A Local’s Comprehensive Guide to Montecito, CA
Welcome to Montecito! As a local, I'm thrilled to be your guide through the enchanting beauty and hidden treasures of this charming town. Idyllic accommodations, scenic attractions, delightful shopping experiences, and delectable dining options make Montecito truly special and my goal is to share it all with you! Get ready to uncover the local secrets and create unforgettable memories as we delve into the wonders of Montecito.
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Where to stay in Montecito, CA
San Ysidro Ranch
Tucked in the foothills of Santa Barbara, this dreamy ranch hideaway features a spacious garden, farm-to-table dining, 38 vine-covered cottages and a legendary guest list. The Kennedys honeymooned here.
$100 food / beverage credit.
Breakfast daily for two guests per bedroom in the Stonehouse.
Upgrade & extended check-in/out based upon availability at check-in.
Rosewood Miramar Beach
A Santa Barbara icon turned foodie heaven on one of the dreamiest stretches of the American Riviera.
Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
Complimentary Full Breakfast daily for two per bedroom
$100 USD equivalent Hotel credit to be utilized during stay
El Encanto, A Belmond Hotel, Santa Barbara
Located in the hills of Santa Barbara, this iconic resort dates back to 1918.
$100 hotel / resort credit.
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Things to do in Montecito, CA
Lotusland: Step into a botanical wonderland at Lotusland, an exquisite garden showcasing rare plants and whimsical sculptures, offering a serene escape from the ordinary. Reservations are required so make sure to plan ahead!
Butterfly Beach: Take a sunset stroll or bike ride along these tranquil shores. The gentle waves lend themselves to a dip if the weather permits!
Montecito Country Mart: Explore this local gathering spot offering a curated selection of boutique shops, artisanal treats, and a vibrant community atmosphere.
Pierre Lafond/Wendy Foster: Indulge in a shopping spree at Upstairs at Pierre Lafond and Wendy Foster, where you'll find a mix of stylish clothing, unique accessories, and carefully curated lifestyle products.
Miramar Beach: Unwind at Miramar Beach, a serene stretch of coastline perfect for leisurely walks, picnics, and enjoying the sound of the ocean waves.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church: Visit the historic Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, a stunning architectural masterpiece known for its beautiful stained glass windows, adobe exterior, and peaceful ambiance.
Hot Springs Canyon Trailhead: Experience the natural beauty of Montecito on this picturesque trail. Hike through lush greenery and discover hidden hot springs where you can take a relaxing dip!
Places to eat & drink in Montecito, CA
Bree’Osh - Start your day with delicious pastries and artisanal bread at Bree'Osh, a local favorite bakery offering an array of French-inspired delights. The Brioche Breakfast Sandwich and the Egg and Bacon Croissant Rolls are my personal favorites!
Jeannine’s - Enjoy a leisurely brunch or a delightful coffee break at Jeannine's, a cozy cafe known for its freshly baked goods, hearty breakfast options, and friendly atmosphere.
Pierre Lafond Deli - Savor gourmet sandwiches, salads, and specialty items at Pierre Lafond Deli, a go-to spot for a quick and satisfying lunch with a touch of European flair. Head to the back for an amazing chocolate selection!
Oliver’s - Experience luxurious farm-to-table dining at its finest at Oliver's, where locally sourced ingredients are transformed into delectable creations that just so happen to be plant-based!
Bettina - Wood-fired pizzas and seasonal small plates at Bettina, a vibrant pizzeria offering a warm and welcoming atmosphere paired with exceptional flavors. Definitely book ahead, as this place is on everyone’s list!
Lucky’s - A classic steakhouse experience at a timeless establishment known as Lucky's, known for its prime cuts of meat, elegant decor, and attentive service.
Tre Lune - Celebrity residents of Montecito are known to frequent this charming trattoria serving authentic Italian cuisine in a cozy setting.
Caruso’s - Coastal Italian cuisine with panoramic ocean views located in the Rosewood Miramar offering a blend of traditional flavors and modern culinary techniques.
Via Vai - Local favorite Italian home cooking in the Upper Village. Great patio space and good for large groups!
Rori’s Artisanal Creamery - Treat yourself to handcrafted, small-batch ice cream made from the finest ingredients at Rori's Artisanal Creamery. My personal favorite flavors are the Brown Sugar Banana and the Honey Lavender!
Need to Know
Looking for more travel inspo? Check out Fora Advisor Amy Shamus' guide, A Guide to the Marvelous Montecito.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to California.