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So you’re planning some things to do in Santa Barbara and you have 48 hours to fill, but just aren’t sure how to do it? There’s no problem when staying in a Paradise Retreats vacation escape, because our helpful staff just lives for challenges like this one. Because we love our guests, we have compiled this list on how to best spend your 48 hours in Santa Barbara!

While It May Be Tempting to Sleep a Little Longer

When the sun begins to awaken you with its rays, you more than likely will be tempted to pull the pillow over your head and go back to sleep—but don’t! You only have 48 hours in paradise, and we’re going to fill as much of those waking moments as possible. Besides, you want to start your day out right with a hearty and filling breakfast at the Scarlett Begonia! Serving their famous Yukon Gold Cinnamon Roll and a large selection of breakfast goodies, their foods will keep your “engines” stoked for the next few hours of adventures.

After all that good food, a hike through the canyons of Parma Park will help burn off the extra calories consumed, and the views from the trails that traverse the park will feed your soul. Located off Stanwood Drive, it’s places like this that continually remind us that we do live in Paradise.

A quick lunch at Pickles & Swiss will stave off hunger pangs, but eat light; you want to save room for tonight’s romantic dinner at Bouchon Santa Barbara. The afternoon of your first day is meant for relaxing at Ledbetter Beach and resting your tired feet. Don’t worry, there are plenty of things to do in Santa Barbara in day 2.

Day 2 – Things to do in Santa Barbara

Day two is also divided into two parts, with the morning spent at Stearns Wharf. Start with breakfast at On the Alley, then continue the morning by visiting the stores and shops that make the Wharf so popular! Pick up souvenirs for your family, a cute new bikini for you, and if the mood strikes, check out the fishing equipment for rent at Stearns Wharf Bait & Tackle. Fishing off the pier is allowed, and who knows, you may even catch tonight’s dinner! Families with children will love spending the afternoon at the Santa Barbara Zoo. Hang around until 5PM and the animals get really active for feeding time!

As the Sun Sets on Another Gorgeous Day in Santa Barbara

Dinner on the patio of your Paradise Retreats home away from home is a grand experience, especially if you’re grilling up the catch of the day. Watch the sun set over the mountains in the background as you chat with your family about your fun-filled 48 hours in paradise and be thankful that you were able to spend a good portion of your time in one of the most comfortable and stylish vacation homes in all of California. Reserve yours today!

Most people know that Santa Barbara is a beautiful place with incredible weather year-round; however, that is often the extent of their knowledge. People who visit the area come to find that this is only the surface of what you will find. With each new exploration, you will find more and more to love about the area. Here are a few interesting Santa Barbara facts.

The Mountains are Not Your Typical Mountains

The area features a beautiful mountain range in the Santa Ynez Mountains just to the north of the city. It may take a while to realize, but this mountain range is unique because it runs from east to west. This sets it apart from almost every other mountain range in the world, as they typically run from north to south. Throughout the mountain range, you will find endless fun, from great hikes to pools and waterfalls.

Some of the Best Wine in the Country

Remember the odd mountains in the area? Well their odd orientation results in some of the best land for harvesting grapes for wine in the entire country. The Santa Ynez Mountains and the valleys that speckle the area are full of vineyards and wineries that create some of the most delicious wine you will find anywhere. While Napa Valley gets most of the press, this is where some of the most unique wines are created.

They Take Farmers Markets Seriously

You may think that wherever you are from is enthusiastic about farmers markets, but in Santa Barbara, these events are not taken lightly. You can find a farmers market every single day of the week, each of which features unique products straight out of this vibrant community. The markets pop up all over the area, but you will not want to miss the downtown markets that take place on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

You Can Find Spanish Influence Everywhere

Many people think of Florida when they think of Spanish influence in the United States, but California, and Santa Barbara in particular, was settled by the Spanish hundreds of years ago. You can find evidence of this in the amazing architecture. One of the most lasting and beautiful examples is the Old Mission Santa Barbara. The Mission was founded in 1786, with the current structures being built in 1820. Exploring the mission with one of the amazing tours here is a wonderful way to spend a day.

Santa Barbara Fact: It is Home to the Most Beach Camping on the Coast

The community takes full advantage of the beautiful place where it sits. One of the many ways they accomplish this is in offering endless beach camping opportunities. A great example of this is Refugio State Beach, where you will find 85 campsites right by the beach. This surely offers an amazing way to spend a weekend.

