4 Days on the Southern California Coast

Travel Advisor Jessica Leary in a black dress and pearl necklace, standing in front of the water.
Curated By

Jessica Leary

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  • Los Angeles

  • Santa Barbara

  • California

  • Beaches

  • Road Trip Travel

  • Beach Town

  • Sightseeing

  • Foodie

A cliffy coastline on the beach during sunset
Curator’s statement

A trip to Los Angeles (LA) and Santa Barbara offers a perfect blend of urban excitement and coastal tranquility, with a particular allure for wine and dining enthusiasts. In LA, indulge in the eclectic culinary scene and explore world-class museums, while iconic landmarks like the Hollywood Sign and Santa Monica Pier add to the excitement. Head to Santa Barbara for a more relaxed atmosphere, where you can savor exquisite wines in the picturesque Santa Ynez Valley and enjoy coastal dining. The juxtaposition of LA's vibrant energy and Santa Barbara's serene beauty creates a delightful experience for those seeking a Californian journey centered around exceptional wine and dining adventures.

The Fora Difference

Book with Jessica to access exclusive perks and experiences on your trip.

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Killer perks

Free upgrades, spa credits and more—we got you

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Personalized recs

Customized travel planning for your style

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Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay

Shutters on the Beach

The classic Santa Monica beach experience, the lobby makes this property feel more intimate, but the pool is a great scene.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Santa Monica Proper Hotel

Knockout urban beach stay, with dreamy Kelly Wearstler interiors and a rare-gem rooftop pool.

Fora Perks
  • VIP welcome & amenity.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Fairmont Miramar - Hotel & Bungalows

A luxurious beachfront oasis offering lavish accommodations, world-class service, and lush private bungalows in the heart of Santa Monica.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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Unlock perks by contacting Jessica to book your trip.

Day 1: Explore Santa Monica

Beach with palm trees during daytime

Arrive in LA and drive to Santa Monica. Check into your hotel and take a stroll around by the beach. I recommend renting e-bikes and taking them for a spin on the bike path between Santa Monica and Venice.

Enjoy out of this world pizza at Gjelina in Venice while strolling up and down Abbot Kinney. Make sure to take a pit stop for a unique ice cream at Salt and Straw as a mid-afternoon pick me up.

For dinner, enjoy fresh ingredients cooked over open fire at Tar & Roses or head back to Venice for out of this world Italian at Felix Trattoria.

Day 2: Drive Up to Malibu

Aerial view of beach with people.

Take a short drive up to Malibu for the day, starting with Brunch at Malibu Farm on the pier.

After lunch, check out the Getty Villa, a huge estate encompassing J. Paul Getty’s impressive art collection. The grounds are absolutely gorgeous and worth strolling around for photos with the Pacific ocean in the background

Day 3: Pacific Coast Highway to Santa Barbara

Aerial view of Santa Barbara downtown during daytime.

Drive up the Pacific Coast Highway to Santa Barbara, taking in the gorgeous coastline. When you arrive, take a stroll down State Street, which has been closed to driving traffic and enjoy the local stores and restaurants.

Make a stop at the Funk Zone to get a taste of local wines in a casual atmosphere. There are many tasting rooms that accept walk ins.

Day 4: Wine Tasting in Santa Ynez

Two wine bottles on a wooden barrel outdoors.

Take the day to do some wine tasting in Santa Ynez. This beautiful area is a short drive from Santa Barbara and is a bit hotter as it is directly inland.

You can’t miss the gorgeous vineyards and spectacular views while enjoying the local wine.

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Meagan Brown’s itinerary, Three Days in Santa Barbara.

This itinerary is part of our ongoing series on travel to California.

Travel Advisor Jessica Leary in a black dress and pearl necklace, standing in front of the water.

Travel Advisor

Jessica Leary

Get in touch with Jessica

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