Marcus and I took a Santa Barbara babymoon for baby #3, and it was incredible! We did three nights/four days, flying from Houston to LAX and then driving about two hours to Santa Barbara.
We had been hearing our family and friends rave about Santa Barbara for years, and it really was the perfect spot for a little romantic getaway! I was 27 weeks pregnant when we went, which I feel was a sweet spot for me during pregnancy. I usually feel pretty good during my second trimester, so I’m really glad we fit this in during those easier weeks!
Planning our Santa Barbara Babymoon:
For the third time now, we used Costco travel to book a vacation. You do have to be a Costco member to use their service, but if you are, definitely look into it! What I really like about Costco Travel is they pare down all the options for you. This helps with decision fatigue, and I have always felt like their selection was on point. We also booked our flights and rental car through Costco. Everything is on one itinerary and really easy to follow. Out of curiosity, I did do some price comparison, and it 100% saved us money going through Costco. It’s hard to tell exactly how much, because Costco doesn’t break out all the pricing, but overall I know we came out ahead (roughly a 10% savings). *This is in no way sponsored by Costco. We are just fans of discounts and simplicity when it comes to travel plans.*
Canary Kimpton Hotel:
We loved The Canary Kimpton Hotel! The location was perfect for our Santa Barbara Babymoon. It was walkable to State Street and pretty much all the hotspots right in the heart of the city. It is part of the larger IHG hotel group, but had the look and feel of a boutique hotel, which I am always drawn to. The best part of the hotel was hands down the rooftop pool and terrace. It had beautiful views of Santa Barbara all the way down to the water!
The Canary has a restaurant on the first floor called Finch & Fork, that services the rooftop pool. It was a treat to enjoy a nicer snack up there one of the afternoons. We got the deviled eggs, and they were delicious!
What we ate on our Santa Barbara Babymoon:
Being pregnant and not able to enjoy wine or cocktails, I wanted to go somewhere for our babymoon that had excellent food. Santa Barbara is know for it’s fresh produce and great restaurants, and we would have to agree with that assessment based on our experience eating our way through the city! Pro tip – Definitely make reservations everywhere you can. I was a booking a few weeks out and some of the restaurants only had very early and very late reservations available.
Barbareno: This restaurant came at the recommendation of a friend, and I’m glad we made a reservation! It had a really unique menu, with an upscale take on common dishes and a handful of extremely different flavor combinations. We love to experiment with food, so this was a hit with us!
The Lark: This is another restaurant that came at the recommendation of some friends! It is located in the Funk Zone, which is closer to the ocean than State Street and has a different vibe. The Lark has an incredible menu, some really unique offerings, lots of sharable plates and a fun atmosphere. They even have a cookbook that we brought back to Texas!
Hook & Press: We grabbed donuts, coffee and juice here one morning. Lots of fun, unique donut flavors like lavender lemonade, maple bacon and samoa!
Mizza: We stopped in Mizza for an appetizer on the day we arrived. We got the burrata tomato salad and ciabatta bread. So good!
McConnells Ice Cream: This is probably the most popular dessert in the city – and for good reason! We went twice while we were there, and it really is a level above the rest when it comes to ice cream. Turns out they are in grocery stores all over AND they even have a “pint of the month” club where you can have their ice cream delivered straight to your house!
What to DO in Santa Barbara:
Taste Santa Barbara Walking Food Tour: On one of our full days we did a three hour walking food tour of Santa Barbara. It was neat because in addition to sampling a bunch of light bites at different restaurants, we also got to learn some history about Santa Barbara. It was a fun way to see parts of the city we would have never ventured to, AND get some steps in. Pro Tip – wear comfortable shoes, sunscreen and a hat. We had great weather, but the sun was cooking!
State Street Promenade: State Street is where a lot of the action is. Tons of cute restaurants, bars, small shops, a few larger retailers. The street itself has been shut down to through traffic, ever since covid, so restaurants could create mini patios in the street for outdoor dining. It creates a really fun promenade experience where you can walk in the middle of the street. I hope they keep it that way long term!
Spa Day at The Ritz Carlton Bacara Resort:
We spent the better part of one day at Bacara Resort & Spa, and it was – hands down – the highlight for me. We received incredible spa services – a facial for me and a massage for Marcus. Marcus got “the best massage of his life” by a gentleman named Arnold (his words, not mine lol). If you like deep tissue – ask for Arnold!
After our services, we headed down to the pool area at Bacara. Just the walk down to the pool was gorgeous. The grounds are full of stunning flowers that are beautifully maintained. We enjoyed lunch and a few drinks by the pool.
The resort has beach access too! We saw quite a few kids in the Bacara pool area, but there are adult only areas too.
Who Should Go to Santa Barbara:
Overall I think Santa Barbara would be a great trip for lots of different groups/occasions. It would make for a really fun bachelorette party or girls trips for a group of ladies in their 30s. We didn’t explore the night life scene, BUT if you are looking to eat great food at cute little restaurants, do wine tastings, get a spa service, and things along those lines, I can’t think of anywhere better.
I also think Santa Barbara would be a great honeymoon if you are wanting to do something stateside. There are lots of romantic spots to eat/drink and Bacara Resort was just dreamy – it literally gave me Hawaii vibes! A couples trip or Santa Barbara babymoon like we did would also be great! I, personally, wouldn’t bring my kids (at least not at ages 4 and 2), but you definitely could if you wanted to!
Things to consider:
- It’s a bit of a trek to get to. Coming from Houston, Texas, it was a 3.5 hour flight and then a 2 hour drive. On the travel day back, including the time change, it was pretty much a full day of travel. It’s just something to keep in mind when you are planning out your trip.
- I’m not sure getting a rental car was the right call. Between most of the attractions being walkable from our hotel, the cost of the rental car and gas, paying to park at your hotel and limited parking when we did venture out, we might have done better just uber’ing. I’m just recommending to look at your itinerary to see what makes the most sense for your group and your trip.
Overall, it was an unforgettable trip, and we made some wonderful memories. The weather was so nice during our entire stay – sunny and warm during the day and just a tad chilly in the evenings. No humidity. I wish we could have brought that weather back to Houston with us! I look forward to returning to Santa Barbara one day. It’s definitely a place to add to your bucket list!
Looking for more babymoon ideas? Read my posts on babymoon tips and our last babymoon to Maui, Hawaii! You can also check out my other travel posts on Vail, Colorado, Lake Tahoe, and Hyatt Lost Pines in Bastrop Texas.