This information does not begin to scratch the surface of this vibrant community in this beautiful place. If you truly want to learn about what makes it all so special, then a visit is in order. Make your next trip a Santa Barbara trip. Oh, and another Santa Barbara fact: this was the first place in the country to grow avocados.

Santa Barbara is normally depicted as a beautiful coastal area with sunshine and sandy beaches, but believe it or not, every once in a while, there are Santa Barbara rain clouds. These clouds force us to seek alternate plans from lounging on the beach. But much of what makes this area great is the multitude of other outdoor activities not requiring sunshine. Here are a few ideas for fun on those less than perfect beach days.

Go to the Beach

Even if it’s raining, you can still enjoy the beach. Grab an umbrella, raincoat, and some boots and head down to the water’s edge. There is plenty to do at the beach even when the sun is not shining. As long as it’s not raining hard, take a walk, hunt for shells, play Frisbee, or make sandcastles. For your safety, stay out of the water, but otherwise enjoy your time in the sand!

Hang Out with Painters Like Monet

If you rather spend the day out and about, go downtown to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. This renown museum features works by Dali, Monet, and Rousseau among more modern masters. You won’t find better company anywhere. Take a look at some of the most influential works of art available at this amazing museum.

Grab Some Quality Craft Beer

Probably the best activity on this list—in our humble opinion, anyway! Head to The Press Room and enjoy a frothy pint in this cozy, local bar, or pull up a stool at the James Joyce and enjoy a drink while watching the world pass by on busy State St and shell a few peanuts; they have barrels of them there to kick up your feet.

Eat Like a Local Even in the Santa Barbara Rain

The locals do this every other day of the week, so why should a Santa Barbara rainy day be any different? If you’ve just left the James Joyce, make a sharp right turn and head directly into Mac’s Fish & Chip Shop for a hearty taste of England. Joe’s Cafe and the Dutch Garden Restaurant are two other solid choices for delicious, heaping servings of warm comfort food. There are so many restaurants in the Santa Barbara area that are amazing; these are just a few to get you started.

Santa Barbara is one of the best vacation destinations in the country and provides numerous things to do both in Santa Barbara and in the surrounding area. Santa Barbara and the surrounding area have a deep history that creates really interesting attractions. Whether you are looking to grab a drink or see a show, there are plenty of Santa Barbara night activities for the night owl on vacation.

Santa Barbara Brewing Company

The Santa Barbara Brewing Company is the oldest brewery in the Santa Barbara area and provides you with everything you could want and more out of an amazing bar. The brewing company lies just a few blocks from Stearns Wharf and features not only craft beer options, but also amazing food options as well. This brewpub uses their brewing spirit to create incredible and unique craft beers and uses some of these beers to create even better food. The Santa Barbara Brewing Company has a collegiate feel, but more reminiscent of the days where you hung out in perfect little bars and attempted to become a beer snob. There are seven beers on tap year round and several different rotating beers with guest taps for trying new favorites.

Café Zaytoon

When you enter Café Zaytoon, you are welcomed to a hidden oasis in the center of Santa Barbara. This amazing café is the best place where you can experience fresh and tasty Lebanese cuisine at any time of day. Café Zaytoon has an amazing garden you can enjoy with your special guests that is complete with the sounds of the waterfall, the glow of little lights and the warmth of a fire. The best part of this Santa Barbara night activity is definitely the atmosphere. A great attraction to visit on vacation is somewhere that you can escape the stresses of life and be transported to another world; the garden at Zaytoon does just this. You will experience the exotic tastes of their menu, hear interesting and new music on their patio, and be transported to another far off time and place.

Rori’s Artisanal Creamery

One thing you need on vacation is a great dessert. After you have walked around the beautiful area and seen Santa Barbara, drive down to Rori’s and pull up a chair for some delicious artisanal ice cream. Try any one of their rotating flavors and experience ice cream bliss.

Great Homes to Return To After These Santa Barbara Night Activities

These three attractions are great for families, couples, singles and groups of people who love to experience Santa Barbara. Try one of these on your next vacation.

When you need a weekend, or even a whole week, to kick back and relax, there’s nothing better than planning a fun California girls getaway with the girls! Santa Barbara is a beautiful seaside community in California that offers fun things to do surrounded by amazing scenery. Relax by the beach, tour wine country, and more!

Head to the Funk Zone

As the name suggests, the Funk Zone is the funky warehouse district that makes up downtown Santa Barbara. To truly get a taste of the local life, walk through the Funk Zone and explore the numerous art galleries and boutiques. When you get hungry, you’ll find some amazing restaurants to grab lunch, happy hour, or dinner. In addition to great shopping and delicious eats, the Funk Zone also has a wide variety of breweries and wine tasting bars that are perfect to pop in and grab a glass of wine or flight of craft beer!

