In Santa Barbara you’ll discover the best of both worlds – a cosmopolitan, beach-side town, untouched countryside and rolling wine-lands, dramatic coastlines and sandy shores – so as you can imagine, it’d be easy to spend weeks upon weeks here. This itinerary, however, will cut straight to the best bits, as we know how precious your time off is. Slot this four-night adventure into any US itinerary and you’ve got yourself the trip of a lifetime….
Your home for the next few nights will be the Bacara Resort & Spa, a stunning Spanish hacienda-style property whose extensive gardens, luxury rooms with large soaking tubs and private terraces, is a destination in its own right. Set on a bluff overlooking its own beach that has access to stunning hiking trails, the temptation to remain in this slice of paradise will be very real. Which is why you’ll have the rest of your first day to make the most of it. Relax by the pool, enjoy a rooftop massage and as night falls, settle down at your table by the fire pits of The Bistro restaurant, where you’ll enjoy classic American dishes with the added flair of resident Parisian chef, Vincent Lesage.
FROM WATER TO VINE
The next morning, its time to experience the beauty of the American Riviera from another perspective – the water. With your expert guide leading the way, you’ll guide your kayak along the coastline, all the while keeping an eye out for the local seal population. In the early morning light, you’ll appreciate the serenity of an experience that’ll serve as the perfect introduction to Santa Barbara.Read more
Back on dry land, you’ll have time for a quick change before your driver arrives to take you out to the Santa Rita Hills and the Santa Ynez Valley for an afternoon of winetasting, your reward for an active morning on the waves. Bacara Resort & Spa has a special partnership with Foley Estates, and even has its own Foley tasting room on site, so this vineyard will be your first stop. Sit outside in the sunshine and sip delicious Foley wines, learning all about the growing and brewing process. From there, you’ll work your way through a few more world-class vineyards until you arrive back at Bacara, no doubt feeling ready for bed after a long day discovering Santa Barbara’s natural allures.
WHALES AND (MORE) WINE
The next morning, you’ll be up early for your spectacular heli-whale watching tour above the Santa Barbara coastline. Soar above the surf and look out for pods of dolphins and the telltale bursts of mist from a whale’s blow hole. You’ll also be taken above the stunning foothills and mountains of the region, to ensure your aerial view of this mesmerising destination is complete.
And once you’ve touched down, why not hit the foothills you were flying above only moments ago. Bacara is surrounded by picturesque hiking routes, and the concierge will be able to help you plan a route to suit your fitness levels and interests.
Feeling sun-kissed and invigorated, we’ll have a car waiting to take you to downtown Santa Barbara. Watch the sunset from the pier, looking out for dolphins quietly breaking the water’s surface, before heading off for an evening on the Urban wine trail and authentic Mexican or Asian cuisine at one of our favorite restaurants.
Your final immersion into Santa Barbara’s natural beauty will come in the form of a private mountain bike experience through Elings Park. Enjoy incredible views above Santa Barbara as you cycle, and stop off for a gourmet picnic en-route. When you’re all done, spend the remainder of your time at your beautiful resort, relaxing in a Cabana by the spa pool, or sipping cocktails at the bar. Dreams of this place will stay with you for a lifetime.