Santa Barbara California: High-End Hotels and People Watching

Lower State Street, Santa Barbara, California.
Lower State Street, Santa Barbara, California.

You know your city is well off when your downtown sidewalks are decorative red brickIt’s these little details that will catch the eye of visitors and locals alike and part of what makes Santa Barbara California so special.

Come soak up the sunshine and the pleasant ocean views on your next vacation, business trip, or bleisure opportunity. 

Foodies, get psyched– food tours are one of Santa Barbara’s specialties. Cruise downtown at a leisurely pace on your fat tire cruiser bike as you sample bits from the city’s distinctive and eclectic restaurant scene.

Don’t leave without visiting one of the areas many wineries; Carr Winery, Jamie Slone Wines, or the classically named Santa Barbara winery to name a few. The climate is perfect for a variety of wines, but this one is best known for its fruit-driven Chardonnay. If that’s not so much your style, blends of Grenache-Syrah or Pinot Noir are a few other favorites.

Stearns Wharf Dolphin Fountain, Santa Barbara, California.

Stearns Wharf Dolphin Fountain, Santa Barbara, California.

 Families will appreciate Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone, an area rich with art galleries and boutiques with the up-to-date styles of California (and wine of course).

The zone is home to brewpubs, wine tastings, art galleries, and trendy boutiques. The region used to be much less visually appealing, comprised of mainly industrial warehouses. What was once a hub for the fishing industry during the nineteenth century is now turning into an upscale spot that is attracting eclectic artists and business owners.

Pass by the well-known Dolphin fountain and take a jaunt down Stearns Wharf. Other (more outdoorsy) activities in Santa Barbara include hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding,  surfing, and fishing. Don’t forget your bathing suit, the water’s almost warm enough to swim in. Not quite.

A tour of the newly opened Rosewood Miramar Beach
A tour of the newly opened Rosewood Miramar Beach

There is no shortage of hotels and lodgings, whatever your budget. Those with a few extra bucks to spare should consider the new Miramar Hotel. Located in the affluent community of Montecito, (home of Oprah Winfrey and plenty of other billionaires)  the hotel is marked by many tells of its creator, Rick Caruso, including photos of his four kids above the bar to his family crest strewn throughout the modern beach styled get-away.

You might even get to glimpse the talented Leonardo Dicaprio, spotted at the resort not too long ago. Rooms start at $800 a night, with the grande suite coming in at a whopping $5,000 a night.

Other lodgings to appreciate include Hotel California with a Middle Eastern theme and the Santa Barbara Inn, recently renovated with views of the beach and mountains.

Santa Barbara resident Arthur von Wiesenberger shares his favorite restaurants in the city.
Santa Barbara resident Arthur von Wiesenberger shares his favorite restaurants in the city.

Fresh Takes on food

In a feature story on GoNOMAD Travel, local Arthur von Weisenberger shared his personal favorites of his hometown.  There are plenty of new options to grab a bite at in Santa Barbara.

Santa Mezcal is restaurateur Carlos Luna of Los Agaves Restaurants’ latest creation. The cuisine puts a Santa Barbara spin on traditional Mexican flavors by mixing in local and seasonal ingredients of the Santa Barbara region in. “The food is terrific, it’s very authentic,” Wiesenberger said.

Sit outside on the terrace to people-watch State Street’s pedestrians as you indulge in bold, exciting dishes.

“You can sit on the street and watch all the action on State Street– or you could sit inside and watch all the action at the bar,” Wiesenberger said.

Don’t delay, make a reservation today for hotels in Santa Barbara California.