Travel Tips: Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara is a beautiful city, located on the California coast. With beautiful weather year-round, it’s the perfect place to plan a trip if you’re needing a little getaway. Below are some of my “can’t miss” recommendations when in Santa Barbara.


Santa Barbara has no shortage of gorgeous beaches. With so many miles of sunny, sandy shoreline, there is a beach for everyone. Below are some of my favorite beaches in Santa Barbara that I highly recommend you visit if you are in the area.

Arroyo Burro Beach

Arroyo Burro Beach, better known to locals as Hendry’s Beach, is a can’t miss beach for you and your canine companion. This beach gladly welcomes dogs of all sizes and features both an on-leash side, if you prefer to keep you furry best friend close to you, and an off-leash side, if you want to let them run free. Parking is free, but limited.

Address: 2981 Cliff Dr, Santa Barbara, CA 93109

Arroyo Burro Beach at sunset

Leadbetter Beach

Leadbetter Beach is the beach I frequented the most while in Santa Barbara. It felt like a little slice of heaven on earth. I loved taking my dog for walks here and watching the sunset. There is plenty of soft, sandy space that is perfect for spending an afternoon reading a book and catching some sun. If you prefer to be more active when at the beach, there is lots of surfing and stand-up paddle boarding to be enjoyed (and you can sign up for lessons if new to it). Leadbetter Beach is also by the popular Stearn’s Wharf, which features multiple restaurants and recreation activities, such as parasailing. I also recommend you make a walk up to Shoreline Park, which will provide you with incredible views of the Channel Islands. There is a large parking lot at Leadbetter Beach with many spaces available for $2/hour.

Address: 801 Shoreline Dr, Santa Barbara, CA 93109

Leadbetter Beach

Butterfly Beach

Butterfly Beach is located in the ritzy village of Montecito. The unique positioning of this beach along the coastline makes it an ideal location to catch both sunrises AND sunsets. Make sure to pay attention to the tide; during high tide, your towel may very well get soaked if you’re lounging in the sand. Keep your eyes peeled for any familiar faces when in this area. Montecito is home to quite a few celebrities.

Address: 1260 Channel Dr, Montecito, CA 93108

Butterfly Beach

Food Recommendations

The Boathouse at Hendry’s

If you are wanting some good brunch while in Santa Barbara, I HIGHLY recommend The Boathouse at Hendry’s. Located at Arroyo Burro/Hendry’s Beach, The Boathouse features an expansive menu of food and beverage options with some incredible beachside views. Not into brunch? It’s also a popular seafood place for lunch and dinner (I am not a fan of seafood, so I cannot give an opinion on their lunch & dinner options).

Address: 2981 Cliff Dr, Santa Barbara, CA 93109

Bree’osh Bakery & Café

Bree’osh is a quaint French-style bakery and café with locations in Santa Barbara and Montecito. Open for breakfast and lunch, Bree’osh offers quiches, sandwiches, soups, & salads to give you an early morning or mid-day pick-me-up. Not in the mood for an actual meal? Bree’osh also offers a variety of pastries and coffee that make for an easy grab-and-go treat. I HIGHLY recommend the almond croissant.

Address (Montecito): 1150 Coast Village Rd E, Montecito, CA 93108

Address (Santa Barbara): 2700 De La Vina St, Santa Barbara, CA 93105


Chase is an Italian restaurant located in downtown Santa Barbara. Their menu features a variety of well-loved Italian pasta dishes, along with an expansive wine and cocktail menu. They also have incredible desserts, assuming you don’t eat your weight in bread and pasta (which is what I usually do, so no judgement from me). Seating is available both inside and outside and the waitstaff provides top-notch service. If you want a nice dinner while visiting, I recommend you go to Chase!

Address: 1012 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101


Circle Bar B Stables

If you want to take a break from the typical “beach vibes” of Santa Barbara, then head to Circle Bar B Stables. Circle Bar B Stables offers 1.5 hour, 2.5 hour, and half-day horse trail rides. The trail ride takes you through the Indian Canyon and provides you with INCREDIBLE views of the Santa Ynez Mountains, Pacific Ocean, and Channel Islands National Park. The views at the top are truly breathtaking. No prior riding experience is required and the guides do an outstanding job leading the tours (please make sure to tip your guide). You will not be disappointed!

Address: 1800 Refugio Rd, Goleta, CA 93117

Views from the Circle Bar B trail ride

All photos are my own and are not to be sold or redistributed.

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