike trail which is parallel to the beach, and would recommend it for sure.
I was quite surprised by how many main and chain shops /stores were there. I expected all little boutiques, which were there also. Shops such as Forever 21, Benefit, Apple store, Swarovski, Coach, A&F, Yankee Candle, Express, Macy’s and many more!
So there you have it, how my trip to Santa Barbara went and what I liked. I hope you find this helpful if you are planning a trip there. Be sure to follow along on Snapchat (@Everythingobses).