In light of the recent tragedies in our neighboring Central Coast communities of Santa Barbara and Montecito, we can’t help but feel sorrow and heartache over the lives lost, homes destroyed and the hard times many businesses are feeling due to the destruction and road closures. Though our Central Coast community is strong, it will take some time to recover, and many local businesses are sadly feeling the effects of the loss. Now more than ever, Santa Barbara needs our support as it continues to move forward past the hard times, so if you’re looking to visit Santa Barbara, now’s the time to do so!
Santa Barbara Must-Dos:
No trip to Santa Barbara would be complete without a visit to the wharf and harbor. Along with gorgeous scenery, you’ll find fresh seafood, a beachside bike path, opportunities to see sea life and friendly locals and tourists alike. Grab a glass of wine at Deep Sea Winery on Stearns’ Wharf before savoring the lobster tacos at the Santa Barbara Shellfish Company. Afterwards, jump aboard the Lil’ Toot water taxi and head to the harbor for clam chowder with a view at Brophy Bros. before walking along the sandspit to admire the harbor boats on one side and vast ocean on the other.
Also check out Santa Barbara’s hippest art and wine mecca, The Funk Zone. With over 20 tasting rooms, breweries, shops and delicious eats, this urban area of town lies one block from the beach and is easy to explore by foot. Grab a coffee and pastry at Helena Avenue Bakery before wandering from one wine tasting room to the next, stopping along the way to grab a bite from a local food truck while you admire the eclectic street art adorning the buildings and sidewalks.
Further away from the water on State Street is Santa Barbara’s Arts District. Here, you’ll find bustling shops, restaurants and historic theaters showing the latest flick, symphony or opera performance. Head to Arigato for sushi, Sama Sama for eats inspired by Southeast Asian or better yet, choose from a variety of foods at the Santa Barbara Public Market. From ceviche and tacos to Thai noodles and pizza, there’s something for everyone.
One of the great things about Santa Barbara is the large number of locally-owned retailers, restaurants, wineries and breweries throughout the area. In fact, Santa Barbara is a community built around small businesses — you’ll notice that chain stores and restaurants are harder to come by. So when you visit Santa Barbara, be sure to eat, drink and buy local; you’ll know that you’re helping to support the small guys!