Setting sail for a Santa Barbara vacation? Then you'll want to pick up some souvenirs to match. Fortunately, we have just the place for you!
If you're sick of bringing home cheap shot glasses, tacky visors and silly magnets, then head to MATE GALLERY for something chicer than chic.
This secret spot is part art gallery, part vintage shop and part gift store. It's the perfect destination when you're looking for a trinket for that hard-to-buy for person (even if that person is you).
Vintage treasures and one-of-a-kind art share space at MATE GALLERY in Montecito — Photo courtesy of MATE GALLERY
Co-owners Matt Albiani and Ron Brand join forces to curate a collection with a New England feel right here on California's Central Coast. Located in the upscale neighborhood of Montecito – just a 10-minute drive from downtown Santa Barbara – MATE GALLERY is home to treasures big and small.
The inside of the store feels a little like the cabin of a boat, with wood paneling and weathered textiles here and there. A successful trip to MATE will often send you home with a little piece of Nantucket by way of Santa Barbara.
Perfectly worn denim shirts share shelf space with paintings of boats and old copies of The Hardy Boys. You'll also find vintage maritime flags, apparel and memorabilia mixed with locally made grooming products, elegant accessories and fragrant candles.
Albiani is a photographer as well and showcases his work here, displayed on the walls with a mix of old oil paintings of sailboats and outdated maps of California.
Other fun finds at MATE include rope-wrapped surfboards (You can custom order them.); unusual sea-creature light fixtures; and sea-weathered anchors.
MATE is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The store is just a short drive from Butterfly Beach and other top Montecito attractions.
Albiani and Brand have also recently opened a downtown Santa Barbara showroom; we recommend you call for details. If you can't make it to either location, visit their website to choose from a smaller selection of items online.
If you start to feel peckish while shopping at MATE, check out this list of the 10 best restaurants in Montecito. Then head over to the Ty Lounge for a delicious cocktail at the poshest bar in town; it has a great view of the ocean. We promise you won't be disappointed!