This winter, visit Santa Barbara and enjoy the California sun while still getting cheerful with holiday festivities. These spots all embrace the beauty of the season and will remind you of everything we love about December. Here’s our list of the best places in town to get you in the spirit:
The Chase Downtown is the perfect place to go to unwind after gift shopping and really get into the holiday spirit. Decorated to the nines and serving classic drinks and hearty food, the atmosphere here is all about relaxing and having fun. Around Christmas time, the spot goes all out with lights, holly and ornaments hung from the ceiling. So, order a Moscow Mule and let the festivities begin.
Chase Bar & Grill. 805 965 4351. 1012 State Street.
Harry’s Cafe is a Santa Barbara classic known for great service, hearty comfort food and strong drinks. The spot embraces an old-timey atmosphere and makes guests feel right at home. During the holidays the restaurant is heavily decorated and makes for the perfect place to grab a cocktail off the beaten track. Post up with an Irish coffee and fresh baked apple pie this winter.
Harry’s Plaza Cafe. 3313 State Street. 805 687 2800.
The Old Mission is a must-see on any trip to Santa Barbara, but it is particularly beautiful during the holidays. Be sure to check out the annual giant Christmas trees out front and stop by the life-sized manger in the front field. Visitors can bring carrots and snacks for sheep and goats that reside here in the month of December. Come with the family for a fun afternoon or just drive by at night to see the place lit up with twinkle lights.
Old Mission Santa Barbara. 2201 Laguna Street. 805 682 4713.
Although not technically in Santa Barbara, Downtown Los Olivos should be on the itinerary for anyone looking for great wine, shopping and idyllic holiday cheer. Beginning with the ‘Old Fashioned Christmas’ event on December 3rd and continuing throughout the month, this small valley town is the perfect place to get into the spirit of the season. Plan a day trip here to visit Zinke Winery, Los Olivos Cafe for lunch and J. Woeste for home decorations!