Always Hit the Beaches During a California Girls’ Getaway!

It wouldn’t be a vacation to the California coast without a trip to one or more of its amazing beaches! Suit up with the girls and head to the beach for a day of sun, fun, and great backdrops for your selfies! If you are feeling adventurous, book some surf lessons and truly get in the California spirit! Santa Barbara has many popular wave spots, but beginners will enjoy hitting up Leadbetter Point or Campus Point. If the squad has some surfing experience and are feeling adventurous, Rincon Point is a perfect half mile stretch of surf known as the “Queen of the Coast.”

Take a Wine Tour

Santa Barbara is part of California’s rich wine country, and there are dozens of local vineyards that offer tours for winos! They may not be as well-known as Napa or Sonoma, but the vineyards here are still friendly and the tours are welcoming. Taking a tour of a vineyard is an experience like no other, as you truly see the journey of the wine from grape to bottle, and can taste the wine while overviewing the beautiful land in which it grew. Best of all – lots of wine! Sunstone Vineyards & Winery and Babcock Winery & Vineyards frequently make the list of best wineries in Santa Barbara County!

Santa Barbara Getaway

No matter whether you and the girls like to be adventurous on the beach, have fun hitting the town, or relaxing and wine tasting, Santa Barbara is the perfect place for your next California girls’ getaway!

Santa Barbara is known for its parks and beaches. Take a day to have a California picnic at some of our favorite spots which we’ve listed for you below. You won’t be disappointed!

Mission Historical Park and Rose Garden

Mission Historical Park and Rose Garden is the kind of leisurely location where you can have a picnic at any time of day. Come in the early afternoon and lay out a blanket for lunch and a bit of reading. Come in the evening, even in the late hours, to play a game of midnight croquet. Come in the morning to take a stroll with your dog and even let him or her off leash. No matter when you visit, you will have a phenomenal picnic at the Mission Historical Park and Rose Garden.

Old Mission Santa Barbara

Complete with an open lawn and rose gardens, Old Mission provides a lovely and historic setting to enjoy a picnic meal with friends. When finished, take a stroll through the La Huerta Historic Gardens next to the mission to continue relaxing in the plants and orchard trees the gardens offer. Make sure to have at least one picnic at Old Mission Santa Barbara.

Franceschi Park

This hidden gem offers one of the best views of Santa Barbara. Come bring a loved one or your family for an afternoon California picnic near the scenery of the shore. You might even want to plan a date at Franceschi Park to watch the sunset on the overlooking waters! Take a stroll and appreciate the beautiful exotic plants that make Franceschi Park a unique horticultural experience. This park is truly a favorite of Santa Barbara; take advantage of it when you can!

East Beach

East Beach creates a perfect environment for picnics with its big grassy areas. Watch a game of volleyball as you enjoy your picnic meal, then go for a dip in the water or lay out to sunbathe in the Santa Barbara sun. East Beach is perfect for entertaining large groups as you have the option to have a leisurely meal, then partake in outdoor activities such as riding bikes, rollerblading, or checking out the boardwalk.

Contact Us, and Enjoy a California Picnic Today!

Contact us today to find out how you can visit and stay in Santa Barbara for the chance to enjoy one of these great parks and beaches.

Beaches, beautiful weather, and homes suitable for the rich and famous: Montecito is an unincorporated part of Santa Barbara that’s best known for being Santa Barbara’s neighbor—but there’s more to it than that! Montecito is its own place, and during a short stay there you’ll realize its individual flair is just as attractive as anywhere in California. Here are five points about taking a Montecito vacation that really stand out.

A Star-Studded Populace

Montecito is home to a surprising number of famous people, including Drew Barrymore, Rob Lowe, Oprah Winfrey, and Patrick Stewart. You never know who you might catch a glimpse of here, so always have a camera ready for a discrete picture! (If you do see these folks in public, please be polite—it’s just another day in paradise for them, after all.)

Jaw-dropping Architecture

In a city of celebrities, houses are always on the cutting edge of style. From Hollywood mansions to Palladian villas, the homes here stand on their own as tourist attractions, even from the outside! Drive by any home and you’ll be tempted to play paparazzi—but following houses instead of people! If you love exploring dream homes, try to find an open house going on during your stay, as designers are always showing off here.

