Girlfriends Guide to Santa Barbara

It’s easy for girlfriends to get away and get together in Santa Barbara. The American Riviera® is very accessible, whether you’re flying, driving or taking the train. The charming Santa Barbara Airport offers direct flights from major hubs and is super chill to fly in and out of thanks to its compact size. Our close proximity to Los Angeles opens options for flying into both LAX and Hollywood Burbank Airports—the latter of which has an Amtrak pick-up if you’re planning to be car-free while the former is conveniently connected via the Santa Barbara Airbus. On the railways, Santa Barbara is serviced by the Pacific Surfliner and Coast Starlight routes and Amtrak stops right in the heart of downtown. If a road trip is calling, Santa Barbara sits along the iconic Pacific Coast Highway and is a 1.5-hour drive from Los Angeles or a five-hour drive from San Francisco with spectacular scenery coming in from both north and south.

Book Your Stay

Day 1

Whatever means of transportation your group opts for, once you arrive and get checked into your accommodations, you can dive right into your touring and tasting agenda. With more than 30 wineries on Santa Barbara’s Urban Wine Trail, you can easily pair wine tasting with shopping, dining, spa-ing and other adventures and diversions. For example, let’s say you arrive in the early afternoon. Get changed into your finest athleisure attire, grab bikes from your hotel, or rent from Wheel Fun Rentals or BCycle Santa Barbara), and take a spin along the Cabrillo bike path to feel those refreshing ocean breezes in your hair. Cruise out to Stearns Wharf for a tasting with a panoramic view at Deep Sea Tasting Room, and then board a sunset cruise from Sea Landing or the Harbor. After your sail—and some epic photo ops—return the bikes and refresh yourselves for a late dinner and night on the town.

Day 2

After breakfast, head to the spa for a serious pampering session with your pals. Spa experiences range from seaside resorts to contemporary downtown retreats. Destination spas where you can get the full experience with steam, sauna, poolside lounging and gourmet food service include The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara in Goleta, El Encanto, a Belmond Hotel on the Riviera, and Rosewood Miramar Beach in Montecito. Float Luxury Spa is a locals’ favorite that’s well suited to smaller groups with its charming outdoor patio and cozy relaxation lounge. For a truly unique experience, venture into Salt Cave Santa Barbara on State Street where you can revel in the healing powers of Himalayan salts and remarkable serenity options.

Photo Credit: Blake Bronstad

In the afternoon, you’ll be feeling fresh and ready for some wine tasting and shopping. Wander into the shops and boutiques along State Street, meandering into the inviting, bougainvillea-draped paseos like Paseo Nuevo, La Arcada, and El Paseo (where Jamie Slone Wines and Grassini Family Vineyards offer divine chocolate pairing experiences). The Mill is a cool Haley Corridor destination to check out with a winery (Potek Winery), brewery (Third Window Brewing) and restaurant (Third Window Kitchen) set in one artsy cooperative complex that’s also home to an interiors store and Catherine Gee’s ready-to-wear showroom. If you’re in that ‘hood,  we recommend a stop Carr Winery or make an appointment for a one-of-a-kind wine tasting paired to music at Sanguis.

After your sipping and shopping extravaganza, drop your shopping bags off and regroup at your hotel. Book a dinner in the Funk Zone, where you can squeeze in another tasting or two thanks to the later operating hours in this lively district that’s packed with wine tasting rooms, breweries, galleries, surf shops and some excellent restaurants. For a pre-dinner treat, try a pre-supper sparkling wine flight at Riverbench Winery—and take home one of their glitter-dipped bottles for the ultimate souvenir.

DAY 3

Start your last full day with a yoga class followed by a decadent brunch. Then head to Montecito for a guided tour of Lotusland or Casa Del Herrero—both are stunningly beautiful estates and gardens that require reservations since they are in residential neighborhoods. After stepping back in time and getting a taste of the luxe life, hit the shops on Coast Village Road and in the Upper Village as you make your way towards Summerland for antiquing and wine tasting at Summerland Winery. Contact Los Padres Outfitters to secure a late-afternoon horseback ride on the sand with your lady gang. If you don’t have to part ways until the following morning, that means you have one more night for dinner paired with delicious Santa Barbara wines.

And if you have an extra day to work with, consider booking a guided tour to head over the hill to wine country where the grapes are grown. Several reputable companies offer a diverse range of guided tours complete with a designated driver. Choose from classic tastings at a few wineries with a picnic lunch; tours that emphasize themes like sustainable winemaking and Sideways film locations; or tours that integrate activities like biking, horseback riding, and cupcake tasting. If you’re a creative bunch we’ve got you covered with these additional unique ways to wine in Santa Barbara.

