Travel Journal: Fall in Santa Barbara & Montecito

In this edition of our travel journal - a space where we ask women to share their experiences in special destinations - our own Julia Whipple brought us along to Santa Barbara and Montecito, one of her favorite family-friendly fall trips. Keep reading to discover a few "can't miss" restaurants, museums, shops, family-friendly excursions, fun date ideas, + what she packed in her suitcase.


"There are few places my husband and I love more than Santa Barbara / Montecito in the fall. The crisp evenings and warm days combined with endless activities for our 2-year-old make it the perfect October escape."
- Julia Whipple, COO

Family-Friendly Activities:
As parents can all agree, the best family-friendly activities are outside where plenty of energy is expended for an excellent nap and bedtime. Where belly laughs, running, and curiosity are all necessary. A few of our favorite spots include the Santa Barbara Zoo (small enough to spend an hour or two, sustainable, loved + well-cared for animals), Padaro Beach & Grill (beautiful, soft, quiet beach, and a bonus is that the grill has a sandbox so parents can enjoy while kids play), Arroyo beach, both the Montecito (Friday) & Santa Barbara's (Saturday) Farmer's Markets, Ojai (fun to explore this iconic California town with a renowned playground right in the center), Butterfly Beach (easy to bike or walk to if staying in Montecito or Santa Barbara + dog-friendly), Santa Barbara Sailing Center (fun to charter for two hours with a toddler either in the am or at sunset).


Day & Night Date Ideas:
Often, our favorite dates are during the day when we start with a strong cup of coffee at Dart in the funk zone, followed by a hike up Romero Canyon or Inspiration Point, next for lunch in downtown Montecito at either The Honor Bar or grabbing to-go Jeannine's and sitting at Butterfly beach, finishing with a tasting at Topa Topa Brewery in the Funk Zone.

If we're heading out for a special evening, we love to grab a drink at the Rosewood Miramar Beach Bar and then head to the Stonehouse Restaurant for an incredible dinner at the iconic San Ysidro Ranch.

Another favorite date is shopping and walking the funk zone, enjoying an early dinner at either Loquita or The Lark (both excellent and owned by the same restauranteurs), and finishing by catching a show at the iconic Santa Barbara Bowl.