While Santa Barbara is a perfectly fulfilling destination on its own, if your next trip here is a longer one, why not check out some of the other great spots in the surrounding area? With plenty of entertainment up and down the southern coast, we’ve compiled a list of 5 fun day trips you can easily take from SB:
Always on our radar as a town with fantastic events and excellent wineries, Los Olivos is a quaint valley town just 45 minutes from Downtown Santa Barbara. Take the scenic drive up Highway 154 for spectacular views and quickly find yourself surrounded by tasting rooms, art galleries and unique gift shops. Stop for lunch at the Los Olivos Cafe, or drive into the vineyards at Andrew Murray for a sampling of local wines and fun yard games on the lawn!
Ojai, located just south of Santa Barbara, offers everything you could want from a southern California valley town. From museums and hiking to wine tasting and cultural events, there is something for everyone here. A short, easy drive from SB, we recommend checking out the Events Calendar before your next trip and planning a quick excursion.
Avila Beach is a gorgeous subset of San Luis Obispo just an hour and a half north of Santa Barbara. Leave early in the morning to get there for a full day of activities; check out the Bob Jones biking or walking trail or the Avila Hot Springs. If you’re looking to stay closer to the beach, head to the Point San Luis Lighthouse or go explore the Central Coast Aquarium. Regardless of what you chose for the day, finish your adventure with a tasting from one of the local wineries for a truly perfect excursion.
While not the most scenic or cultural trip you could take from Santa Barbara, the Camarillo Premium Outlets are a huge draw to visitors of southern California, particularly those who came from far away. With just around 160 designer retailers, the outlets can provide shopping entertainment for an entire afternoon if you let them! Open daily from 10AM to 9PM, you will also find plenty of restaurants and an IMAX theater to keep the family entertained.
Santa Monica is the furthest destination on our list, taking just around 2 hours driving south on Highway 101, but we think it is well worth the time. One of the most famous spots in the U.S., the Santa Monica pier is an iconic landmark that you shouldn’t miss on your next trip to California. We recommend heading down first thing in the morning to enjoy a full day in LA. The possibilities are endless; stick to the pier and enjoy an afternoon at the beach or head into downtown Santa Monica for fantastic boutique shopping, excellent restaurants and trendy bars.