Stop and sip the region's best varietals... you're not driving.
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Located on California's gorgeous Pacific coast, the oceanside city of Santa Barbara is part of one of the most unique wine-growing regions in the world — but there's a lot more to do here than sip chardonnay.

In this episode of Walk With T+L, wine writer and content creator Noël Burgess introduces viewers to the best of Santa Barbara today, from the Funk Zone and its Urban Wine Trail to a boutique local chocolate maker and beyond. 

Begin your Santa Barbara adventure in the Funk Zone, a walkable district that has seen a renaissance over the past few decades, evolving from the home of the Santa Barbara fish market to a contemporary hotspot for boutique tasting rooms, cafes, galleries, and shops. Burgess meets up with Kayla Bales from Eat This, Shoot That!, a tour operator specializing in food and photo tours, for a local's take.

"The Funk Zone these days is kind of synonymous with having a good time, getting funky with it," Bales said. "Street art is also very popular in the Funk Zone. It's the only place in Santa Barbara that you're allowed to have street art on the walls." It's also a great spot for foodies, she says, with crave-worthy nibbles and wine and spirits tastings. 

There's no need to leave the Funk Zone to sip the kinds of wines Santa Barbara is known for. The Valley Project is a must-visit for tasting — and for marveling at a massive hand-drawn chalk map of Santa Barbara County on the wall. "The Funk Zone is really where Santa Barbara lets its hair down," said Magan Kunin, owner and winemaker behind Kunin Wines and The Valley Project. "You find businesses that are made with love by small dreamers, and I think that's what makes it a great day out."

If you haven't sipped your fill, continue down the walkable Urban Wine Trail, which consists of 28 different tasting rooms within a few blocks of each other, and stop at Grassini Family Vineyards. The owners purchased the property in the 1980s but can trace their family history back to Italy, and their wines speak to this heritage.

But what's wine without a little chocolate on the side? For a perfect cap to his afternoon exploring Santa Barbara, Burgess heads to Twenty-Four Blackbirds to meet with founder Mike Orlando, who started off as a chemist but got sucked into chocolate-making by a fascination with the treat's origins. You'll have to watch the episode to find out the origin of the chocolate shop's name — and to see what Orlando is growing in the back.

If your mouth is watering, book your own trip to Santa Barbara here.