Things to Do in Santa Barbara: Santa Barbara Travel Guide
The best restaurants in Santa Barbara pull local ingredients from the region’s dynamic landscape. Sourcing seafood from the nearby Pacific Ocean, fabulous vintages from California wine country, and inspiration from the Latin American culture that extends up the coast, Santa Barbara dining offers an array of culinary wonders.
One of our favorite go to spots and located just down the block from Hotel Milo, Toma Restaurant provides a romantic setting overlooking the water. Be sure to try their rack of lamb – cooked to perfection. Or, if you are into pasta for the evening, the black spaghetti with fresh clams, calamari, calabrese salame is a must!
With a passion for locally sourced products and ingredients, State & Fig is a great place to start your journey through the Santa Barbara food scene. Serving sandwiches, soups and salads, State & Fig is one of our favorite local lunch spots. Be sure to try the Fig & Pig Panini, filled with ham, mortadella, fig jam, arugula and fontina cheese for a hearty mid-day meal.
Hands down one of the best restaurants in Santa Barbara, Jane Restaurant features an eclectic and exquisite menu. Entree-sized salad bowls feature fresh seafood, including seared ahi tuna and broiled prawns. Alongside its nutritious salads, Jane’s colorful pasta bowls, juicy burgers and delicious entrees insure you’ll find something to please your palate.
Bouchon offers the best of three worlds: farm-fresh ingredients, locally sourced seafood, and fine California wine. Dive into Bouchon to enjoy French flavors infused with dynamic California flair. Be sure to try the Grilled Wagyu Flat Iron Steak and the Scallop Trio with Black Truffle-Dressed Celery Cauliflower Puree!
Southern California has the incredible pleasure of enjoying authentic and delicious Latin American and Mexican cuisine. Santa Barbara is no different and one of our favorite authentic eateries is Los Agaves. The Fajitas del Mar with Butter-Sauteed Shrimp and Torta Cubana is one of many spot-on menu options.
With the Pacific Ocean so close, it’s a given that some of the best restaurants in Santa Barbara feature fresh seafood. The Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach is an esteemed Santa Barbara seafood restaurant, offering a menu stocked with seafood favorites. Can’t-miss picks at the Boathouse include Mesquite-Grilled Mahi Mahi and Pistachio-Encrusted Local Yellowtail.
Any Santa Barbara shopping guide should reflect the cultural, progressive and family-friendly traits that make this city such a wonderful place. Scattered designer boutiques provide the local retail scene with attractive options for a wide variety of tastes and styles.
To explore the best examples of this dynamic, we’ve listed some of the best places to shop in Santa Barbara.
As a passionate advocate for active living, the Lorna Jane brand offers some of California’s top women’s sportswear items. Check out sports bras and inspirational tanks or just soak up the good vibes of Santa Barbara’s wellness scene at this wonderful retail spot.
For the gentleman seeking some shopping during his Santa Barbara stay, we recommend a stop at Taka-Puna, where refined clothing comes standard. The shop’s bespoke suits, jackets, and shirts will leave you with plenty of options to elevate your wardrobe.
Mon Petit Bijou
To find the cutest and most fashionable childrens’ clothing around, add Mon Petit Bijou to your Santa Barbara travel guide. Their selection of adorable kids-sized designer dresses and jackets will make your jaw drop. The boutique also carries a wide variety of toys, nursery accessories, and more.
When constructing your Santa Barbara shopping itinerary, don’t forget to look outside of our fashion and clothing scene for some fabulous local finds. Paradise Found is a great place to start. This bookstore and spiritual wellness shop is filled with great reads and eccentric knickknacks.
The Santa Barbara arts and culture scene is comprised of progressive minds and rooted in a uniquely local flavor that sets the city apart from the rest. This attractive balance can be explored and enjoyed at our favorite museums, boutiques and galleries around town.
Holding collections from around the world in a variety of mediums, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art is a great place to visit during your stay at Hotel Milo. You can immerse yourself in works by local artists as the museum hosts tours, programs and events.
Fine Art photographer Lindsey Ross runs this boutique photography studio, specializing in the collodion process — a vintage form of printmaking. Located in the heart of the Funk Zone, Le Chambre Photographique is an excellent example of the originality and eccentricity offered by Santa Barbara arts and culture.
Featuring hand-picked music, Warbler Records is an excellent vintage culture shop. Selling records, CDs, turntables and a whole lot more, Warbler offers guests an opportunity to step back into the good old days and enjoy some prime Santa Barbara arts and culture.
Thanks to an ideal location between the Santa Ynez Mountains and Pacific Ocean, Santa Barbara and Hotel Milo enjoy easy access to the most gorgeous California landmarks. With naturally breathtaking spaces and historically inspired attractions, Santa Barbara offers a wide variety of natural and man-made wonders.
As the primary pier in Santa Barbara Harbor, Stearns Wharf is one of the city’s most visited tourist attractions. Go fishing, visit some local specialty shops and restaurants, or enjoy a calming water taxi ride at this favorite California landmark.
Dating back to the feast of Saint Barbara in 1786, Old Mission Santa Barbara is one of the area’s oldest and most historic attractions. Organized tours and museums provide educational, interesting and entertaining ways to spend time at the mission.
When you’re looking for things to do in Santa Barbara, check out Shoreline Park and enjoy some of the most scenic views in town. With a wealth of park amenities, the main attraction of this California landmark is the surrounding beauty of the ocean, city and mountains.
The Alice Keck Park Memorial Garden is amongst the most tranquil of Santa Barbara attractions. Complete with a botanical garden, self-guided tree tour and koi pond, this is the perfect spot to lose yourself in local beauty.
Another naturally inspired California landmark, the Andree Clark Bird Refuge features 42-acre open space park with a lake and three islands. Great for hiking, bird watching and bike riding, the bird refuge offers something for every outdoors enthusiast.
There are few places as lovely and temperate to celebrate the holiday season as Southern California. Santa Barbara in particular comes to life with a number of beautiful Christmas light installations, lively concerts, holiday parties, and some beautiful local religious services every year. If you’re traveling here in the month of December, you might appreciate checking out some of the local festivities. For some specific examples, check out this guide...