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Romantic Guide to Santa Barbara

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Santa Barbara is a destination perfect for a romantic getaway. In this rather unassuming small town, there are tons of beautiful hotels, spas, top-notch restaurants and endless outdoor activities for couples to enjoy. Plus, the Spanish-style architecture set against the beautiful natural backdrop of towering mountains and California coastline make for many postcard-perfect moments.

Good for
  • Couples
  • Foodie
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • Luxury Traveller
  • Trendsetter
  • Like a Local

9 Places

3 City Tips

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Map

9 Places

Bella Vista at Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara

Restaurants

Stella Mare's

Restaurants

Santa Barbara Bowl

Performances

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

Gardens

Float Luxury Spa

Spas

Stonehouse Restaurant at San Ysidro Ranch

Restaurants

The Lark

Restaurants

Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary

Nature & Wildlife Areas

Urban Wine Trail

Wine Tours & Tastings

Kate T's City Tips

  • Santa Barbara is a versatile place, meaning it is great as both a budget and a luxury destination.
  • Santa Barbara is a laid-back beach town where locals strike a balance dressing casually yet fashionably.
  • Warmer months are great for a visit to Santa Barbara to enjoy its beach life, while colder months tend to provide crystal clear skies and a need to cuddle up in the brisk air.
  • Bella Vista at Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara
    Restaurants (American)
    See more photos
    Kate T Says:

    Bella Vista is located inside the beautiful Four Seasons Resort, the Biltmore Santa Barbara, and is probably the most romantic restaurant in town due to its ocean views and elegant dining spaces. Definitely an upscale experience, Bella Vista serves delicious California cuisine with an Italian twist. At night the outdoor seating on the heated terrace is especially enchanting as the lanterns hanging from the trees and the glowing fire pit light up the scene.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    Tips
    • Brunch at Bella Vista is legendary. Call ahead for a reservation and enjoy an extravagant weekend brunch with a perfect view of the sea.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #49 of 464 restaurants in Santa Barbara
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A fabulous anniversary dinner! 04/11/2018
    • They won us back and will shall return 16/10/2018
    • Bella Vista at Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara
    Address:
    1260 Channel Dr
    Santa Barbara, CA 93108-2805
    Phone:
    +1 805-565-8237
    Price range:
    US$ 15 - US$ 48
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    7:00 AM - 3:00 PM
    Wed - Thu
    5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    Fri
    5:00 PM - 9:30 PM
    Sat - Sun
    7:00 AM - 9:30 PM
    Other:
  • Stella Mare's
    Restaurants (French)
    See more photos
    Kate T Says:

    Stella Mare's is a restaurant off the beaten path and extremely popular with locals. The menu is full of delicious French-Californian cuisine, while the interior décor makes you feel as if you're dining in a distinguished French country home. For a romantic evening, come for dinner and ask to be seated in the greenhouse, a cozy intimate space with glass walls and a stone fireplace.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Friends
    • Like a Local
    • Couples
    • Luxury Traveller
    Tips
    • You'll want to leave your beachwear at home and dress up for a fancy dinner date here.
    • My favorite dinner dish at Stella Mare's has to be the “Rack of Lamb Bordelaise.” As a starter, I enjoy the “Baked Goat's Cheese.”
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #42 of 464 restaurants in Santa Barbara
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Outstanding French Cuisine 10/11/2018
    • The food was not up to the prices 17/10/2018
    • Stella Mare's
    Address:
    50 Los Patos Way
    Santa Barbara, CA 93108-2822
    Phone:
    +1 805-969-6705
    Price range:
    US$ 30 - US$ 30
    Hours:
    Sun
    10:00 AM - 9:00 PM
    Tue - Thu
    11:30 AM - 9:00 PM
    Fri
    11:30 AM - 10:00 PM
    Sat
    10:00 AM - 10:00 PM
    Other:
  • Santa Barbara Bowl
    Performances
    See more photos
    Kate T Says:

    Where else can you watch a live show surrounded by woodlands? This special venue sits in the hills above Santa Barbara, and hosts performances by some of the most well-known singers and musicians in its large yet intimate outdoor space. While at The Bowl, you’ll get beautiful views of the Santa Barbara region wherever you sit. To make your getaway extra special, why not surprise your significant other with tickets to see a favorite band!

    Good for
    • Like a Local
    • Trendsetter
    Tips
    • It gets chilly at night, so be sure to bring warm layers with you, and maybe a blanket to cuddle up under.
    • Wear shoes that are comfortable and sturdy, as you’ll have to walk up a hill to enter the venue.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 13 Concerts & Shows in Santa Barbara
    • Cozy place 14/11/2018
    • Rise Against rocked the bowl! 25/10/2018
    • Santa Barbara Bowl
    Address:
    1122 N Milpas St
    Santa Barbara, CA 93103-2336
    Phone:
    +1 805-962-7411
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    Other:
  • Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
    Gardens
    See more photos
    Kate T Says:

