Looking to wow and woo the wine lover in your life? Escape to The American Riviera® to sip Santa Barbara’s finest vintages while enjoying the region’s most exceptional settings and superior personalized service. Think luxurious resorts, impeccably prepared seasonal feasts, picturesque vineyards, private barrel tastings, leisurely beach walks, sunsets by the sea and pampering spa treatments.
This epic four-day itinerary seamlessly blends town and country—and guarantees you’ll leave with some seriously brag-worthy experiences under your belt. (Not to mention, several cases of wine to keep your Santa Barbara love affair alive long after you’ve returned home!)
Day 1: Wine & Architecture
Your first order of business will be checking into one of Santa Barbara’s premier luxury resorts—take your pick from oceanfront, hillside or downtown settings and request an early check-in so you can maximize your afternoon upon arrival.
Once you’ve gotten settled in, have your car service take you to the heart of downtown Santa Barbara for a refined urban wine touring experience in the historic adobes of El Paseo. Wineries located in Santa Barbara’s Presidio neighborhood feature elegant tasting rooms that pour vintages crafted by esteemed family-owned-and-operated wineries such as Au Bon Climat, Grassini Family Vineyards, Jamie Slone Wines, Frequency Wine Co. and Happy Canyon Vineyard.
Walk off the wine with a visit to two picturesque architectural landmarks near El Paseo: El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park and the grand Santa Barbara County Courthouse—don’t miss the epic view from the top of the clock tower. Then, take a stroll along State Street and browse the boutiques of Arlington Plaza and Paseo Nuevo.
Take a break to refresh at your hotel before you head to the cozy and intimate Bouchon—which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year—in downtown Santa Barbara. When ordering a glass (or bottle) of wine, know that you’ll be in excellent hands, as the wine list is exclusively made up of Santa Barbara county wines. The food is equally as delicious, of course, as the chef incorporates French techniques into classic coastal Californian cuisine. To explore more restaurants with amazing wine lists, click here.
Day 2: Wine & Wellness
Start your day with room service breakfast in bed and get your blood pumping with an invigorating walk on Butterfly Beach in Montecito that will prep you for the Vinatherapy Wine Wrap treatment at the Salon & Spa at San Ysidro Ranch. Each signature spa experience includes a luxurious body treatment that helps to removes dead skin cells and hydrates the skin, all while harnessing the powerful antioxidant properties of the grape. After, sip a Bellini on the vine-covered spa patio while you take in the tranquil sounds of the property’s cascading waterfall.
Coastal Concierge will pick you up in your blissed out state to catch your private plane from Santa Barbara Airport to wine country. The private one-hour flight will soar above the Pacific and pass over Channel Islands National Park and the Santa Ynez Mountains before landing back at the airport to explore Santa Barbara wine country by land. The tour will include private tastings at coveted wineries of your choosing and a gourmet lunch.
Upon your return to the airport, arrange for Coastal Concierge to drop you off for dinner at Angel Oak at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara. The dark, sultry restaurant serves artful, coastal-inspired cuisine. If you opt for the outdoor patio, the cliffside views of the ocean are a breathtaking way to end an eventful, yet relaxing day.
Day 3: Wine & Outdoor adventure
Start your day with a private cooking class arranged by Market Forays. After collecting seasonal ingredients from local purveyors at a Santa Barbara farmers market, you’ll go to a private residence to prepare a decadent meal while learning more about the local culinary landscape from one of its best-known insiders. Laurence will fill you with destination recommendations and foodie knowledge as you cook and savor the nourishing feast you’ve prepared together. Of course, local wines will be specially paired with your gourmet brunch.
Spend the afternoon shopping the antique stores, upscale galleries and well-curated luxury homeware and fashion boutiques of Montecito and Summerland. Make your way from the Montecito Country Mart to the main stretch of Coast Village Road—with a pitstop at Folded Hills Montecito Tasting Room—and then to the Upper Village. In Summerland, the antique shops are concentrated on Ortega Hill Road that leads into Lillie Avenue, the main drag lined with small shops, galleries and the Summerland Winery tasting room. Time and interest permitting, fit in a visit to one of Montecito’s gorgeous estates open to the public for docent-led tours by appointment; Lotusland and Casa Del Herrero are both stunning examples of Santa Barbara-style architecture and gardens.
In the evening, head to the harbor to embark upon a sunset sail. Several outfitters like SunSwept Sailing, Santa Barbara Sailing Center and Sunset Kidd Sailing offer private charters for up to six passengers. The magnificent coastal views and dreamy sundown light will remind you why Santa Barbara has been called The American Riviera® for more than a century.
Day 4: Wine & Culinary
On your final day, head over the hill to spend a full day exploring wine country. Book a standard car service or tap into the expertise of professional tour guides by using one of the many qualified local wine tour outfitters.
Start your day in Santa Barbara wine country at Zaca Mesa Winery and discover its vast portfolio of acclaimed wines. Then, stop by Dierberg/Star Lane on Drum Canyon Road for a tasting en route to lunch in Los Alamos. Conde Nast Traveler deemed tiny Los Alamos “California’s Next Great Food and Wine Destination.” The rustic one-street town on the rise is home to wine and beer tasting rooms, antique stores and an abundance of fantastic lunch spots like Bob’s Well Bread Bakery or Michelin-starred Bell’s.
Loop back over to Los Olivos, where you can meander around on foot to visit some of the village’s 20-plus tasting rooms. Toast your last night with a magnificent dinner at Bar Le Côte, a Michelin-recommended restaurant located inside an unsuspecting blue tavern, for a European-inspired seafood feast. Or, savor any of these other mouthwatering restaurants in Santa Ynez Valley.
You’ll sleep very well after a decadent day indulging in the diverse flavors of Santa Barbara wine country—and start dreaming of what you’ll do on your next visit.