Girls Trip to Santa Barbara: 3-Day Itinerary

Advisor - Tracey Dennis
Curated By

Tracey Dennis

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  • USA

  • California

  • Santa Barbara

  • Black Travel

  • Local Travel

  • Weekend Getaways

  • Black-owned

  • Small Town

  • Local Food

Palm trees in Santa Barbara.
Curator’s statement

With COVID restrictions easing up, my core friend group needed a quick getaway where we could indulge in some self-care, great food and quality time. Santa Barbara is a place we all wanted to visit and we thought this would be the perfect place for a mid-year reset. It was so great we decided to make an annual trip out of it!

The Fora Difference

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

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Killer perks

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Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay

Best Western Plus Santa Barbara

Tucked away on a quiet residential street, just minutes from beautiful beaches and historic downtown, this hotel offers everything you need for a serene stay.

Riviera Beach House

Art-outfitted, cozy European-style hotel in an eclectic neighborhood.

Santa Barbara Inn

Ocean-front hotel with spectacular views of the Santa Barbara coastline.

Day 1: Stopover in Santa Monica

The pier with cyclone at Santa Monica.

If you’re a Southern California native and driving to Santa Barbara, a must-stop is Chomp Eatery in Santa Monica. With something for everyone in your group, Chomp is a healthier alternative to the fast food drive throughs on the way up the coast. The Chomp Fries are essential!

Day 2: Touring Vineyards in Santa Ynez and Los Olivos

Vineyard in California.

When in Santa Barbara, wine tasting must be on the agenda. We booked a Cupcake and Wine Tour, where we spent the better part of the day traveling in an air conditioned coach, listening to the guide talk about the history of wine making in Santa Barbara and the surrounding area. First winery on the tour was the Folded Hills Winery in Santa Ynez, with its sheep and fresh fruit trees, where we were encouraged to pick from and have with our wine. A gorgeous winery and sustainable farm with engaging staff and delicious wine.

Next stop on the tour provided a lovely place to eat our picnic lunch, at the Koehler Winery in in Los Olivos. Here we enjoyed time to laugh, talk, and enjoy the music pumped through the speakers.

The last stop of the tour was Sarloos & Sons Tasting Room, also in Los Olivos, where we enjoyed specially paired mini cupcakes with our wine tastings. The chocolate peanut butter cupcake was the favorite of our group; it paired perfectly with one of their dessert ports. The vibe of Sarloos was our favorite, with its adorable sitting area in front of the tasting room, perfect to people watch and converse. 

After a full day of wine tasting, we headed to Coast & Olive in Montecito for dinner. We ate outside as we were tipped off that inside was too loud to hold a conversation. Our servers were adorable younger people who helped us choose our appetizer (the Dip Duo was delicious) and gave excellent cocktail recommendations (which can all be made into mocktails for the designated driver). They also have vegetarian options for those in your party.

Day 3: Spa & Relaxation

Umbrellas on the beach

What is a girl's trip dedicated to wellness without a bit of shopping?! We went to the State Street Promenade and did some retail therapy including the Coach Factory and The Closet Trading Company . We then walked among the street vendors and purchased candles (our respective Zodiac signs and custom fragrances) from New York Street Candles, and some puppy treats for our fur baby at the George display.

We then went all in at the historic Santa Barbara Salt Caves on State Street, the "Largest Underground Crystal Salt Cave in North America!" Book a "Saltsational" Swedish Massage and experience a therapeutic session  within the salt cave. You start the adventure by going downstairs into the salt cave, in the gift shop, where all-things-salt await! Items like bath salts, salt lamps, crystals and cooking salts are all available for perusal and purchase before and after your treatments. We started with a 45-minute rejuvenation session in the salt cave, where we sat in zero-gravity chairs and listened to a calming voice guide us through a relaxing meditation. After the salt cave experience, we enjoyed individual 90-minute massages, rounding out our relaxing girls weekend away. (60 and 75-minute sessions of varying degrees are also available). 

After our rejuvenation session in the salt cave, Afternoon Tea at Scarlett Begonia was on the agenda. Reservations are necessary, and the menu boasts traditional afternoon tea fare, but the smoked salmon tea sandwich, strawberry scone and the wedding tea were my personal favorites of the bunch.

After tea, we took in more of the Promenade stopping in to look at some classic vinyl at Antique Alley. The road trip ended with a quick jaunt to the Butterfly Beach before we headed home. The weekend was just what we needed, and we can't wait to do it again next year!

Need to Know

Looking for more travel tips? Check out my Fun Weekend Getaway to Las Vegas.