Luxury Travel Experiences in Santa Barbara

Nestled between beautiful, towering mountains and the shimmering Pacific Ocean, the Santa Barbara South Coast promises an opulent escape for travelers near and far. During your stay, prepare to be seduced by world-class wine tasting, immersive wellness activities, an eclectic culinary scene that effortlessly marries fine dining with unique local flavors—and more. Known for its Mediterranean-style white stucco buildings with red-tile roofs, world-class vineyards and luxury resorts, Santa Barbara is a destination where special moments are made, and where experiences can be tailored to create your dream retreat. Welcome to The American Riviera®.

Arrive with ease via Surf Air, a private aviation company offering seamless, high-end journeys that touch down at the revered, easy-to-navigate Santa Barbara Airport—along with other nonstop commercial flight options from cities across the U.S.—and your luxury experience begins even before you set foot in this coastal paradise. To make trip-planning a breeze, book your next vacation to Santa Barbara with the experts at Santa Barbara Travel Bureau.

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PRIVATE wine tasting tours

Sustainable Wine Tours

Discover the hidden gems of Santa Barbara wine country with Sustainable Wine Tours. Delve deep into three premier vineyards, often closed to the public, and savor tastings of sustainable wines hosted by the very hands that craft the wines. Enjoy luxurious transportation to and from your destinations in a Tesla or Mercedes, indulge in a curated organic picnic, chat with the owners or winemakers as you sip and experience the unparalleled expertise of your guide during this exclusive wine tasting experience.

Photo credit: Sara Biondi

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Coastal Concierge

Embark on a bespoke wine journey with Coastal Concierge, an elite Santa Barbara wine tour curator. With intimate ties to the region’s finest wineries and tasting rooms, Coastal Concierge offers a variety of personalized tours that incorporate different modes of transportation—from boats to planes. Guests enjoy a dedicated personal guide and a tailored itinerary crowned with a gourmet picnic lunch, ensuring a luxurious and intimate adventure.

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Destination Vine

With a female-led, entrepreneurial zest, Destination Vine is your compass to Santa Ynez Valley’s most coveted viticulture secrets and vinous sips—revelations waiting to be uncorked. The private tour operation moves far beyond the ordinary to include enchanting experiences like hot air ballooning and horseback riding. Fill your cup with an experience where the magic of wine blends seamlessly with a unique and unforgettable adventure.

Photo credit: Crown Point Vineyards

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Santa Barbara Sailing Center

Set sail on the pristine waters of the Santa Barbara coastline with Santa Barbara Sailing Center. With yacht sizes ranging from 27 feet to 61 feet, all charters can accommodate a group of up to six passengers. As you soak in breathtaking views, opt to be hands-on with the sailing maneuvers and learn the lines, or simply indulge in curated catering and choice libations (at an additional cost) for an unparalleled seafaring experience.

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SunSwept Sailing

Embark on a timeless nautical journey with SunSwept Sailing aboard Kelpie, a 35-foot sailing yacht that melds classic elegance with modern luxury. As you coast along the stunning Santa Barbara shoreline, relish in panoramic ocean and mountain vistas, all while soaking in the wooden charm of the vessel. Personalize your voyage with curated light bites and beverages, and be enchanted by the whisper of the ocean breeze and glimpses of playful marine life.

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Montecito Charters

Perhaps the fastest vessel in this lineup, Montecito Charters’ Dream Weaver, a 52-foot sport cruiser, ensures a voyage as memorable as The American Riviera®. The Mediterranean-style interior design boasts plenty of comfortable spaces to relax throughout—from an inviting saloon to cushioned bow seating. If you’re hoping to explore the Channel Islands in just a day (with up to six of your closest friends), Dream Weaver is your gal.

Photo credit: @montanamermaid

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Channel Cat

Sail the serene Santa Barbara Channel aboard Channel Cat, a luxurious 85-foot sailing catamaran—the largest in Santa Barbara—boasting a capacity for 140 guests and designed with detailing like bright, chic seating areas and ample indoor and outdoor seating options. Splurge on additional onboard amenities, from a full-service bar to live entertainment and private catering. The yacht was originally imagined and brought to fruition by none other than Charles Munger, Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman, as he was set out to build the largest sailing catamaran in the world at the time (the first rendition of this larger-than-life vessel was drawn on a cocktail napkin!).