Fabulous Weather

The weather in Montecito is one of the reasons the area attracted celebrities to begin with—and if it’s good enough for them, it’s probably good enough for you! Being next to the sea means cooler summers and warmer winters—combined with the low rainfall, it means any day is more likely than not to be perfect for outdoor activities!

Beautiful Montecito Beaches

The seclusion of a Montecito vacation means more gorgeous beaches—whether you head there for a relaxing swim or for a thrilling day of surfing, the area will be twice as beautiful as anything else. Plus, Butterfly Beach’s westward facing makes it perfect for admiring the sunset.

Healthy and Scenic Hikes

Montecito boasts great access to over 15 trails—a fabulous trait in conjunction with the weather! One advantage of Montecito over Santa Barbara is its access to the Santa Barbara ranges. Up in the mountains, you can get stunning views over Santa Barbara, making equally fine photographs as they do memories!

Book a Montecito Vacation with Us

Our rentals in Montecito will give you the chance to experience all of this firsthand, from the stunning homes to the fabulous weather. Browse our offerings and book today, or call us at 1-805-275-1851 to learn more.

Looking for a new year’s resolution that will pay off? Plan a vacation to Santa Barbara and book your stay with Paradise Retreats! Santa Barbara has endless activities to do and sights to see. Here are five reasons why enjoying New Year’s in Santa Barbara is a resolution you could give yourself.


The beaches of Santa Barbara offer a variety of atmospheres for vacationers. Want to experience it all? Spend the day at East Beach. Here you can find a game of volleyball, numerous restaurants, check out the local zoo, or take a walk on the wharf. For a more private beach with less distractions, take a day to spend at El Capitan State Beach; this is where you can bring a book and linger on the beach for hours with nothing but relaxation on your mind. Santa Barbara has a beach for just about anyone!


Sitting between the Pacific Ocean and the Ynez Mountains, Santa Barbara offers incredible hikes and trails for all. Trails range from difficult hikes that take you to the highest lookout points to more relaxing and meditative paths. Nojoqui Falls is an example of a short trail (a .65-mile roundtrip) that leads to a beautiful 80-foot waterfall. Montecito Peak, on the other hand, boasts a height of 3, 214 feet; it’s one the highest peaks in the Santa Ynez mountain range! This 7-mile roundtrip hike gives hikers a great view of Santa Barbara. These are just two examples of many other incredible trails and nature walks to explore. Find out what else is waiting for you on your trip!

Surf During New Year’s in Santa Barbara

The surfing in Santa Barbara nothing short of legendary. From killer breaks to famous surf films and surf legends (Pat Curren and Shaun Tomson just to name a few), Santa Barbara is a hub for surfing activity. The beaches and waves in Santa Barbara offer mild tides and moderate ocean temperatures. Experienced surfers can find some of the best breaks to ride, while those who just want to try it out are in good company with breaks for surfers of all levels. Sneak surfing into your itinerary for the new year!

Mexican Cuisine

There is no doubt that Santa Barbara offers a milieu of cuisine and culinary diversity, but one of the city’s points of pride is the incredible Mexican food available, specifically tacos! To find the best tacos during New Year’s in Santa Barbara, head to Milpas Street. Here, you’ll find local favorites. You want to be in the know about the most authentic tacos. Places like Taqueria Bajio and Taqueria La Colmena will tickle your taste buds! For fresh Mexican seafood dishes, you’ll want to visit Cesar’s Place.

Wine Country

Santa Barbara boasts a wine country filled with wine tastings and winery tours, as well as restaurants and farmers’ markets to compliment them. Find wonder in the nuanced tastes of each wine and beauty in the surrounding vineyards. Take a whole day and sip your way into a Santa Barbara wonderland of wine. Learn from some of the great wineries, such as Fess Parker Winery and Vineyard and Sanford Winery. Santa Barbara is begging you to add wine tasting to your resolutions list!

Resolve to Stay with Paradise Retreats

Paradise Retreats wants you start off the new year with dreams you can make happen! As you decide to let a vacation to Santa Barbara be one of them, make sure you plan your stay with Paradise Retreats. We can provide a location that is accommodating, restful, and of the utmost quality. Choose to start and end your day with Paradise Retreats as you embark on a new 2017 adventure to Santa Barbara. Contact us today!

Santa Barbara is the most popular town in the Santa Ynez Valley, but it’s not the only one! While you’re on vacation in Santa Barbara, take a day trip to some towns near Santa Barbara—the region has plenty to offer for a day out!


