Are you looking for a Weekend Getaway from San Francisco, Los Angeles or San Diego with Wine, Sustainable Gourmet Food, Ocean Views, a Botanical Garden and even a Cat Therapy Cafe and Rescue? We enjoyed a lovely and action-packed weekend in Santa Barbara, and here are our recommendations and Slideshow with Pictures. Let us know your thoughts and experiences on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, especially if you adopt a Cat from the Cat Therapy Cafe :)
1. Bluewater Grill was one of the first seafood restaurants on the West Coast to publish a Fish Origins Chart, showing the wild or farmed origin of most selections on our lunch and dinner menus. They operate their own fishing boat, Pilikia, to ensure humane capture and we work closely with the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Aquarium of the Pacific to ensure that 90 percent of the menu is certified sustainable.
For lunch, we enjoyed the Captain's Mai Tai, Sourdough Bread from ETXEA Basque Bakery founded in 1908, Oysters on the Half Shell, New England Clam Chowder, Jumbo Prawn Cocktail with Chive oil and housemade cocktail sauce, Rainbow Trout Idaho, and Salmon Scotland with sautéed spinach and seasonal vegetables and tropical fruit salsa paired with Sables d’Azur Rose, Provence ‘16
2. Urban Wine Trail for tastings at 20+ tasting rooms featuring wines from Santa Barbara County, all within blocks of downtown and the beach. We visited many of the wine rooms and enjoyed talking with the wine representatives. At Au Bon Climate, Isabelle poured us a lovely Pinot named after her - 2014 Isabelle Pinot Noir. We also visited Jaffurs because all the vineyards they source from farm their land with sustainability in mind. Top among these include Bien Nacido Vineyards in Santa Maria Valley and Larner Vineyard in Ballard Canyon. Bien Nacido may be SIP certified and Larner is working towards certification. Most of the vineyards in Santa Barbara County use cover crops, are hand farmed and use as little chemical farming agents as possible. We bought a bottle of Jaffurs 2013 Syrah Kimsey Vineyard.
3. Santa Barbara Mission "Queen of the Missions" was established on the Feast of Saint Barbara, December 4, 1786 and was the tenth of twenty-one California Missions to be founded by the Spanish Franciscans. More than 200 years later, the Mission continues to be the chief cultural and historic landmark in the city of Santa Barbara. Home to a community of Franciscan friars, a beautiful church with a large and active parish, museum with a movie showing history, and a gift shop. We bought the book Island of the Blue Dolphins for Nieces and Nephews.
4. Santa Barbara Botanical Garden fosters the conservation of California's native plants through gardens, research, and education, and serves as a role model of sustainable practices. Bring your walking shoes. We arrived at 9am on Sunday and enjoyed nature's serenity and the many varieties of plants and trees on the walking trails. At the end of the trail we entered a building housing an art gallery.
5. Cat Therapy Cafe is a local business dedicated to helping rescue organizations create a world where no cat needs to live in a cage or be euthanized due to lack of space at shelters. See the innovative social space for you to enjoy and benefit from the company of shelter cats regardless of your ability to adopt.
Reservations recommended @ https://www.cattherapysb.com
6. Santa Barbara Trolley Co. city tour is a fully narrated tour by a Santa Barbara expert taking you to the Mission, Courthouse which is the 2nd most popular visited site in California 2nd to the Golden Gate Bridge, and other popular sites. You can stay on the trolly or get off to explore. Tickets can be purchased at the Visitors Center.