Photo credit: @sbchannelcat via Instagram

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Gourmet Culinary Experiences

Farmers Market Foodie Stroll with Bouchon Santa Barbara

Accompany the executive chef from Bouchon—celebrating its 25th anniversary this year—on a “foodie stroll,” available either on a Tuesday afternoon or Saturday morning. This tour begins with selecting ingredients at a Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market and is followed by a three-course dinner with wine pairings, meticulously crafted to let you unwind and appreciate an evening of California-French country cuisine.

Photo credit: Santa Barbara Culinary Experience

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Farm-to-Table Private Dinner in Chef Massimo’s Garden

Dine under a canopy of stars and strings of lights amid the breathtaking property of Rosewood Miramar Beach during a private farm-to-table dinner in chef Massimo Falsini’s Garden, executive chef at Caruso’s. Revel in culinary excellence, where each dish is crafted from the garden’s freshest picks and the rich bounty sourced from local farmers and fishermen. This exclusive chef-curated soirée, limited to eight to ten guests and available by reservation, promises not just a meal but a journey, with chef Massimo sharing his culinary insights and techniques gathered over his career throughout each delectable course.

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Private Cooking Class with Market Forays

Tap into your passion for cooking with Market Forays, led by chef Laurence. Raised in France, she boasts a distinguished culinary pedigree and has curated a unique program that immerses guests into the world of Santa Barbara’s rich local bounty. After sourcing the freshest ingredients, revel in a collective cooking session at the chef’s Santa Barbara home, culminating in a delightful seasonal feast paired with regional wines. With intimate classes—offered regularly on Saturdays—capped at eight participants, this hands-on experience promises to ignite your culinary creativity. This experience can also be reserved for a private session, offering an even more personalized farm-to-table cooking journey.

Photo credit: Market Forays

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Dinner in San Ysidro Ranch’s Secret Cellar

Step into the enchanting realm of San Ysidro Ranch’s secret wine cellar, a treasure trove showcasing more than 12,000 bottles from 70 distinct wine regions. Here, in a private, intimate setting fit for 10-12 guests, relish an exquisite meal crafted by executive chef Matthew Johnson, each course thoughtfully paired with exceptional wines handpicked by the property’s advanced sommelier Tristan Pitre. This gourmet union of culinary mastery and wine excellence inside this breathtaking cellar is a sought-after affair, reserved for those with a discerning palate.

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Santa Barbara Picnic Co.

Immerse yourself in the art of alfresco dining in The American Riviera® with Santa Barbara Picnic Co., where every gathering is transformed into a memorable affair. From intimate birthday celebrations to backyard concerts or just a casual evening among friends, each picnic is meticulously styled to fit the occasion, complete with chic décor, florals and expert styling. While food and beverages are not included, but yours to choose—with a curated list of vendor recommendations at your fingertips—the set-up and takedown are all taken care of, ensuring an elevated and effortless celebration.

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Caruso’s at Rosewood Miramar Beach in Montecito expertly marries local Californian flavors with oceanside elegance, proudly showcasing both a Michelin star and a Michelin Green Star—the county’s first. Executive chef Massimo Falsini, with over three decades of global culinary artistry, is devoted to serving dishes crafted from the finest ingredients this region has to offer. This exclusive, reservations-only haven offers a luxe dining experience where guests can savor breathtaking Pacific sunsets, making it a not-to-be-missed highlight on any culinary enthusiast’s bucket list.

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Afternoon Tea at Belmond

Elevate your afternoon atop the Santa Barbara hills at the tranquil El Encanto, a Belmond Hotel, where a unique blend of a calming ambiance and botanical wonders await. Recurring on a weekly basis, enjoy this modern tea ritual with a cosmic twist in collaboration with Ojai-based brand, Magic Hour. Sip on custom-blended teas inspired by your sun sign, paired with a curated menu of gourmet treats (think: rosemary scones with strawberry basil jam and fragrant lavender macarons) infused with the essence of what makes Santa Barbara such a rejuvenating place to vacation.

Photo credit: El Encanto, a Belmond Hotel

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Glen Annie Golf Club

The front nine of Glen Annie Golf Club weaves around serene lakes and cascading waterfalls, while the mountain-adjacent holes present breathtaking views of the ocean and the Channel Islands. This course is consistently well-maintained and even offers a diverse craft beer selection from the roaming beverage cart.

