Nicknamed “The American Riviera,” Santa Barbara is a great place for a weekend jaunt or a full fledged vacation. Famed for having at least 300 sunny days a year (bring your shades!) and a mere 100 miles north of L.A., it’s long been a favorite retreat for Hollywood’s elite and many have even bought homes here (Oprah, Rob Lowe, Gwyneth Paltrow and Drew Barrymore, to name a few.)
From the surfers dotting the Pacific Ocean and the hiking trails in the Santa Ynez Mountains, to the palm tree lined streets and the Spanish architecture in between, the whole place just has a cool, Cali laid back vibe that’s hard to resist. Any place that’s credited with introducing the Mexican avocado to America is fine by me.
Here, our favorite places to stay, shop, eat and do in this sunny playground.