Where To Stay In Santa Barbara: A Complete Guide To The Best Places To Stay
Santa Barbara is an enchanting city with the distinct laid back vibes of a classic SoCal beach town. Alysha went to college in Santa Barbara, and we constantly joke about the fact that she has lived in two places with perfect climates the Bay Area, and Santa Barbara which set her expectations very, very high for where we end up settling down. Santa Barbaras position between the mountains and the water keeps it from sprawling too wide and is a super unique landscape.
The mountains and ocean also make it so that Santa Barbara cant sprawl out TOO far, which means the city is compact enough to explore in a weekend. However, with a fantastic foodie scene, beautiful golden sand beaches, and more shopping than your wallet can handle, it will keep you coming back for more. This guide will help you decide where to stay in Santa Barbara, and some of the best things to try during your stay.
Want to stay in an Airbnb in Santa Barbara? Great choice! for your stay.
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Heading to California? You wont want to miss our other detailed California travel guides.
Carpinteria Where To Stay In Santa Barbara With Families
This small oceanside city features pretty beaches, incredible mountains, diverse sea life, and is a smaller, more chilled alternative to the relatively more bustling Santa Barbara.
Amongst other things, Carpinteria is also home to the very popular Avocado Festival, held at the end of October every year.
Whilst only 10 minutes drive east from Santa Barbara, Carpinteria boasts a decidedly more different and authentic small-town feel. The locals here believe that their beaches are better than those in Santa Barbara and there are definitely a fair few to choose from. And the surf is legendary.
Its closeness to nature and small town vibe also makes Carpinteria a great place for families.
Where To Stay In Santa Barbara For Luxury
Opened in 2019, the long-awaited Rosewood Miramar Beach is one of the best hotels in Santa Barbara. This is a prime pick for Hollywood celebrities especially now that the Four Seasons Resort Santa Barbara is temporarily closed for an extensive revamp.
Presiding over one of Santa Barbara’s best beaches, Rosewood Miramar Beach conjures the feel of a palatial family beach house. The stylish rooms sport a Pacific Ocean palette with pops of blue and white. In their spare time, guests can tickle the ivories on the grand piano, feast on Italian coastal cuisine at Caruso’s, indulge at the five-star spa, and play croquet on the sweeping lawns with mesmerizing ocean views.
For a peaceful hilltop hideaway with spectacular views over Santa Barbara and the sea, Belmond El Encanto is a top luxury choice especially for a romantic stay. Perched on Santa Barbara’s “Riviera,” the resort lies in a quiet residential neighborhood about a five-minute drive from downtown Santa Barbara. You’re also just minutes from the magnificent Mission Santa Barbara.
Belmond El Encanto’s accommodations are as romantic as the setting. Typical features of the resort’s light and airy bungalows include marble bathrooms with heated floors, comfy beds dressed in crisp linens, and deep soaking tubs. Some of the suites add fireplaces to snuggle beside on cool nights.
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Cape Town True Beauty
Image Source Known as the Southernmost city of Africa, Cape Town has historic significance to the growth and development of trade between Europe and Asia. If youre a fan of panoramic beaches, white sandy banks, and a vibrant nightlife scene it is the right place for experiencing one of the best places to visit in December in the world. It is one of the best places to visit in December for couples.
Places to visit in Cape Town: Table Mountain, National Botanical Garden, Robben Island, Two Oceans Aquarium, and Castle of Good Hope
Things to shop: Diamonds, leather handbags, Ardmore ceramic art, beadwork craft
Things to do In Cape Town: beach hopping, hiking to Table Mountain, wine tasting, visit Robben Island
Weather in December: Even though the temperature is around 30 degrees Celsius, it rains like crazy
How to reach: Qatar Airways and Ethiopian Airlines have flights from New Delhi to Cape Town with minimum layovers.
Perhaps the most beautiful of all European Capitals, Prague is an enchanting city that reels its visitors in and tempts them never to leave.
Visiting Prague in Winter is even more enchanting as Squares are overtaken by Christmas Markets, and the lights come out in force
Unparalleled in beauty, Prague first captured my heart many years ago and has lured me back time-and-time again.
Read on to see all the beautiful things to do in Prague in December and discover one of the best Christmas destinations in Europe!
Downtown Best Location For First Timers
Downtown Santa Barbara, along the State Street Corridor north of the freeway, is the best place to stay in Santa Barbara for first-time visitors. It is close to the beach, a shopping hub, and has a wealth of places to eat and drink. The restaurants are a mix of everything from food trucks to upscale fine dining places. There are a number of museums, art galleries, and theatres to give you a culture fix.
The central location means that youll be paying a bit more to stay here, but Santa Barbara is an expensive city already, so its not super noticeable.
Here are some of the best things to do in Downtown Santa Barbara.
