Santa Barbara – the stunning seaside enclave known as The American Riviera – has weathered its recent fire and rain storms with a community spirit that is stronger than ever. Many of the area’s businesses experienced significant losses in recent months due to the catastrophic Thomas Fire, its subsequent mudslides, and the temporary closure of Highway 101. But the sun has once again emerged to illuminate what is, and always has been, one of the most special spots in California. Hotels, restaurants, and attractions are open and ready to greet guests.
The majority of the area’s beaches are clean and ready to be strolled upon. The surrounding Santa Ynez Mountains are their normal shades of green and tan and remain uniquely beautiful. Santa Barbara beckons anew with splendid resiliency. Only have a day or two?
Here’s how to make the most of even the briefest visit:
STAY: Visitors to Santa Barbara have an array of accommodation options ranging from quaint B&Bs to luxurious hillside resorts. But in this beautiful coastal town, it’s all about the beach, and thus, any overnight stay should ideally be paired with an ocean view. You’ll get that view at the Santa Barbara Inn. (above) This boutique hotel overlooks a pristine stretch of coastline and is framed by swaying palms.
On a clear day, the Channel Islands can be seen in the distance. Though directly across from premiere East Beach, and within striking distance of State Street boutiques, Stearns Wharf, and the wine tasting rooms of the popular Urban Wine Trail, the hotel’s private, ocean facing patios might entice even the most adventurous to stay put and simply enjoy the view.
Reopened recently after a two-year total renovation, the Spanish Mediterranean gem perfectly represents the spirit and architecture of its host town. Framed by deep red terracotta roofs, luminous white stucco, gracefully arched windows, and a duo of handcrafted, skyline-defining tiled domes, the Inn merges classic elegance with casual coastal luxury.
Its 70 well-appointed rooms (nine of which are suites) feature McGuire furnishings, unique artworks, luxe linens, and either ocean or mountain views. A central outdoor pool and hot tub take full advantage of the seaside proximity, as does the modern fitness center with its large picture windows.
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SOURCE: (Luxury Travel Magazine)