What Makes Santa Barbara Special

Zack Garhart
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From the sweeping ocean views to the laid-back vibe, Santa Barbara is considered a gem of Southern California. Situated between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Santa Barbara is somewhere that travelers should not miss as they explore the West Coast. 

Out of all the things to choose from, we picked out what makes Santa Barbara special in this article!

Tucked along the coastline of Southern California, Santa Barbara offers some incredible beaches and pristine pockets for surfers and sea-seeking adventurers alike. With thrills abound, there’s has a little something for everyone. Whether you’re visiting Santa Barbara for a quiet weekend away from the noise and bustle of the big city, or simply out to experience some of the wonderful food and wine, we’re sure you’ll enjoy your time here.

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The Wine in Santa Barbara

Not only is Santa Barbara within driving distance to some of California’s top wine-producing areas like Paso Robles, but this region is also known for its exquisite wines. We love the Pinot Noirs that come from the area and its nearby areas. While visiting Santa Barbara, there are plenty of wineries to visit and sample some of the region’s best creations. Some of our favorite wineries include Kunin Wines and Carr Winery. Both offer tasting rooms for you to sip some wine while you wander the facilities and learn about how they craft their vino. If you’re up for a short drive, head up to Sunstone Winery, which is about 35 minutes north of Santa Barbara and offers spectacular outdoor spaces. They offer tasting flights and group tours. 

Good Eats in Santa Barbara

After a day out touring wineries, pop on out to one of the many amazing restaurants. With an eclectic mix of cuisines, this town has a little something for everyone. We especially love the offerings of authentic Mexican food, and you can find a handful of affordable taquerias within walking distance from downtown Santa Barbara. Our favorite is Lilly’s Taqueria, but we also love Taqueria Cuernavaca. The salsas at both are on point, and they offer some classic Mexican fare that you can’t find everywhere! If you’re more in the mood for upscale fare, look no further than The Lark Santa Barbara. Another great spot is Barbareno, which prides itself on being a hub for California cuisine and some of the state’s best wines. 

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Beaches Galore

No matter your budget or culinary preferences, you’re sure to fall in love with the beaches that Santa Barbara has to offer. We outlined our list of the best beaches in the city, but we encourage you to get out and explore some of the many tucked-away beaches along the coastline. One of the best things about this part of California is the calm waves, which makes surfing or water sports like paddleboarding and kayaking easy and approachable. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or not, you’re sure to find something about this part of the California coastline that calls to you!

Last but not least, we love the laid-back bar scene here. Not like Los Angeles or San Francisco, the bars in Santa Barbara are more dialed back and approachable. We love how many great dive bars there are in town, plus the plethora of upscale spots to drink around town. For all budgets and tastes, there are watering holes abound. 

For another inside look, check out this video!

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