Day 1 - 9 Jul 2021
Content: I took the California Amtrak train to Santa Barbara. I highly recommend it over driving! We paid a little extra for the business class seating, and got free coffee, breakfast pastries, and snacks. This Pacific Surfliner train runs up and down the coast, with some awesome beach views right from the train. The Santa Barbara train station is very centrally located as well. It was about a 10 minute walk from our hotel. We dropped our bags off at the hotel reception desk and headed out for lunch.
Content: We had lunch at Flor de Maiz, an excellent Mexican restaurant centrally located by the beach. I loved the contemporary decor with classic traditional accents. The enchiladas were delicious, and they had amazing craft cocktails.
Content: We walked a bit down the street and stopped for coffee at Chad’s Cafe. Lovely spot with a nice bright outdoor seating area. Crowded for weekend brunch as well, which is always a good sign.
Content: Later, we walked up to State Street to the beautiful Hotel Californian for cocktails and dinner. Located right in the heart of Santa Barbara’s infamous Funk Zone, this place did not disappoint. We had cocktails at Djinn Bar, which has a renowned mixologist on staff. The cocktail I had was one of the best I’ve ever experienced! The black and white upscale decor was fantastic as well.
Content: We had dinner at Hotel Californian’s restaurant called Blackbird. The decor was sleek and upscale, and absolutely fabulous. Great cocktails and entrees.
Content: We stayed at the Casa Del Mar Inn. This is lovely boutique hotel is centrally located, right by the beach and plenty of shops and restaurants. Beautiful Spanish architecture, and a cute courtyard with fire pit.
Day 2 - 10 Jul 2021
Content: We took a short Uber ride over to the Shoreline Beach Cafe. The dining tables are located right on the beach! So much fun to have breakfast with your feet in the sand. Wonderful brunch cocktails as well. We ordered the Bloody Mary and the Mojito.
Content: We walked just a few steps out to Leadbetter Beach. Beautiful summer day with cool waves. Nice location to relax on the sand or go surfing.
Content: We took a brief short walk over to the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum. There is a small fee to enjoy the full museum, but we were able to take the elevator up to the top for free to get some good city views. There is a nice lounge up top for seating. There were tons of restaurant near by as well.
Content: Right next to the Maritime Museum is the harbor where lots of people park their boats. There is an option to catch an adorable little water taxi called Lil Toot. It’s $5 per person, and it takes you on a 10-15 min boat ride to Stearns Warf. We saw some pelicans and a sea lion along the way. Very friendly boat staff, and they sell water, snacks, and alcohol on board.
Content: We arrived by water taxi to Stearns Warf, and walked along the warf back to the shore. There are great views of the water, spots for fishing, great restaurants, and cute souvenir and candy shops.
Content: We walked over to Santa Mezcal restaurant for some appetizers and cocktails. This spot is right in the Funk Zone, and is close to lots of other good restaurants and bars. This place was pretty busy and doing well. Amazing cocktails and guacamole.
Content: We then walked over to Test Pilot. This spot is a tiki bar, with a lovely upscale tiki theme inside. Great cocktails in funny cute glassware. Tip: be sure to get there early to secure a spot inside. It was very crowded on a Saturday evening, so we had to sit outside at a picnic table. For the full tiki experience, I recommend sitting inside.
Content: We walked to The Lark for dinner. Excellent restaurant with a great ambience. Lovely outdoor seating with string lights and fire pits. Delicious food and cocktails. I would definitely recommend this spot. Be sure to book a reservation ahead of time.
Content: We stayed a second night at the beautiful Casa Del Mar Inn. The fire pit in the courtyard is a great place to end the day.
Day 3 - 11 Jul 2021
Content: We took the Amtrak train back to Orange County, California. We booked the business class seating again, and enjoyed the free coffee, pastries, and snacks on board. Great views of the cities as you ride back home.