Best Places to Stay in Downtown Santa Barbara
The area along State Street is where youll find the majority of places to stay, and its a perfect location for being central to everything to do and see in Santa Barbara.
The M Lounge
This modern apartment boasts a private terrace and extra touches of luxury such as a rainfall shower and bathrobes. Guests have the spacious lower floor to themselves with a bright living and dining room and separate bedroom.
Cozy Boho Nook with Mountain View
This light-filled apartment is one of four located in a refurbished Victorian house. It is decorated in a charming manner with a large kitchen and dining room. It is located 10 to 15 minutes from Downtown Santa Barbara on foot and has plenty of restaurants and bars around.
Private Tiny Studio Close To State St, Beach, & Funk Zone
Downtown charmer in the heart of Santa Barbara
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Best Airbnb In Downtown: Modern Boutique Stay
This incredible Airbnb doesnt just offer the ideal location in Downtown Santa Barbara, but also a super stylish home for an affordable price. The bright space is welcoming and airy, thanks to the light colors and minimalistic design. The accommodation offers rooms equipped with a smart TV and on-demand streaming services along with access to a shared back yard with a fountain, outdoor seating and BBQs. If you want real value for your money, look no further than this Airbnb!
Southern California Edison Rate Increase For All Electricity Customersyour Browser Indicates If You’ve Visited This Link
In order to ensure that our customers are getting the very best information about their electricity service, SantaBarbara Clean Energy is sharing a recent announcement made by Southern California Edison stating that it has raised its electricity delivery rates by an average of $0.
Santa Barbara Independent
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Watch The Nutcracker Ballet And Other World
Just as stunning as watching the Opera in Vienna but at a much lower price. Prague has a long musical history, and when you visit in December, you cannot pass up the opportunity for an evening of breath-taking orchestras, choirs, and dance performances.
Tickets book out far in advance, especially for shows on and around Christmas Day, so you should plan ahead and consider shows at either the prestigious National Theatre of Prague, the Estates Theatre, or Karlin Theatre.
Prague in December means theatres are guaranteed to trot out the classics like Swan Lake and the Nutcracker Ballet. Still, you can also find more modern performances of ballet and Opera by both local and foreign authors in this Czechia landmark if you look hard enough.
And even if the ballet is not quite your cup of tea, the Neo-Renaissance and Rococo interiors put Pragues theatres amongst the most beautiful theatres and opera buildings in Europe and are worth seeing in their own right. There are many ticket re-seller sites for Prague events, but in most cases, you should go directly through the venue website to avoid paying any extra fees.
The Funk Zone The Best Part Of Santa Barbara
We love the Funk Zone, and find ourselves coming here every single time we find ourselves in Santa Barbara. The Funk Zone is basically ten blocks of industrial buildings which have become a paradise for the citys creatives. Unfortunately, because it is so small and filled with warehouses, there really arent that many places to stay here.
But if you you plan to spend much of your time wine tasting and perusing the racks of the many vintage stores, this is your best bet. It is home to some of the best restaurants in the area, offering good value food from all over the world. There is always something to do in the Funk Zone, with all sorts of wine tasting rooms, restaurants, fun street art, and boutique shops, just waiting for you to stumble upon them.
It also happens to be a few blocks from the beach and Stearns Wharf, and a short walk to the heart of State Street and Downtown Santa Barbara.
Here are some of the best things to do while staying in the Funk Zone:
Best Places to Stay in the Funk Zone
2 Blocks to Beach, Downtown, Funk Zone
This modern chic beach pad was featured in Conde Nast as one of the best Airbnbs in California. It was inspired by the owners travels and the surrounding area. The Spanish-style house is outfitted with high end appliances and fluffy down bedding. There are luxurious touches like heated bathroom tiles, an Apple TV with Netflix, and a fully stocked gourmet kitchen, and even a washer and dryer.
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Hotels Near Me: Inn By The Harbor
The Inn by the Harbor is a classic Mediterranean-style inn with red tile roofs and lush gardens. It features a wide variety of relaxing amenities, such as a whirlpool spa, heated pool, and enclosed sundeck courtyard. This family-friendly place is located just a few blocks away from the Santa Barbara waterfront. Bike rentals are available for guests who want to explore the neighborhood. The hotel boasts 43 accommodation options that range from single rooms to spacious suites equipped with full kitchens and available for monthly rentals, which makes Inn by the Harbor ideal for extended stays.
433 W. Montecito St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101, Phone: 805-963-7851
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The Goodland A Kimpton Hotel
Design aficionados will love the colorful, surf-chic atmosphere of The Goodland, a Kimpton Hotel in Santa Barbaras neighboring city of Goleta. This boutique hotels rooms feature an eclectic mix of textures and textiles, accented by dashes of nostalgia like mid-mod furnishings and in-room record players . The convenient location makes it easy to take a day trip to wine country or borrow a beach cruiser to pedal over to Goleta Beach. More than just a place to rest your head, The Goodland prides itself on creating community, hosting fireside smores, yoga classes by the pool, trivia nights and live concerts by up-and-coming bands. Youll also want to hit up the on-site Outpost Restaurant and The Good Bar for fresh SoCal cuisine and innovative cocktails. Learn More
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Best Hotel In Carpinteria: Cliff House Inn
If youre looking for awesome views from your bedroom window, then look no further than Cliff House Inn.
