We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Help me plan a Santa Barabara weekend!

los angeles
2 posts
1 review
Save Topic
Help me plan a Santa Barabara weekend!

My fiance and I live in LA and I want to take her to Santa Barbara for a romantic weekend trip to Santa Barabara, but I've never been. I am thinking of going in January or early February and taking the train up. I've never stayed in one, but I think a bed and breakfast would be best. Where should we stay that is close to the train station and the beach? Will there be whales to watch? Where should we eat? What should we do? Feel free to respond to any and all questions you have experience with and thanks for helping me!

Newbury Park...
Level Contributor
3,359 posts
43 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Help me plan a Santa Barabara weekend!

One of our favorite B&B's is the Bayberry Inn. Favorite restaurant is Citronelle at the Santa Barbara Inn (pricey but amazing food, service and atmosphere).

Whale watching season is now through March.

The Santa Barbara Zoo is small, but really nice, great place to walk around. You can rent Surreys (bikes) and cruise the boardwalk. On Sundays they always have a nice art walk along the boardwalk.

Have a wonderufl time!

Santa Barbara...
Level Contributor
1,881 posts
1 review
Save Reply
2. Re: Help me plan a Santa Barabara weekend!

Take a look at the Eagle Inn or the Old Yacht Club Inn. I've never stayed in them but I would and they are the B&B options in the beach area. I like the price too. They're by the train station too, but a bit too far to walk with luggage.

Santa Barbara has LOTS of great eating options. It's kind of late, so I'll go fast. I like Sage & Onion, Roy, and Wine Cask for romance; Los Arroyos, Rose's, China Pavilion, the Chase, Brophys, Enterprise Fish, and Cajun Kitchen for great everyday eating.


For a relaxed picnic, pick up some cheese at C'est Cheese on Santa Barbara Street, bread at the bakery next door, and head over to Alice Keck Park Garden.

Go for a hike on the front side of the mountains at San Ysidro Trail to a small waterfall and swimming hole.


Drive the top of the mountain road - Camino Cielo. Go north on San Marco Pass Rd (154) and take East Camino Cielo, come back down to Santa Barbara at Gibraltar Rd.

Another back country drive/hike is hike to Red Rock at the end of Paradise Rd. Go over the San Marcos Pass (154) to turn right on Paradise Rd. Stop by Cold Spring Tavern for dinner and a beer.

Visit the Courthouse and its clock tower and mural room.

Stroll the Harbor, Wharf, and State St.

Level Contributor
36,661 posts
907 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Help me plan a Santa Barabara weekend!

We visited the area for the first time last December. Here are some of the highlights of our trip:

The Harbor View Inn-came each am with breakfast at Eladio's which is great. This hotel is located right across the street from Stearn's Wharf and has an outdoor heated pool and jacuzzi which we loved.

The Wine Cask-very romantic place with excellent food and service. The sommelier here is top-notch ask for his suggestions.

The SB Shellfish Co. on the Stearn's Wharf-lobster bisque and full lobster dinners at very affordable prices. We had three meals here.

Olie e Limone-excellent northern Italian food, you'll want to make a reservation

Montecito-lunch at the elegant Four Seasons Biltmore was wonderful. We dined out on the patio and watched dolphins jumping out of the water from our table. Pricey but well worth it!

Wine tasting in the Los Olivos region- Arthur Earl, Gainey and Bernat were some of our favorites. Los Olivos Cafe was excellent for the braised lamb shanks and chocolate "scream" dessert

The Rivera Theater-up on top of the hill by the El Encanto Hotel. We saw Sideways here on a rainy day.

Bike riding along the water, you can rent bikes right around the corner from Harbor View Inn

Shopping on State Street

We love this area and hope you enjoy it as well. Merry Christmas! :)

San Diego, CA
Level Contributor
10 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: Help me plan a Santa Barabara weekend!

Check out www.ccjeeps.com. They are great!

They do a 'back country wine tasting tour' in a yellow jeeps The driver picks you up at your hotel, knows tons about the area, wine, history of Santa Barbara...you get tastings at 4 wineries in the Sta Ynez Valley, lunch and lots of great info and views. I highly recommend them!!