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Easy Weekend Getaways

Weekend Getaways: Santa Barbara

Ian Allen

Santa Barbara, CA

Long a getaway for Hollywood royalty, this untamed yet civilized landscape is dotted with Mediterranean mansions, sprawling orange groves, and chaparral-covered mountains that plunge into the ocean. High in the hills, you’ll find the recently renovated El Encanto ($$$$), an iconic idyll with Craftsman- and Spanish-colonial-style bungalows—but if you’d rather be by the sand, there’s the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore ($$$). Start your morning at the clock tower of the Santa Barbara Courthouse, where the view stretches from the Channel Islands to the Santa Barbara Mission. It’s a six-block walk from there to the Saturday Farmers Market, the perfect place to watch gray-haired hippies, dreadlocked surfers, and well-heeled natives hunting for Central Coast olive oils and zingy lemon-flavored pistachios. While you could spend hours on nearby Butterfly Beach spotting dolphins, save time for the Funk Zone, an artsy industrial district opposite Stearns Wharf. Here, pick up the Urban Wine Trail (a network of 17 tasting rooms) at Municipal Winemakers, whose varietals have offbeat names such as Bright Red and Fizz. For lunch, the open-air trolley on State Street leads to Scarlett Begonia ($$); snag a table in the hidden courtyard and order the salmon carpaccio from the all-organic menu. Or head to the Shop ($) for a sandwich inspired by Ugandan street food: scrambled eggs, bacon, and smoked tomato on house-made flatbread. —Mark Morrison

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