If you are looking to add a little rustic adventure to your Santa Barbara beach style vacation, take a trip up Highway 154! About 25 minutes north of Santa Barbara through Los Padres National Forest is Cold Spring Tavern. On the first part of the drive, catch gorgeous views of Santa Barbara all the way to the great Pacific Ocean. A unique and now hidden gem was once a stagecoach stop for travelers to grab a bite to eat and change their horses in 1865. Once you turn off the 154 and down a windy, sun filled road, you will see the tavern within a shady grove. Stop in for their famous chilli, delicious tri-tip sandwiches and refreshing iced tea. Cold Spring Tavern is a fun, off the beaten path restaurant that's certainly worth the trek up 154.
A week in Santa Barbara was just what my soul needed...some sand, sea and warm weather. Getting out of San Francisco for a week and a few days is always a treat. The sun was shining, the skies were blue, flowers were in full bloom and the ocean waves slowly rolled upon the shore as lunch was served at Shoreline Cafe. Montecito's Butterfly Beach and Summerland's Ocean View Park show the true beauty of the central coast. With palm trees swaying in the wind, I truly enjoyed every moment in my home away from home. Especially a trip to Hendry's Beach, lunch on Stern's Wharf, Shoreline Park and a short walk at Ellwood Butterfly Grove to catch the sunset
Deep within in Santa Ynez Valley lies the cutest small town perfect for a day of wine tasting, blue skies and good company. Vineyards, coffee shops and tasting rooms make up the small town of Los Olivos, California. From Santa Barbara, drive along highway 154, venture over the San Marcos Pass and through the Santa Ynez mountains and arrive at this adorable country style community. On this day, we started at Beckmen Vineyards and sipped away overlooking rolling hills and a small pond. Then it was time to hit the town square and wind down the day at Carhartt tasting room in their cozy, quint back patio.
The Sacred Space in Summerland is everything you would think it to be...and then some. A few miles south of Montecito is a hidden gem that is truly one of the most unique and tranquil places I have ever visited. It doesn't look like much from outside, but once you walk through the music filled shop and enter the gardens you instantly take a spiritual journey into a place of sacred beauty. The harmony of nature, serenity and peace within the garden is unreal. The amazing pavilions are a great place to enjoy tea, sun, and meditation. The aromas pour out from every space and the seemingly endless gardens, bamboo lined walkways and statues catch your eye every way you turn, it is simply magical.
What better way to begin a central coast trip than to enjoy wine and good company in the quieter side of San Luis Obispo? A great place to end the month of March was in this small college town my best friend calls home. Her airy, dreamy home is decorated in succulents, flowers and lovely scents of candles burning in all corners of the house. After spending many weekends in this town, I had never experienced the vineyards and great wine that come from this region of California. After picnicking at the beautiful Tolosa winery, we were set to try some wine! I must say, every tasting was magnificent! The clouds danced in the sky as we enjoyed the sweet weather and endless views of the mountains. Certainly a day well spent in San Luis Obispo.