Santa Barbara is such a beautiful little city. The perfect weather, beautiful buildings, excellent bars and restaurants, and activities makes Santa Barbara the perfect vacation destination. Whether you’re coming from a neighboring city or another state, we want to share with you our adventures and must-see places for visitors.
Where to Stay
Hotel Milo – Located in the heart of Santa Barbara’s beloved West Beach, Hotel Milo is the best place to hang your hat during your stay. We had an excellent mini-vacation at Hotel Milo! Our room was very spacious, clean, comfortable and had a great ocean view. The staff there is incredibly kind, helpful and made our stay that much better.
The hotel really sets itself apart with the free amenities it offers guests. There is a great free continental breakfast with many choices – the fruit, muffins and yogurt were so delicious!Hotel Milo also has beach cruisers that are perfect for getting up and down State Street without a car.
If all that wasn’t enough, Hotel Milo offers wine tasting in the lobby of their beautiful grounds!
Hotel Milo is a very romantic retreat and the perfect spot to unwind during your weekend getaway to Santa Barbara.
What to Eat
Los Agaves – We decided to try a new place while on our trip to Santa Barbara and this place was top of the list. According to some of the stickers at the restaurant, Los Agaves was rated the best Mexican food in Santa Barbara. When and by whom, we’ll probably never know, but we are hard-pressed to disagree!
We came here because our friend suggested it and we are so so happy with the recommendation. There is street parking around the restaurant and the interior is pretty large.
We tried one of their signature molcajetes (which are served in a very large molcajete – aka a stone mortar bowl). We had the Sea and Earth molcajete and it was amazing!
First of all, the portion size is HUGE; definitely enough to split between 2 people. The bowl was akin to a chicken stew – very flavorful, slightly spicy, and piping hot. It was served with three warm corn tortillas and was so delicious. Pair that with the house margarita and you’ve got yourself a very authentic Mexican meal.
What to Do
We started our day at the Santa Barbara Mission. Also known as “Old Mission,” Mission Santa Barbara is the 10th of the 21 California Missions and is a chief landmark within Santa Barbara. For $20, you can explore the Spanish Franciscan architecture, the 230 year-old mausoleum, and the 12-acre gardens.
We rode our bikes there only to find the I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival going on, where beautiful hand drawn works of art are sketched into the Mission Plaza. We had so much fun!
We got back on our bikes and rode down to the Santa Barbara Courthouse. Built in 1929, after a devastating earthquake, the courthouse is a prime example of the Spanish Colonial Architecture found throughout the city. The observation deck is free to visitors & a must see, offering some of the best views of the city.
The courthouse lies one block away from the main State Street, giving easy access to dining and shopping. Also it is about two blocks away from Alice Keck Park, where you can take a bag of stale tortillas and feed the ducks in the pond.
No trip to Santa Barbara is complete without a visit to one of the many beaches in the city. We encourage everyone to go wander and discover the beautiful city on your own! You’re sure to stumble upon some local Santa Barbara gems and best kept secrets.