Whether it’s a bachelorette party or a much-needed getaway to the dreamy California sunshine, girlfriends undoubtedly agree that Santa Barbara is a prime destination to get away, gather and relax—American Riviera® style.

Plan This Itinerary


Santa Barbara Airbus

Travel easier with Santa Barbara Airbus! With 10 trips between Santa Barbara & LAX every day, the Airbus is the best solution and most cost-effective way to get between Santa Barbara and LAX. Bookings can be made online or over…


Santa Barbara Airport

Santa Barbara Airport – Your Gateway to the American Riviera Your vacation begins the moment you journey through the contemporary glass-enclosed boarding ramps with spectacular vistas of the surrounding hillsides and into the enchanting…


Amtrak Pacific Surfliner

Make the most of your Santa Barbara adventure aboard Amtrak® Pacific Surfliner® where your getaway starts as soon as you step onto the train. Much more than just getting from point A to point B, traveling to Santa Barbara on the Pacific…


El Encanto, a Belmond Hotel

Located in the American Riviera, El Encanto, a Belmond Hotel is Santa Barbara's ultimate luxury getaway. This iconic early 20th-century property is situated atop a commanding hillside, offering ninety-two quintessential, California-styled bungalows…


Casa del Herrero

Experience Montecito as it was during the 1920s and 1930s on a tour of Casa del Herrero, one of Santa Barbara’s finest architectural landmarks. Built in 1925 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 2009, Casa del Herrero is an…


Carr Winery

Carr Vineyards & Winery is a small, handcrafted winery producing 4500 cases in downtown Santa Barbara. Owner and winemaker Ryan Carr established the winery in 1999. All of the wines made by Carr are sourced from Santa…


Float Luxury Spa

Our beautifully designed space will inspire renewal. Featuring a coastal modern design, Float is light & airy, modern but comfortable, simple yet luxurious Santa Barbara spa. Come in for a quick fix or stay for the day and enjoy all the…



Hotel Californian

Hotel Californian, Santa Barbara's premier urban destination, continues to redefine luxury in the American Riviera. Featuring dazzling spaces from celebrity designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard, the 121-room iconoclastic enclave - part history,…


Jamie Slone Wines Tasting Room

At Jamie Slone Wines our mission is to provide guests an outstanding Santa Barbara wine experience! Recent accolades include: Winner: Favorite Winery & Favorite Tasting Room 2019 Santa Barbara News-Press Readers' Choice Awards. BEST…


Lotusland

Bask in Santa Barbara’s botanical beauty on a visit to Lotusland, a stunning 37-acre Montecito estate once owned by the late Madame Ganna Walska. A well-known opera singer and socialite, she purchased the property in 1941 and spent the next…



Paseo Nuevo Shopping Center

Paseo Nuevo is open 11am-7pm daily! View our website for current Hours.  It's recommended that vulnerable guests visit from 11am to 12pm daily. Call ahead as hours may vary for restaurants and eateries. Please bring a face covering to…


The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara

Set against a backdrop of golden beaches and lush mountains, The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara embodies the charm, beauty, and energy of the Mediterranean in the heart of Santa Barbara. The iconic Central California resort spans 78 acres…


Riverbench Vineyard & Winery

Certified sustainable winery focused on Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and sparkling wines from a single vineyard on the bank of the ancient Sisquoc River, known as the Santa Maria Bench. Riverbench Vineyard was established in 1973, when the first grapes…





Wheel Fun Rentals

Best way to see Santa Barbara like a true native with Wheel Fun Rentals three locations!  Electric Bikes by Wheel Fun Rentals- 29 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 Mason Street - 24 Mason Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 Santa Barbara…


Los Padres Outfitters

Get off the beaten path, and explore the beautiful beaches and trails of Santa Barbara on horseback! Imagine starting your day with a pastel colored, morning beach ride, taking a journey through tree lined trails of our…


Santa Barbara BCycle

Located in the heart of Downtown Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara BCycle LLC delivers a best-in-class bike share system for the City of Santa Barbara and is committed to providing an environmentally sustainable transportation alternative for cities.…


Rosewood Miramar Beach

Rosewood Miramar Beach is the only five-star resort on the beach in Southern California, situated less than an hour north of Los Angeles in Santa Barbara’s affluent Montecito community. The resort sits on the site of the former Miramar…


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