Are you pondering over the idea of moving to Santa Barbara? Let this Redfin article be your insider guide, unveiling the secrets of this picturesque coastal haven, as shared by its vibrant residents. This isn’t your typical city guide; it’s a treasury of local insights, revealing everything from exceptional dining experiences and enchanting bookstores to lush hiking trails and historic hotels.
As you search for apartments for rent or homes for sale in Santa Barbara, remember that this city offers more than just a place to live—it’s a gateway to a community brimming with adventure and exploration. Join us as we delve into the unique experiences and treasures that await you in this picturesque paradise.
1. Have a biodynamic glass of wine at Satellite
If you’re searching for the perfect blend of vegetarian plates and wine, Jill Ettinger, co-founder and editorial director of Ethos, recommends Satellite. “There, you’ll find organic, local produce, and biodynamic wine for a meal that doesn’t disappoint.” Ettinger also suggests trying the vegan mac and cheese, stuffed tacos, or yoga pants salad–and be sure to grab a bottle of their 2020 Sylvain Pataille Aligoté Burgundy as a memento.
2. Grab a craft beer at Night Lizard Brewing Company
Beer enthusiasts, rejoice! Shannon Fennell suggests Night Lizard Brewing Company to “discover a diverse range of handcrafted beers, from hoppy IPAs to smooth stouts, each crafted with passion, sustainability, and precision.” And you don’t have to be a beer aficionado to enjoy all this local brewery has to offer; all are welcome.
3. Enjoy a delicious cup of coffee at Handlebar Coffee
Tristan Tracy with Tristan Tracy Photography recommends Handlebar Coffee. “It’s the best cup of coffee in the Santa Barbara area,” says Tracy. From competitive cycling to multiple storefronts, Handlebar Coffee roasts quality beans daily.
4. Join the Taste Santa Barbara Food Tour
If you’re looking for an all-in-one experience, Tristan Tracy also suggests checking out the Taste Santa Barbara Food Tour. “The owner is a blast, and the food is amazing. You’ll eat the best of downtown Santa Barbara and learn about this town’s history.”
5. Spend the afternoon at Chauncer’s Bookstore
Author and freelance writer Audry Fryer recommends a hidden gem for book lovers, Chaucer’s Bookstore. Fryer describes the store as a, “cute independent bookstore with a cozy atmosphere, friendly and knowledgeable staff, and an extensive collection of varying genres.” You can even find a selection of journals, puzzles, games, and magazines. There is truly something for everyone.
6. Go on a beachfront pottery date
If you’re searching for a fun, creative, and romantic date, look no further than Sarah Klapps’s two-hour “Clay Date.” Klapp offers private pottery lessons for two in her beachside art studio where “guests will learn how to make pottery on the wheel and take home their finished work.” All materials are included; bring yourself and someone special for an enjoyable experience.
7. Stroll through the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
With over a thousand species of plants, Shannon Fennel recommends exploring the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. “Explore winding trails that lead you through lush landscapes, vibrant wildflowers, and fragrant gardens, igniting your senses along the way,” says Fennel. If you’re searching to spend the day captivated by the beauty of wandering through California’s native plants, this is the perfect place.
8. Spend the day at Alameda Park
If your children are eager for a day of entertainment, look no further than Kid’s World at Alameda Park.”This 8,000 sqft playground is just one of the amazing sections at Alameda Park and is home to beautiful trees and also boasts a great way to spend a morning in Santa Barbara,” says Tristan Tracy.
9. Experience luxury at the Rosewood Miramar Hotel
Whether you’re briefly in town searching for your next home or have family visiting after you’ve settled, Tracy also recommends a stay at Rosewood Miramar Hotel just outside of Santa Barbara city limits. “This historic property was recently rebuilt into a glamorous and lavish estate hotel.” Tracy shares how she’s often captivated by the fantastic boardwalk views, cocktails, and guest service–claiming that “it really is the whole experience of the highest-end hotel in Montecito.”