NEIGHBORHOODS & TOWNS NEIGHBORHOODS & TOWNS SIGNATURE EVENT ITINERARY IDEAS

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 driving, flying or taking the train. 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. The charming Santa Barbara Airport also offers direct flights from seven major hubs and is super chill to fly in and out of thanks to its compact size. 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 five-hour drive from San Francisco with spectacular scenery coming in from both north and south.

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) 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. Keep it classy and end your night sipping on fine wines at the stylish Armada Wine + Beer Merchant.

Day 2

After breakfast the following morning, 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, Hotel Californian on Lower State Street, Belmond El Encanto on the Riviera, and The Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara 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. Along Santa Barbara’s waterfront, let the sound of ocean waves send you into sweet relaxation at Spa Beaumontia, inside Harbor View Inn. 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.

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 (pop into Sanford Winery here) and El Paseo (where Jamie Slone Wines and Grassini Family Vineyards offer divine chocolate pairing experiences). The Mill is a cool Lagoon District destination to check out with a winery, brewery and restaurant 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.

Book Your Stay

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, stop into Les Marchands for an out-of-this-world charcuterie plate, paired to perfection with domestic and international wines.  If you and your girls are fond of bubbles, 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 Santa Barbara Beach Horseback Rides 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 to 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 or want to cultivate your artistic skills, book a private painting in the vineyards experience with Gyspy Studios or check their schedule of public classes offered on weekends.

Whether it’s a bachelorette party or a mid-winter 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 better with the Santa Barbara Airbus! With 16 trips between Santa Barbara & LAX every day, the Airbus is the easiest and most cost-effective way to get to Santa Barbara. Bookings can be made online up to 2 hours before your trip.…


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…


Santa Barbara Beach Horseback Rides

Enjoy this iconic – one-of-a-kind – Santa Barbara adventure that CNN Travel rates in Top Three Things To Do in SoCal. Rides offered three times daily all Summer. Perfect for families, couples and groups. Check our website for…


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…



Belmond El Encanto

Located in the American Riviera, Belmond El Encanto is Santa Barbara’s only Forbes Five-Star resort. This iconic early 20th-century property is situated atop a commanding hillside, offering ninety-two quintessential, California-styled…


Casa del Herrero

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…


Carr Winery

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


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…



Grassini Family Vineyards Tasting Room

At Grassini Family Vineyards and Winery, our family’s passion for beauty, commitment to hard work and a special place all come together to make the wine in bottles bearing our family’s label something special. It is our hope that you…



Harbor View Inn

Welcome to Santa Barbara’s premier beachfront hotel. Our family-friendly 4-Diamond resort provides all of the services you need to experience the best for your Santa Barbara vacation. Whether you are looking for a romantic retreat, a…



Jamie Slone Wines Tasting Room

Voted Runner-Up for BEST Urban Tasting Room in the SB Independent 2018 Best of Santa Barbara Readers' Poll! Jamie Slone Wines specializes in limited production premium wines, sourcing fruit from the best vineyards in Santa Barbara…


Les Marchands Restaurant & Wine Merchant

Les Marchands is a European-styled restaurant, wine bar and retail shop featuring outstanding wines from Santa Barbara County and throughout the world. The bistro menu showcases seasonally inspired food for a casual supper, weekend brunch or snack…


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…


The Mill

Stylistically restored respecting the buildings’ original heritage, Darrell and Kirsten Becker have put a modern spin on The Feed Mill originally constructed in 1904 by the Boykin family. Coined The Mill, the corner of Laguna and Haley is now…


Paseo Nuevo Shops & Restaurants

Paseo Nuevo is Santa Barbara's premier shopping destination in the heart of downtown! Shop Nordstrom and Macy's, Sephora, Victoria's Secret, Aveda and over 50 more shops. The beautiful paseos, courts and terrace lend a perfect setting for take a…


The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara

Along the bluffs and beaches of the Gaviota coast lies a resort of stunning natural beauty and relaxed luxury. With 78 acres of oceanfront property, including two miles of natural beach, Bacara offers an expansive sun-drenched setting with endless…


Riverbench Vineyard & Winery

Taste our wines now at two locations! Visit us at our brand new urban tasting room located in the Santa Barbara Funk Zone. Open daily from 11:am-6:00pm. 137 Anacapa St. Suite C. Santa Barbara, Ca 93101. Or, visit our historic vineyard and tasting…


Salt Caves Santa Barbara

Welcome to Salt, Santa Barbara's underground Himalayan salt caves. Drop in, feel good, and experience the wonder of Salt. Salt Cave SessionsWe have two underground Himalayan salt caves for your use. Our larger cave is a quiet zone for adults and…


Sanford Winery & Tasting Room

We invite you to join us at our two locations! Experience our premium offerings in our La Arcada tasting room, located in downtown Santa Barbara, or drive up the coast and visit our iconic winery and vineyard in the heart of the Sta. Rita Hills.…


Sanguis

Wines that are singular, compelling and beautiful rely on great vineyards and proper farming in union with a healthy dose of confidence, determination and style. Like great food, they can not exist without superior 'raw materials', the land…


Summerland Winery

Summerland Winery is a boutique wine company that takes pride in producing a diverse range of premium wines focusing on the expressive vineyard sources spanning from Santa Barbara to Monterey with an emphasis on small lot, vineyard designated Pinot…


Wheel Fun Rentals

Best way to see Santa Barbara like a true native! Explore along our beautiful coast or head downtown for some shopping and dining without the worry of parking! Get the family together for a group Surrey ride (which is able to accommodate up…


map-icon

In this Itinerary...