Why You Should Go to Santa Barbara for Your Honeymoon:
A seaside town abounding in charm, Santa Barbara sits on the California coast about 100 miles north of LA. Nestled cozily between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez mountains. The city’s beauty and charm have become famous for drawing celebrities. Drew Barrymore, and talk show giants Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey, who own homes in the neighboring town of Montecito.
With its proximity to both the beach and the mountains, Santa Barbara has a little something to offer for anyone with a taste for outdoor adventure. Stroll up and down State Street while window-shopping at the many boutiques. Drop into the well curated Museum of Art before a romantic walk along the pier. With low Spanish buildings covered in creepers soaking up the California sun. Imagine yourselves making Sunday smoothies with farmers market produce, maybe reaching for the same bag of organic locally grown oranges as the queen of talk shows herself. Without the traffic of LA or the fog of San Francisco, Santa Barbara makes for a perfectly romantic Californian holiday.
Where you should eat in Santa Barbara
For those who haven’t left their youth entirely behind them, delicious and cheap food can be found just a short drive away in Isla Vista. This college town that houses the majority of the University of California Santa Barbara student population. Gorge yourself on a delicious “quesorrito” (a quesadilla/burrito hybrid) at the original Freebirds. Take a sandwich from Bagel Cafe and a few beers out Sands Beach to enjoy a romantic picnic (not to mention the company of the adorable snowy plover baby birds nesting in the wildlife reserve nearby). For those with a more sophisticated pallet, The Lark and Jane both do upscale and trendy new Americana at decent prices. For the noontime crowd, Southcoast Deli and Blue Owl have a low-key, casual atmosphere. Delicious lunch options, and plenty of hearty, tasty sandwiches on the menu to satisfy midday hunger.
What you should see in Santa Barbara
For those with a car, roll down the windows and head south along the Pacific Coast Highway. Breath in the salty sea are and bask in the year-round sunshine of Southern California. Alternatively, stretch your legs and take advantage of the many adventures the landscape has to offer. Go for a hike up Seven Falls or Inspiration point for stunning views of the mountains or a spectacular sunset. If you want a bit of a challenge, try to find the Knapps Castle trail in the Los Padres national forest. Panoramic views and an adorable photo-op among the crumbling walls of this hidden treasure await. A few miles north of town, the Monarch Butterfly Grove is a beautiful spot to wander. Housing lush plants, sea breezes, and of course, butterflies.
Closer to the beach, take a surf lesson together. Learn to use a stand up paddle-board to explore the kelp forest. End your day with a stroll along the pier, or wiggle your toes in the sand as the sun sets over the Pacific.
Alex is a recent graduate from the University of California Santa Barbara, where she studied English Lit and Fine Art. She is currently traveling solo through Southeast Asia, where she has eaten her weight in noodles and mango sticky rice. When not abroad, Alex lives in San Francisco, California. Find her on Instagram at @alexidzal