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Sandpiper Golf Club

Just a stone’s throw away, the ocean takes center stage at Sandpiper Golf Club, recognized by Golf Digest as one of the Top 100 Public Golf Courses. Nestled on a coastal bluff in the neighboring town of Goleta (just a 20 minute drive from downtown Santa Barbara), this 7,000-yard, links-style course offers ocean and mountain vistas from each hole. Additionally, the club closely neighbors luxury resort The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara, making for an easy morning commute to the course.

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Luxury Shopping

State Street & Downtown

Santa Barbara’s most famed attraction, State Street, and the neighboring downtown area, is sprinkled with retailers from local designers to antique treasures up and down the blocks. Visit Diani, Parker Clay, Jake & Jones and The Shopkeepers (in the Funk Zone) for a mix of refined, casual California styles and handcrafted wares. In addition to her one-of-a-kind designs, Catherine Gee offers personal styling and style box curation for those looking to get a more individualized shopping experience.

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Spa and Wellness 


Palma Colectiva

Venture outside of your resort with a visit to Palma Colectiva, a haven that comprises the perfect blend of spiritual and physical whole-body healing, accompanied by its soothing bohemian-inspired interiors. Reset with a reiki and sound healing session, private breath-work session or craniosacral therapy at this downtown Santa Barbara respite.

Photo credit: @palmacolectiva via Instagram

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The Spa at El Encanto

The Spa’s specialized treatments—ranging from chakra balancing treatments to the classic deep tissue massage—use premium skincare products during every treatment. Following your session, relax with purifying teas or juices at El Encanto‘s restaurant, the Dining Room, where the vistas of east Santa Barbara add to your ever-relaxing retreat.

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Private Sound Bath at The Sacred Space

Find serenity at The Sacred Space with an exclusive VIP sound bath experience. Nestled in an enchanting indoor/outdoor setting in Summerland, up to 10 guests can unwind amidst the harmonious echoes, followed by a delightful breakfast in the Balinese gardens catered by Field + Fort. With utmost privacy, including dedicated parking and tailored amenities, this two-hour experience has become a cherished retreat for those seeking a tranquil escape.

Photo credit: @taylurtakesphotos

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The Spa at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara

Discover a sanctuary of relaxation and rejuvenation at The Spa at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara. Nestled within the resort’s expansive 78 acres, this 42,000-square-foot oasis boasts a lavish array of amenities from a serene swimming pool and a warming redwood sauna to the invigorating eucalyptus steam room. Retreat to fireside lounges or make your way to the rooftop terrace to bask in the resort’s iconic vistas.

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Salon & Spa at San Ysidro Ranch

Embrace tranquility and luxury at the Salon & Spa at San Ysidro Ranch. Amidst inviting fireplaces and walls adorned with hand-painted songbirds, indulge in serene treatments, from soothing massages infused with garden-grown lavender, rosemary and lemon, to rejuvenating Yon-Ka facials, showcasing the opulence of French plant-based skincare. With a variety of different offerings ranging from massages to oxygen therapy, each with long curated menus, a visit to the Salon & Spa will leave you feeling rejuvenated.

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Sense, a Rosewood Spa

Sense, a Rosewood Spa at Rosewood Miramar Beach invites you to reconnect and unwind with unique total-body therapy sessions and enhancements that’ll take your spa day to the next level. Revel in the CBD Total Reboot Contrast Therapy session with a dip in the spa’s cold plunge pool, equipped with stunning mountain and ocean views. Or opt for a selection from its “lost remedies” menu, where you can harness the natural benefits of Mother Nature’s bounty with elements like sage and seaweed.

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Discover more luxurious Santa Barbara spas.


Arts and Culture


Tucked away in the hills of Montecito, Ganna Walska Lotusland is an enchanting 37-acre garden, brimming with over 3,000 diverse, treasured plant species across 19 different themed gardens. This verdant oasis, once the elegant estate of the legendary opera singer, Madame Ganna Walska, stands today as a testament to her decades of passion and vision, celebrated as one of the globe’s premier botanical treasures.

