Coastal Romance in Santa Barbara

Getaways From Phoenix

Coastal Romance in Santa Barbara

Relaxing on California’s coast.

Romance abounds in this coastal California town—long a getaway for Hollywood royalty—whose untamed yet civilized landscape is dotted with Mediterranean mansions, sprawling orange groves, and chaparral-covered mountains that plunge into the ocean.

1

Belmond El Encanto

Seven years and $134 million in the making, Belmond's takeover of the storied El Encanto (the brand's first West Coast resort) is reinventing a genteel slice of California history. The once quaint hillside hotel (a favorite of A-listers such as Clark Gable in the 1960's) has been reimagined to include 92 California Craftsman and Spanish-colonial-revival bungalows spread over seven lushly landscaped acres. In the guest rooms, century-old charms were preserved (we loved the plantation-style shutters and wide patios) while luxe updates were added (mohair loveseats; pillows monogrammed with guests' initials). It's tempting to hang up a Do Not Disturb sign and stay put. We suggest making time for the farm-to-fork restaurant: the bounty of vegetables and herbs from the on-site garden did not disappoint, nor did the aged white cheddar made with milk from its very own Holstein cow, Ellie.

2

Santa Barbara Saturday Farmers' Market

Six blocks from the town courthouse, this weekly market is the perfect place to watch gray-haired hippies, dreadlocked surfers, and well-heeled natives hunt for Central Coast olive oils and zingy lemon-flavored pistachios.

3

Scarlett Begonia

The open-air trolley on State Street leads to organic lunch spot Scarlett Begonia, which serves one of the best brunches in town. Snag a table in the hidden courtyard and order the salmon carpaccio.

4

The Shop, Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara's latest arrival is a casual breakfast-and-lunch spot whose home-style sandwiches are inspired by Ugandan street food. For breakfast, try the scrambled eggs, bacon, and smoked tomato on house-made flatbread.


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