jessica lowndes

SANTA BARBARA

jessica lowndes
SANTA BARBARA

WEEKEND GETAWAY: SANTA BARBARA

Santa Barbara is only a 2-hour road trip from Los Angeles but it feels like a whole new little world - an unexpected escape. For those of you who have never visited this Golden State beach town, let me paint a picture for you. Imagine pristine beaches, a waterfront that captures postcard-perfect views of the area’s famous coastline, treelined streets lined with designer shops, hiking trails winding in and out of the city, buzz-worthy food & wine, and a downtown with a historic, natural charm. Santa Barbara is a city that sits on a breathtaking stretch of coastline as far as the eye can see while being sequestered by the foothills of the Santa Ynez mountains. This central coast city calls itself the American Riviera and after our visit, I can now see why. Santa Barbara has a Mediterranean-like climate and an overall legendary Old World beauty that feels downright European. It is the perfect getaway for two people who are looking for a leisurely weekend getaway and in our case, the best No-chella/Easter weekend we could have asked for. While our friends were sporting floral headbands and rocking out to their favorite bands in the desert (which is also really fun) we opted for something more mellow this year. Our weekend consisted of yoga, laying by the pool, puttering in shops, drinking fantastic wine, eating delicious food and relaxing at the spa. Santa Barbara was on our radar for quite a while and we couldn't have asked for a more perfect trip.

Check out our highlights below

We loved our stay at The Canary for a few reasons:

1. Location! It was right in the center of town. 

2. Our room! Styled in plush white linens, each room offers a flat-screen and free wifi. The canopy bed was incredibly comfy. With a historic meets modern design, the room felt more welcoming and homey (like your very own personal European apartment) than some typical, towering hotel.

3. The rooftop pool! The panoramic views of Santa Barbara makes this roof very special. The epitome of relaxation. We threw on our swimsuits, ordered a drink and let the week's worth of work-stress melt away in the sun. 

4. Complimentary coffee every morning in the lobby.

5. Free rooftop morning yoga classes for hotel guests. 

6. Delicious food and room service. The Finch and Fork restaurant located inside the hotel is one of the best in town. 

7. Highest quality customer service. 

One of my favorite dishes of the weekend were the scallops from The Finch and Fork. The balance between grapefruit and avocado was perfection in every bite. My boyfriend ordered the bone in pork chop which was equally delicious. The sauce it came in was to die for!

Their decadent "fire roasted milkshake" is out of this world. Caramelized banana ice cream, crushed graham cracker, salted caramel, toasted meringue... I mean... 

We went to Lucky's steak house for dinner the second night. This place takes you back to the old Hollywood glamour days. I had the petite grassfed steak that was perfectly cooked to the medium that I requested, and the green bean side dish was very tasty. 

We spent one afternoon aimlessly wandering through the amazing shops in Downtown Santa Barbara—State Street is a place that you’ll definitely want to explore. 

The Funk Zone is Santa Barbara’s hippest neighborhood and great for afternoon wine tasting. It deserves to be at the top of every visitor’s agenda.

After waking my boyfriend up at the crack of dawn to do a complimentary yoga class with me on the rooftop of our hotel, The Canary, we spent the afternoon sunbathing by the pool. After getting some color and catching up on some reading, we ventured down to the waterfront to Brophy Bros for lunch. A lively atmosphere with beautiful views of the mountains and harbor.

Next, we booked a couples massage at Float luxury spa. It is a tranquil, little oasis in the heart of Downtown Santa Barbara. I wish my Swedish massage could have lasted forever as it was the perfect amount of pressure, incredibly relaxing, and truly rejuvenating. It was the perfect place to pamper ourselves. 

There are dozens of hiking trails varying in difficulty that surround SB. Check out 1.8-mile Cold Spring loop trail or for something easier, Douglas Family Preserve is great for strolling. Both offer gorgeous beach views.

photo: Bill Zeldis

photo: Bill Zeldis

header photo: Gabriela Herman