Tips on Planning Your Perfect Weekend Getaway

Santa Barbara, being so close to Los Angeles and San Francisco, has always been a popular destination for a weekend getaway. It’s a popular destination for a good reason.

Having an almost perfect weather all year around, the mountain, the ocean, a list of awesome things to do, as well as having a large option of world class shopping and dining help. Below are some tips about how to plan your weekend getaway in Santa Barbara.

santa barbara courthouse

by Trader Chris

Brief Overview of Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is located directly on the Pacific Ocean, just off Highway 101 2 hours north of Los Angeles. The city itself is divided in half by Stearns Wharf and State Street, running directly through town. To the west of this division is West Beach and to the east is East Beach. Cabrillo Boulevard is the pedestrian friendly street that runs along the Ocean where many of the quaint shops are located.

Historic downtown Santa Barbara

downtown santa barbara

by radarxlove

Historic downtown Santa Barbara runs along State Street. It features classic adobe style architecture and Mediterrean influences. Lovely courtyards and striking modern sculptures line the street and fill the gardens. Over 150 restaurants, coffee shops, gourmet markets and street side cafes give plenty of options for diners.

For those who prefer to explore Santa Barbara nightlife, the State Street strip had everything they need for a night on the town from live music and dancing to the theatre and performing arts.

The following are some of the tips we can provide to ensure that your Santa Barbara weekend getaway is as perfect as possible.

Arrange your accommodation as early as possible

Santa Barbara’s popularity as a weekend destination and its limited number of hotels mean places are often fully booked. It will be an utmost disappointment to drive all the way to the city only to be met with one rejection after another. That’s why sorting out where you will be staying during your visit to Santa Barbara ahead of time is one of the most important things to do.

Decide on your perfect hotel

Santa Barbara is lucky enough to have a lot of hotels to choose from. We have beachfront hotels, downtown hotels, hotels in the mountains, luxury hotels, and more. To ensure a perfect weekend getaway, it’s important to pick a hotel that fits your budget as well as a hotel that has all the amenities you look for.
Can’t decide where to stay in Santa Barbara?

Decide whether or not you need to get a rental car

To fully explore what the city has to offer we recommend getting a rental car, assuming of course that you don’t have your own mode of transportation. By having a rental car you’ll be free to explore the surrounding region of Santa Barbara: the wine country, the coastline and the mountains. You’ll end up maximizing your time better.

For the same reason, it’s important that once you decide that you need to get a rental car, you need to arrange this before you get to town. More often than not, car rental agencies will run out of cars on weekends.

Plan your activities ahead of time

Since Santa Barbara offers so much, the question of “what to do in Santa Barbara” can be overwhelming to answer. Between the colonial downtown and its shopping, museums, restaurants, and people watching, to the ocean and its promises of relaxing by the beach, swimming or kayaking. There’s also the mountain with miles of hiking trails and hidden viewpoints over the city. Planning ahead of time will guarantee that you get to see as much as your time allows.

Having said all that, the best tip for planning a weekend getaway in Santa Barbara is simply to relax and enjoy. The pace of life is slower here because everyone knows that life is better spent enjoying the sun than rushing about.

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