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It’s been a while since I’ve put together one of these travel guides. Since getting back to California and settling into my new apartment I haven’t traveled as far as usual. However, I went out to Santa Barbara over Memorial Day for the second time and did a lot of sightseeing, eating, and checked out some cool hotels, so here’s my guide to Santa Barbara!

Where To Stay

The Goodland Hotel – This hotel is located about 15 minutes away from Santa Barbara in the town of Goleta. It is a cool place with a hipster vibe perfect for younger travelers looking to have a good time. You can check out my full review and more pics of it’s aesthetic interior here.

Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore – Out of all the luxury hotel and resort chains, my absolute favorite is always Four Seasons. The attention to detail with everything, from decor to service, just can’t be beat! This particular location is just as stunning as the rest, but I especially loved the Spanish theme. It blends in perfectly with Santa Barbara’s Spanish vibes. This resort is perfect if you’re looking for a luxury experience and want to be catered on hand and foot. You will never be disappointed at The Four Seasons!

Read about my experience at Four Seasons Lisbon here!

Where To Play

Below are the best Santa Barbara activities that you should definitely do!

The Santa Barbara County Court House – Yup, don’t be fooled by the name, Santa Barbara’s Court House is probably the most beautiful place in Santa Barbara. Its Spanish architecture is truly stunning – inside and out. The photo possibilities here are endless and it even has a viewpoint from the clock tower where you can see Santa Barbara from above!

Hot Springs Canyon – Or Gould Park if you can’t find it on Instagram. This is a hike just off Santa Barbara’s downtown that will reward you with a hot spring (!!!). The Santa Barbara area is, surprisingly, known for its hot springs. There are several hiking places to see them, but the closest to town is Hot Springs Canyon. The hot spring here is very small, almost like a puddle, so you can only dunk your feet in. Still, it was my first time seeing a hot spring in person so I was just happy to know it’s actually hot and bright blue!

Downtown Santa Barbara – Santa Barbara’s downtown is worth a stroll, in my opinion, for its beautiful architecture. There are plenty of shops and restaurants here as well, but what I like best is just walking aimlessly appreciating the beautiful Spanish-style buildings.

Stearns Warf – If you keep walking towards the ocean from downtown you will eventually land on Stearns Wharf. This is the area by the beach and pier and a great place to watch the sunset! The first time I came to Santa Barbara in February I caught a gorgeous purple sunset.

Where To Eat

Mesa Verde – My favorite vegan restaurant in Santa Barbara, and probably all of California. This place does vegan food right! Their dishes are all very creative, and seem to be Spanish/Latin inspired. You can find things like vegan street tacos, empanadas, and polenta fries here – all amazing choices, btw! Definitely try this place out for lunch if you want good vegan food!

Bella Vista Restaurant – This is the Four Season’s beautiful restaurant. It is aptly named by its gorgeous ocean view. Opt to eat Al Fresco here and sit on their terrace to get a full view and the full Bella Vista experience. The food here is amazing and perfect for anyone looking for non-vegan food. If you are going with someone who eats vegan, don’t fret, there are some choices that fit the bill. I got their asparagus gazpacho and a salad for lunch. I did add salmon to it because I’m actually trying to incorporate it back into my diet (it’s good for the skin). You can read more about my vegan lifestyle here.


Well guys, there you have it! These are all of my favorite places in Santa Barbara. If you get the chance, definitely visit the area. It will surprise you that it is in California! The Spanish influence here is unreal and it got me very excited for my upcoming trip to Barcelona!! Be sure to follow me on Instagram so you don’t miss out on travel pics!

xx, Karen

Have you ever been to Santa Barbara? What did you like best about it? Do you have any recommendations to add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!

Traveling to California? Pin this post to plan a stop in Santa Barbara!

About the Author

Karen Delgado

Karen was born in Lima, Peru, but grew up in Palm Springs, California. She started her travel journey in 2016 with an around-the-world trip that took her through Europe, SE Asia, and Australia. Since then she has created a lifestyle of travel, and splits her time between NYC (her current home base), LA, Barcelona, and Lima. She loves all things wellness, travel, and entrepreneurial, and is always working on new projects while exploring the world.

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