What’s a mere 2 hour drive when the gorgeous Pacific Ocean is the view? Say goodbye to urban sprawl and hello to quaint coastal living during an unforgettable day trip to Santa Barbara, just 95 miles north of Los Angeles.
Santa Barbara Palm Trees — Photo courtesy of Gabriel Millos
Famished from the drive, stop by Tupelo Junction Café (1218 State St.) for a bite, voted “Best Brunch 2012” by SantaBarbara.com Restaurant Guide. Try mouth-watering favorites like a pumpkin oatmeal waffle with caramelized bananas, Dungeness crab cakes with potato hash, and vanilla French toast with berry syrup.
Pack your sunscreen and wide-brimmed hat because you’re about to descend upon one of the most picturesque beaches on the West Coast, Goleta Beach and State Park. Fun for the entire family, enjoy the BBQ picnic areas including volleyball, horseshoes and children’s playground. Sunbathe on the sand to your heart’s content or burn some breakfast calories by walking along any number of trails leading up from the beach.
Goleta Beach and State Park — Photo courtesy of Marcus Bernales
After dusting the sand from your clothes, pop on over to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art (1130 State St.) to get your art and culture fill. Housing 27,000 works of art from Asia, Europe, and the Americas, SBMA’s collection rivals that of the J. Paul Getty Museum’s in Los Angeles. Check out upcoming, exciting exhibitions like Pasadena to Santa Barbara: A Selected History of Art in Southern California and Portrayal/Betrayal.
It’s time to hit the Urban Wine Trail! Check out 15 different wineries all within a couple downtown blocks from each other. Connoisseurs and first-timers can learn about and taste a variety of wines from the best vineyards in Santa Barbara. Kalyra Winery (212 State St.) specializes in food compatible white, red and rose varietals reflecting the unique characteristics of the grape and where it’s grown. Oreana (205 Anacapa St.) features a winery, tasting room, and art gallery all rolled into one. Don’t miss the legendary Santa Barbara Winery (202 Anacapa St.), the oldest winery in the county, founded in 1962.
Liberally libated, dinner awaits at Seagrass Restaurant (30 East Ortega St.) offering fresh Santa Barbara coastal cuisine fine dining with optional wine pairing. As a charter member of the Sustainable Seafood Program, Seagrass pulls its seafood straight from the Pacific Ocean and works closely with local Farmer’s Markets to ensure high-quality and organic faire whenever possible. Sample the Alsation style foie gras, confit of duck leg, or filet mignon with creamy leek and you won’t be disappointed. Reserve an evening table Sundays through Thursdays for a special three-course market menu for $35.