With the Santa Ynez Mountains as a backdrop and the prevalence of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, Santa Barbara feels straight out of a movie set. In fact, before Los Angeles became Los Angeles, Santa Barbara was a booming hub for the silver screen, California’s first major movie studio, Flying A Studio was located here. In the 1920's, hundreds of silent films were produced in Santa Barbara and Charlie Chaplin was a frequent visitor. Add in beach, the harbor and Stearn's Wharf and the downtown buzz stretches to the water. The quality of restaurants, whether fine dining or waterfront cafe is exceptionally high. There's always a funky festival or event going on and you'll also be impressed by the museums, botanical gardens, whale watching opportunities, historic monuments and miles of bike paths. And, we haven't even mentioned the wine yet.
Wineries here are intimate spaces where you can watch the art unfold as you sip. You don’t have to travel outside the city either as there are plenty of opportunities right in downtown. Santa Barbara Winery, opened in 1962, was the area’s first commercial winery after Prohibition. Whilst the region is known for Chardonnay, the variety of grapes available will ensure the wine enthusiast a quaffable experience!
The Best of the West
California & Arizona - Small & Friendly Hotels
California Coastal Cool
The Legendary Coast Starlight
California Magic- An Independent Rail Tour
California Family Fun Adventure - As featured in The Sunday Times Travel Magazine
Coastal California & The Wine Country
California Coast and Heavenly Hawaii
Coastal California with Yosemite National Park - A Trafalgar Escorted Tour
Channel Islands National Park
Cloud Climbers Jeep and Wine Tours
Whale Watching on the California Coast
Vineyards of Santa Barbara
Where you stay is the heart of your holiday. Location reigns supreme but do you prefer resort facilities or unique and boutique? Historic and old world or modern and shiny?
We aim to present choices across the spectrum but there are many hundreds of places to stay and not room to feature them all. Do speak to your Bon Voyage travel consultant and click the video for our take on this important topic.
We would rate the Bellagio as one of the best hotels we have ever stayed in. Fabulous, glitzy, exciting. We loved having breakfast at the poolside café... one of our best experiences ever. If it hadn't been for you we wouldn't have had the suite or cabana and we loved them. We both agreed that the hotel was the best for us and you had suggested that so well done!Leonore & Mike Rumford