Photo credit: Santa Barbara Culinary Experience

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Tour of Good Land Organics/Frinj Coffee

Discover the allure of California-grown coffee at this haven nestled in nearby Goleta. Good Land Organics, an exotic fruit and coffee farm, founded Frinj Coffee in 2018 and has brewed up an exclusive journey into the Santa Barbara South Coast’s unique coffee cultivation scene. Exclusive tours of the coffee farm are held monthly, unearthing the world of specialty coffee production.

Photo credit: Frinj Coffee

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Private Portrait Session with The Alchemistress

California-based artist Lindsey Ross—best known as the Alchemistress—offers a unique, vintage twist on portrait-taking: tintype or ambrotype photography. When you book a private session with her, you’ll leave her Santa Barbara studio (or location of your choosing) with a memory frozen in time, adorned on a thin sheet of metal or glass—sturdier and more eclectic than many other souvenirs you might find in The American Riviera®.

Photo credit: @jonasjungblut via Instagram

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78 Years of Diving & Discovery Gala

Gather for an illustrious evening at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara to honor explorer and environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau’s remarkable 78 years of ocean exploration and commitment to the planet. On Nov. 11, witness never-before-seen footage of Cousteau’s explorations, dance and exquisite food, all while supporting Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society’s mission to champion marine conservation. As a beacon of the resort’s cultural heritage, Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment program underscores the deep connection between humanity and the global ecosystem, a legacy that continues to inspire and educate at select Ritz-Carlton properties worldwide. Throughout the weekend, guests will also enjoy an eco-hike and breakfast with Cousteau himself in addition to an ocean discovery cruise aboard popular whale watching boat, Condor Express.

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The Literary Club at El Encanto

The Literary Club at El Encanto, a Belmond Hotel attendees to insights from renowned authors and writers, bringing an inspired perspective to the hills of east Santa Barbara. This event treats attendees with a signed novel and a sumptuous three-course lunch—set against the backdrop of this historic and lush property.

Photo credit: @belmondelencanto via Instagram

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Paint with Wine with Local Artist Danielle Renée

Local artist Danielle Renée of Danielle Renée Art elevates the traditional wine and painting class, literally infusing art with vino. Go beyond the norms as she guides you in painting using wine, an experience enjoyable for artists of all levels. As the wine interacts with the paper, your masterpiece evolves. To add a twist, Renée also incorporates unexpected natural elements like taco ingredients, as well as THC and CBD products, into her creative palette.

Photo credit: via Instagram

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Casa del Herrero

Casa del Herrero, masterfully designed by American architect and painter George Washington Smith for industrialist George Fox Steedman, has stood as an iconic testament to Spanish Colonial Revival architecture since 1925. Honored with a spot on the National Register of Historic Places and boasting National Historic Landmark status, its enchanting American Country Place era gardens beckons history buffs (and those who love beautiful spaces), and meticulous detailing and stylistic nods to Steedman’s niche hobbies and interests are sprinkled throughout the dwelling. Public tours are offered Wednesdays and Saturdays for up to six people, and private tours can be arranged any day of the week.

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Luxury Accommodations

Rosewood Miramar Beach

Rosewood Miramar Beach in Montecito, envisioned by renowned L.A. developer Rick Caruso, stands as the only Santa Barbara South Coast hotel that is directly on the beach. With 124 guest rooms, 37 suites and an array of upscale amenities, including on-property shopping and a range of exquisite Michelin-starred and recommended dining venues, this beachfront gem truly epitomizes luxury lodging.

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Hotel Californian

Nestled where lower State Street meets the vibrant Funk Zone and waterfront, the glamorous Hotel Californian celebrates Santa Barbara’s Spanish Colonial Revival legacy while showcasing Moorish-inspired interiors by famed designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard. Guests can indulge in luxe rooms adorned with old Hollywood photography, relish the rooftop pool, Turkish-inspired spa, chic boutiques and upscale dining at two signature restaurants and a cocktail bar.

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El Encanto, a Belmond Hotel

Boasting breathtaking panoramic views of downtown Santa Barbara and the Pacific Ocean, the El Encanto, a Belmond Hotel, seamlessly blends historic charm with modern luxury, having graced The American Riviera® since 1918. Guests are treated to spacious bungalows, unique onsite classes and experiences, a breathtaking zero-edge pool, a restaurant and bar and a full array of amenities including a spa and courtesy shuttle.

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For more inspiration about where to stay in Santa Barbara, check out these luxurious hotel suites.