Come and experience Mediterranean-style magic along the Central Coast.
Bougainvillea twining across red-tiled rooftops, birdsong mingling with the ocean breeze, islands and whale spouts on the horizon—Santa Barbara’s charms tempt at every turn. Take it from the movie stars who sneak away to Santa Barbara all the time—or just straight up move here.
Oprah, Brad, Ellen, and other first-name’s-enough A-listers have estates here, many tucked away in the coastal enclave of Montecito. There’s that legendary Old World beauty that befits the city’s nickname, “The American Riviera.” The charmingly small city, 90 miles north of Los Angeles, hugs both the beaches and Highway 101 (and also offers easy access by train): Don’t miss sandy stretches such as Refugio State Beach, Summerland County State Park (with views of Channel Islands National Park), or Butterfly Beach, which sits across from the Four Seasons The Biltmore Santa Barbara.
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Leave the car at home and try these unique urban vino experiences without leaving the city.
The Valley Project A great introduction to the area’s wine, this popular room offers guests an educational tour of the region’s six AVAs with a whimsical schoolhouse vibe.
If you’re ready to dive in and enjoy, start at State Street’s upper end, with luxury retailers such as Tiffany & Co. Next up, La Arcada; it’s twisting walkways with fountains and flowerpots allow plenty of time to gaze into boutique windows and think, “Oh, I really need that…” Grab an espresso at local favorite The French Press to keep you going then continue south to the babbling fountains and lush landscaping at Paseo Nuevo shopping center, home to more than 50 stores.
Continue to Victoria Court, with an alluring mix of independent shops and top restaurants. 101 and East Beach, a narrow band of warehouses has become an enclave of urban wine-tasting rooms, artist’s studios, surfboard-makers, and bohemian-cool restaurants like The Lark.
Sanguis provides an intimate experience paired with exceptional wines. A.’s popular La Brea Bakery, crafts everything himself, from the labels’ artwork to the balanced Syrahs.