Montecito is practically adjacent to Santa Barbara’s eastern side, but it still has a charm all its own. We recommend nature-lovers in particular to take some time to check out our neighbor, who boasts some great retreats that many tourists miss! Butterfly Beach and Miramar Beach are both quite popular with locals, and some of the hikes heading up to the hills give some great views of Santa Barbara! Lotusland is also worth a visit: it’s a series of twenty-five gardens, each distinctively designed, all of them featuring exotic plants. No matter where you’re visiting from, you’ll find something here that you don’t see back home!


Head west on the US 101-N five to ten minutes to arrive at Goleta, a small city of about 30,000 people. Goleta, like any great California town, hosts several golf courses, making it a great trip out for any golf enthusiast. It’s also home to an ice rink, meaning you can skate even in a California summer—for many locals, this is the only place they get to discover the thrill of ice skating! One more reason to visit Goleta: The South Coast Railroad Museum. This tribute to trains and rails is a nice stop for any history buff, as the impact of locomotives on the history of America can hardly be overstated. This museum offers a local focus, helping visitors understand both the sweeping changes and the more intimate impact that the Southern Pacific Railroad had on lives across the country.


There’s no place quite like Solvang—except maybe for Denmark, but the weather’s much nicer here! A small town with heavy Danish influences. The architecture here alone is worth the 40- to 50-minute drive—seeing pictures is nothing like being in the real thing! As the village itself is a tourist attraction, bike rentals are popular for touring the village. For the best experience though, take the Solvang Trolley through the village—it’s a wooden streetcar pulled by beautiful draft horses, and an experience you won’t find anywhere else! Plus, if you’re enamored with the wineries and vineyards of Santa Barbara, then come here to try out some more of the Santa Ynez Valley’s fabulous wines.

All of these towns near Santa Barbara are easily accessible from Santa Barbara, CA, so why not take the opportunity to visit them? Check out our properties and set up a vacation that fits you, or call 1-805-275-1851 to learn more. Book a few extra days in one of our rentals and enjoy not only Santa Barbara, but the whole Valley!

Photo By Grandhiking – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18931487

Santa Barbara, California is a tried-and-true vacation destination for a number of reasons. Between its soft, sandy beaches, its refreshing ocean waves, and its vibrant, laid back atmosphere, Santa Barbara is the ideal beach getaway. Now you can add another layer to your experience that you might not otherwise have appreciated by playing the augmented reality game Pokémon Go, where users find and capture Pokémon by exploring their surroundings, such as local landmarks and museums—making Santa Barbara the perfect place to set off on a Pokémon journey, as the city is filled with these cultural institutions.

Read on to learn more about where to go to find Pokémon during your stay in Santa Barbara, as well as what to do afterwards!

The Best Places to Go Pokémon Hunting in Santa Barbara

Below, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite spots to play Pokémon Go while taking in the sights and entertainment that Santa Barbara has to offer. We hope that you enjoy these places as much as we do!

Stearns Wharf

Not only does this scenic wharf provide spectacular ocean views, but it’s also home to a wide variety of water-type Pokémon. After you catch your fill of Pokémon here, fill up on fresh seafood catches at the Santa Barbara Shellfish Company, go on a shopping trip on the pier, or stop by the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and learn more about the natural environment of this beautiful area.

Isla Vista

Home of the University of California at Santa Barbara, this magnificent area has a college-town atmosphere that is ripe with adventure, which is wonderful when you’re on a Pokémon hunting expedition! Explore landmarks like the Isla Vista Theater, Storke Tower, Devereux Lagoon, and the UCSB Lagoon, which are Poké-stops where you can acquire items to help you catch Pokémon or set lure modules to attract Pokémon. Once you’ve finished for the time being, head over to Sandy Beach and take a dip in the waves!

Santa Barbara Museum of Art

With exhibits featuring contemporary Asian ceramic pieces and twentieth century Western American paintings, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art is a destination in and of itself. Museum patrons have a lenient policy towards Pokémon go players that encourages people to visit the museum. Inside, Pokémon and culture are both plentiful! Outside, you can explore downtown Santa Barbara, including Alameda Park and Alameda Plaza, both of which have Poké-stops as well.

Paradise Retreats – Rest and Rejuvenate Yourself!

Long days and nights of Pokémon hunting amidst the scenic beauty of Santa Barbara call for relaxation like you wouldn’t believe. Take advantage of our well-maintained properties, which provide lavish amenities, ample space, privacy, and comfort during your stay.

Want to learn more about what Santa Barbara has to offer? Contact our dedicated team of reservation specialists, who will be happy to give you more insight into the area when you book one of our elite vacation rentals for your next trip today!