This hotel is literally right next to the water. Go to sleep to the sound of the waves lapping on the shore and wake up to breakfast by the sea. Theres an outdoor swimming pool for guests to cool off in plus the beach is a just a quick stroll down the road.
West Beach Inn A Coast Hotel
This unassuming mid-range hotel sits in a lovely location, opposite West Beach and the Santa Barbara Harbor, about a 10-minute stroll away from Stearns Wharf and State Street.
Strung along a three-story motel-style building, the rooms here are large and clean, with in-room coffee facilities and comfortable beds. All have two chairs and a small table on the patios or shared balconies, so you can relax outside and enjoy the sea views.
When you’re not exploring all the nearby waterfront attractions, you can bask by the heated outdoor pool and soak in the Jacuzzi.
Plenty of restaurants lie within walking distance, and the rates here include continental breakfast parking Wi-Fi and even a turndown service with mints, something that you’d expect from a high-end hotel. The one and two-bedroom suites are great for families.
Address: 306 W Cabrillo Blvd, Santa Barbara, California
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Best Hotel In West Beach: Inn By The Harbour
Charming guests with free wine and cheese in the evenings, Inn by the Harbour offers spacious rooms with big king-size beds and clean bathrooms. Set in its landscaped gardens, the surroundings are peaceful and quiet. Helpful staff will help with any questions you have you can even take one of the complimentary hotel bikes out for a ride along the seafront.
For Families At The Seaside
- Rosewood Miramar Beach is a striking, family-friendly hotel set right on the beach. With a specially-tailored kids’ programme, kids’ menus, games and specific spa treatments, this is an absolute family favourite. Expect luxurious contemporary design, innovative cocktails at three bars, an excellent spa and lots of beach activities. Glorious.
- Santa Barbara Inn is a chic, Mediterranean-style gem just moments from the beach. Interiors are spacious and elegant, with a restful white-and-cream palette. Family suites are ideal for those travelling with little ones, who will adore the two pools. The Italian food is top-notch, and the sea views breathtaking.
- Hotel Milo is a vibrant beach hotel with heaps of activities for the whole family. The vibe is lovely and laid-back, and the decor fresh and nautical, with splashes of bright blue. A fun pick for active family holidays, with attractive cabanas, two pools and a hot tub. There’s a great choice of nearby eateries.
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Where To Stay In Santa Barbara: Mid
Across the road from East Beach, the Spanish-style, family-owned Santa Barbara Inn offers excellent value in a superb location. From here, you can walk to top attractions, like the Santa Barbara Zoo, Stearns Wharf, and Funk Zone restaurants. Adding to the value here is the free continental breakfast an inviting outdoor swimming pool and spacious rooms.
In the heart of downtown shopping and restaurants, the pet-friendly Kimpton Canary Hotel is perfect for travelers who want to stay near all the action. This is one of the “cool” places to stay in Santa Barbara. Foodies will love the Finch & Fork restaurant here, which is also popular with the locals. The rooms and common areas feature elegant Spanish Mission-style decor, and the rooftop pool reveals beautiful mountain views. Feel like a dip in the ocean? You can access the beach via a five-minute shuttle ride for a small fee.
Homey and affordable, the family-owned Harbor House Inn sits in a quiet residential area a block back from West Beach and the beachfront bike path. As the name suggests, it’s also a short hop from the Santa Barbara Harbor, where you’ll find excellent seafood restaurants and the departure point for whale watching trips.
West Beach The Best Area To Stay In Santa Barbara
As soon as you get to Santa Barbara the first thing you will want to do is find the closest beach to the downtown area, which happens to be the conveniently located West Beach. This waterfront is bounded by West Cabrillo Boulevard, which is a wonderful promenade that has tonnes of shops, restaurants, cafes, pubs and hotels and is a particularly busy place when it is sunset.
West Beach is a clean and tidy sandy beach that offers good swimming as well as some water activities with one of the iconic images of the city being right by you, which is Stearns Wharf. The wharf gives you excellent vista of your surroundings and is home to dozens of shops, restaurants and arcades with many people using it for fishing or romantic walks too.
The wharf also hosts the Natural History Museum and is where you will find many exhibit halls that display many things to do with natural history with one of the best preserved Blue Whale skeletons in the world. Other things to note is the harbour, where there is always activity going on from cruise ships to little fishing boats and is home to some of the best seafood restaurants in the city.
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