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Best Christmas Shopping in Santa Barbara, 2015



The only thing better than shopping in Santa Barbara is... Christmas shopping in Santa Barbara! This sunny beach town is Santa's idea of paradise, packed with independent boutiques and small shops stocked with unique items for every budget and inclination. 

Let's run through just a few of the million potential gifting scenarios:

Your niece - Treat your rosy-cheeked niece to a giant stuffed bear or fun science kit from Kernohan's Toys, Santa Barbara's oldest toy shop.

Your mom - Go to Plum Goods to find your mom a gift that's as lovely as she is. Packed to the brim with works by local artists, handcrafted jewelry, plush home goods, sweet cards and so much more.

Your boss - Get your boss the gift of heart health this holiday season in the form of a nice bottle of red wine. Les Marchands has vintages that will impress even the pickiest of palettes.

Your special someone - Surprise the love of your life with something silky from A Tropical Affair, Santa Barbara's finest lingerie boutique. Choose a cashmere robe, luxurious pajamas or a lacy set and have the staff gift wrap it for you.

See how easy it is to find something for everyone when you do your Christmas shopping in Santa Barbara? Make your list, grab your wallet and get going!


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A store for shoppers of all ages, whether you are looking for gifts for art afficionados or not. The Santa Barbara Museum of Art Store is home to an assortment of treasures and souvenirs that you won't find anywhere else. Of course there are wonderful art books, but there are also fun children's toys, family games, home decor pieces and handcrafted jewelry collections. Although attached to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, you don't have to pay admission if you just want to pop in and do a little shopping. Located on a charming block of State Street with many other fun shops and restaurants nearby.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: The Santa Barbara Museum of Art store has small trinkets, engaging toys, gorgeous books and larger art pieces.

Geneva's expert tip: You can shop at the museum store, even if you didn't pay for admission to the museum. Enter from the State Street side.

Read more about Santa Barbara Museum of Art Store →




For those with a love of all things vintage, Punch Interieur is a little slice of heaven right on State Street. The candy colors and sparkling surfaces might momentarily overwhelm your senses upon arrival, but as soon as your eyes adjust and have time to focus... oh my, what fun there is to be had! From antique furniture to vintage clothing to retro toys, every piece is lovingly hand-picked by Punch's carefully selected vendors, whose distinct tastes are reflected in every beautifully merchandised booth. This shop also has a great - and frequently hilarious - selection of greeting cards. Park in the city lot out back or walk from a downtown hotel.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: If you're shopping for a vintage-lover this season, there is no better place to go than this carefully-curated boutique.

Geneva's expert tip: Punch is conveniently located next to Arigato - one of the best (and busiest) sushi joints in town - so you can shop while you wait for a table.

Read more about Punch Interieur →


DIANI Living
Photo courtesy of Geneva Ives


DIANI Living is a charming home and gift shop, filled with inspiration for your home, garden and joyous living. They curate selections from brands and makers around the world. In their small space, you will find everything from furniture and Moroccan towels to Japanese gardening scissors and carefully selected one-off vintage finds. There are also locally-produced cards, gorgeous succulent plantings and much, much more. (Seriously, the lamp collection at this store is pretty impressive.) It's a lovely place to visit when you're looking for a gift or nothing in particular. There's free parking right out front and a very cute cafe right next door. Coffee and shopping? Sounds like heaven!

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: There is probably someone stylish on your list who has everything and is impossible to buy for. Go to DIANI Living. Problem solved.

Geneva's expert tip: Get their free gift wrap (it's gorgeous) then head next door for a latte and croissant while you wait.

Read more about DIANI Living →


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Need toys? Who doesn't! Want to support an independent, locally-owned toy shop? Of course! Then Kernohan's Toys is the destination for you. This shop is filled from floor to ceiling with toys, games and activities for children of all ages (even big kids will find something they love here). Service is top notch and very friendly, too. Open since 1954, Kernohan's celebrates the young inquisitive spirit in all of us. Open seven days a week. Purchases over $10 qualify for free gift wrap. Park in the city lot at the rear of the building. There is a second convenient location in Goleta.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Every Christmas shopping list should include a few toys! Don't have a workshop full of elves? Go to Kernohan's. It's the next best thing.

Geneva's expert tip: Toy purchases over $10 are eligible for free gift wrapping.

Read more about Kernohan's Toys →




Head to Jenni Kayne Home for gifts for hosts, design enthusiasts and children. This is the first foray into a home goods for famed Californian fashion designer Jenni Kayne. Located near her women's clothing store in Montecito, Jenni Kayne Home has two floors of wonderful. The first floor is stocked with linens, tablewares, design books and the like. The second floor boasts a fun mix of children's clothing, wooden toys and other whimsical objets. It's basically home to the cutest children's fashions in the world (ok, maybe we're exaggerating, but we LOVE it). Located in the Upper Village, Jenni Kayne Home is close to a great selection of restaurants and shops. Plenty of free parking right out front.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: If you're gifting to friends with impeccable - even intimidating - taste this season, head here for a selection of home goods that's beyond reproach.

