Santa Barbara is located on a pristine stretch of California’s central coastline. This is a cool coastal destination that I think is the best beach town on the west coast! I fell in love with it as it checks all the boxes for this seasoned travel writer.
Santa Barbara is best known for its stunning, wide, sandy beaches and perfect weather. East Beach is a favorite. It’s located east of historic State Street, Santa Barbara’s main area for shopping and dining. Also, for sensational sunsets, head west to Montecito and check out beautiful Butterfly Beach.
Mother Nature has gifted Santa Barbara its year-round, dreamy, moderate Mediterranean climate with an average of 300 days of sunshine. It has a unique east-west coastline that provides soothing year-round southern exposure. Daily temperatures range from the mid-60s to mid-70s.
Santa Barbara’s fabulous restaurants and wine selection help make it a world-class destination. A few of my favorites are Flor de Maiz, Zaytoon, Jeannine’s, and Grassini Family Winery.
The valleys created by the Santa Ynez Mountains are dotted with rolling vineyards. Santa Barbara’s Urban Wine Trail brings wine from nearby wine country to more than two-dozen tasting rooms.
The California Mission Trail also passes through this area and features the Queen of the Mission Trail – Old Mission Santa Barbara. This historic landmark, established in 1786, is the 10th of 21 California missions set up by the Spanish Franciscans. A great way to get to it is by the Santa Barbara Trolley.
There are many spa and wellness offerings in the area. We had an early morning yoga session with Santa Barbara Beach Yoga, then on to a luxury spa experience at the Salt Cave Spa. This has to be one of the coolest, most unique spa experiences I’ve ever had.
Santa Barbara brings together gorgeous topography, a lovely Spanish influence, laid-back vibe, and upscale sensibility in a way few places can, and of course…that amazing climate. There is no bad time to visit Santa Barbara – the remarkable American Riviera!
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