    Visiting the Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens is a great way to get in touch with nature while strolling hand in hand with your loved one. The natural landscape here is enchanting. From the gardens you’ll get great views of the ocean and the Channel Islands out in the distance, as well as the Santa Inez Mountains that frame Santa Barbara County. There are also historical sites to explore, including stairs built by Native Americans, an aqueduct, a dam and more.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Occasionally, Japanese Tea ceremonies and educational sessions are held in the ShinKanAn Teahouse and Garden. Check the website for schedule details.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #19 of 149 things to do in Santa Barbara
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • An oasis in an oasis! 12/11/2018
    • Quiet & serene walking paths though native plants and oaks. 06/11/2018
    • Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
    Address:
    1212 Mission Canyon Rd
    Santa Barbara, CA 93105-2199
    Phone:
    +1 805-682-4726
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Float Luxury Spa
    Spas
    See more photos
    Kate T Says:

    I just love how conveniently located Float Luxury Spa is, right in the middle of town and just off State Street. Many hotels, restaurants, museums and shops that you might already be visiting are only a stroll away. Treat yourself to a couples massage and/or other treatments — upon arrival, you’ll receive a robe and slippers, and you can linger and relax here throughout the day, enjoying the peaceful garden and calming indoor spaces.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Luxury Traveller
    Tips
    • Gratuity for a spa treatment is generally 15%-20% on top of the listed price.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #7 of 35 Spas & Wellness in Santa Barbara
    • Anniversary Weekend, Both of us had the best massage ever! 02/01/2017
    • Float Away 03/07/2016
    • Float Luxury Spa
    Address:
    18 E Canon Perdido St
    Santa Barbara, CA 93101-2214
    Phone:
    +1 805-845-7777
    Hours:
    Sun
    10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    Mon - Sat
    9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
    Other:
  • Stonehouse Restaurant at San Ysidro Ranch
    Restaurants (American, Contemporary)
    See more photos
    Kate T Says:

    On the property of the San Ysidro Ranch are the bar, dining room and outdoor patio of the Stonehouse Restaurant. The ambiance here is both luxurious and comfortable, inviting the outdoors in with rustic decor. Sitting outside is especially a treat, surrounded by oak trees and the ranch grounds. The food can be described as haute cuisine, utilizing fresh produce from the local region, and many of the fruits and vegetables served are picked right from the hotel’s gardens.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Family
    Tips
    • Unless you are staying at the hotel, you’ll need a car to get to this restaurant, as it's a 20-minute drive from the center of town.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 20 restaurants in Montecito
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Romantic 29/10/2018
    • Can't wait for it to re-open. 15/10/2018
    • Stonehouse Restaurant at San Ysidro Ranch
    Address:
    900 San Ysidro Ln
    Montecito, CA 93108-1325
    Phone:
    +1 805-565-1724
    Price range:
    US$ 31 - US$ 75
    Hours:
    Sun
    10:30 AM - 2:00 PM
    Sun - Sat
    6:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    Thu - Sat
    11:30 AM - 2:00 PM
    Other:
  • The Lark
    Restaurants (American)
    See more photos
    Kate T Says:

    The Lark is a trendy, energetic restaurant situated right in the middle of an area known as the 'Funk Zone.' Here, you can enjoy a lively date night, nourished by delectable eats made with local and seasonal produce.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    Tips
    • Be sure to make a reservation well ahead of time.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #46 of 464 restaurants in Santa Barbara
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Lots of too much 07/11/2018
    • Great place for a special occasion 07/11/2018
    • The Lark
    Address:
    131 Anacapa St
    Suite A
    Santa Barbara, CA 93101-1860
    Phone:
    +1 805-284-0370
    Price range:
    US$ 20 - US$ 50
    Hours:
    Sun
    5:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    Tue - Thu
    5:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    Fri - Sat
    5:00 PM - 11:00 PM
    Other:
  • Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary
    Nature & Wildlife Areas
    See more photos
    Kate T Says:

    From the Santa Barbara shoreline, you can easily spot the Channel Islands out in the distance, and five of these islands, plus the water surrounding them, make up the National Marine Sanctuary. This area is known to many as North America’s Galapagos for all its thriving land and sea life. Enjoy a wide variety of activities here on your romantic getaway, from hiking to swimming and snorkeling.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Note that these islands are uninhabited with no stores, restrooms or any other amenities. Come prepared!
    • For less outdoorsy types, booking a more relaxing tour with a local company is a hassle-free way to experience the Channel Islands.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #5 of 8 things to do in Channel Islands National Park
    • Channel Islands National Park/Sanctuary 21/10/2018
    • Day trip to the sanctuary 16/09/2018
    • Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary
    Address:
    Off the coast of Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties
    Channel Islands National Park, CA
    Phone:
    +1 805-893-6431
    Other:
  • Urban Wine Trail
    Wine Tours & Tastings
    Kate T Says:

    Santa Barbara County is full of wineries producing world-class vintages, and the Urban Wine Trail is a collection of tasting rooms and wineries situated around downtown Santa Barbara, showcasing the best of the region. Sample your way from one venue to the next, and you’ll get a great overview of local offerings, as well as a pleasant buzz!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Trendsetter
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • There is a cluster of tasting rooms that are part of the Urban Wine Trail just off Anacapa Street. This makes bar-hopping a little easier.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #38 of 73 Food & Drink in Santa Barbara
    • Wine bliss 16/10/2018
    • Hic 12/05/2018
    • Urban Wine Trail
    Address:
    Yanonali Street
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Other:
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