Geneva's expert tip: Pop upstairs to discover the cutest selection of children's clothes and gifts you ever did see.

Read more about Jenni Kayne Home →




Give the gift of vinyl this season. Records still exist. Better yet, new ones are constantly in production. But where do you go to buy them? Why, the local record store, of course. Enter Warbler Records & Goods, Santa Barbara's most awesome (in this expert's opinion) music shop. Here you will find stacks and rows and heaps of new and used vinyl, to suit almost every musical preference. What? You don't have a record player? Don't fret, they sell those, too. And let's not forget the "Goods" portion of their name. The front of the shop boasts a thoughtfully curated selection of interesting things, from lamps and books to stationery and other homey gifts.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Your very cool nephew wants vinyl for Christmas. Your dad still uses CDs. You need awesome stocking stuffers under $20.

Geneva's expert tip: Concert tickets also make great gifts. Check out the corkboard out front for info about upcoming local events.

Read more about Warbler Records & Goods →




Looking for a one-of-a-kind gift? Do you enjoy antiques, jewelry and whimsical home goods? You do?! Well then Lewis & Clark is the destination for you. Located in the charming La Arcada courtyard, this small shop is packed with treasures that you'll want to take home with you. There are Santa Barbara cookbooks, charming aprons and tea towels in addition to stacks of dish ware, fun accessories and a wonderful selection of cards. After October, Lewis & Clark becomes your one-stop Christmas shop, too, showcasing a collection of hand blown holiday ornaments that would be hard to find elsewhere. Truly a unique shopping experience that you shouldn't miss!

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Lewis & Clark is a mecca for thoughtful and unique gifts at all prices. Ideal for all the moms, grandmas and aunts on your list.

Geneva's expert tip: Go to Lewis & Clark starting in late September to discover the best selection of holiday and Christmas decorations south of the North Pole.

Read more about Lewis & Clark →




Bottles make great gifts (and fit perfectly in most stockings)! This fun wine bar and merchant located in the heart of Santa Barbara's Funk Zone offers a mix of local and international wines for tasting and for sale. There is also a menu with a selection of elegant nibbles, like a sandwich au jambon and a charcuterie plate served with pickled vegetables. Cool decor and high ceilings will make you feel like you're in a hip neighborhood in a big, urban city. Enjoy complimentary valet parking or park in a nearby city lot. Many other shops, restaurants and wine bars are within easy walking distance, as are the train station, beach and a few hotels.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Looking to impress the snobby imbiber in your life? The helpful team at Les Marchands wine shop will steer you in the right direction.

Geneva's expert tip: Plan your shopping trip when you're feeling a little peckish. You can order a glass of something and a small plate while you shop.

Read more about Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant →


Plum Goods
Photo courtesy of Plum Goods


Plum Goods is Santa Barbara's only store that features recycled, handmade and fair trade goods exclusively. Owner Amy Cooper believes you should "love where you live - your home, your town, your planet - and love what you give - of yourself, to yourself, and to others." To bring her vision to life, Cooper sources merchandise high and low (and local), ensuring that her shop is absolutely brimming with treasures. At any given time, you will find this unique boutique stocked with art, textiles, glassware, jewelry, toys, cards and home furnishings that are 100% lovely... and 0% granola. Visit Plum Goods whenever you need to find that perfect gift. The friendly staff will even help you brainstorm!

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Voted the best gift shop in town, this independent boutique has something for everyone... even the family pup.

Geneva's expert tip: Plum Goods is the place to go for a gift that's distinctly "Santa Barbara." From locally-made soap to art to home decor pieces.

Read more about Plum Goods →


A Tropical Affair Lingerie & Bikinis
Photo courtesy of Heather Taylor


Looking for a gift for your girlfriend, your wife or yourself? If you're in search of an itsy, bitsy, teeny, weeny, yellow polka dot bikini (or pair of frilly panties), this boutique is the place to go! A shopping mainstay in Santa Barbara for over a decade, A Tropical Affair carries designer lingerie and swimwear brands from around the world. Its sunny, seashell bedecked interior - complete with bamboo fixtures, pink silk cabanas and comfortable seating aka "man chairs" - makes it the perfect place to drop in for a little pick me up or a whole new Santa Barbara wardrobe!

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Oh Santa baby! This boutique has the most indulgent sweet nothings for that special lady in your life.

Geneva's expert tip: The staff here will expertly wrap your gifts, helping you check one more thing off your to-do list.

Read more about A Tropical Affair Lingerie & Bikinis →


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Meet Geneva Ives

Geneva Ives moved to Santa Barbara in 2000 on a whim (ok, and to go to college) and never looked back. She loves Santa Barbara because it’s really one of America’s greatest small towns - it...  More About Geneva

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