When the mudslide news hit about Santa Barbara I was devastated. It feels like the last year has been one thing after another from terrifying mass shootings, to devastating natural disasters. The more I travel, the more I’m sure my mother worries about me as the news continues to get bleaker. Some of the places I’ve been to have sadly been hit soon after visiting. Which makes it all more terrifying. Paris was recently trying to save the Louvre from flooding, Vegas, a place my sister lived for nearly a decade has become a mystery of mass casualties. Fires in Napa Valley just months after visiting and then Santa Barbara.
I had the opportunity to visit Santa Barbara last September with Garnet Hill. The most memorable and exciting experience I have had in my nearly 7 years of blogging. When I saw the news I was heartbroken. The hotel we stayed in had mud several feet high into their lobby. The gorgeous home we shot in I’m sure was devastated by the mudslide as well just a mile up the road. I realized then how lucky I am to have my health, family and home in tact. It’s all getting too close for comfort these days. I thought this would be a great time to showcase what an amazing city this is in a Postcards from post.
Check out the below video to see some of the spots we hit. Plus keep on reading for more things to do in Santa Barbara. Unfortunately, the 1000 steps didn’t make the cut into the video but I’ve included a few photos! I highly recommend visiting, and don’t worry there aren’t actually 1000 steps!
Thousand Steps Beach
Our first day of shooting was LONG. I was not expecting it to be but it was beyond exciting. We got up at the crack of dawn to capture the sunrise at 1000 steps and then walk along the beach. The weather was incredible. While on the beach, we were just one of a few folks out there. Although we were definitely outnumbered by dogs. These pups live the life coming here for their morning walks!
There aren’t actually 1000 steps to get to the beach, but there sure were a lot and they can be a bit slippery. But the walk down to the beach is worth it. One of the prettiest places I’ve been to.
The Chromatic Gates
Then we headed to the Chromatic Gates. Matt captured these photos so perfectly. It’s like the most gorgeous frame of an even more beautiful backdrop. These Chromatic Gates, or also referred to as the Rainbow Gate, is a must visit when in Santa Barbara.
If you don’t know me, riding a bike is one of my all-time favorite things to do when I travel. It was my way of staying cool as it quickly got warm! Layered up in cashmere, this was a bit of a struggle. I somehow managed to keep it together. Another fun fact about me, I’m insanely hot-blooded but I had the entire production team fooled. I thank southern summers for this as it was significantly cooler here than in Atlanta at the time. So it really felt like spring to me! Just don’t look too closely to the video or photos of me at the pizza joint. It was our last stop and all my makeup melted off (thankfully had professionals to fix me up on the rest of the week’s shoots!)
The Lucky Penny
We worked up a serious appetite after shooting for several hours so we headed to grab lunch at the Lucky Penny. Some of the best pizza I’ve ever had. The exterior is covered in pennies and it’s such a cute gem to visit. Not only were the pizzas great, but so were the salads! They also had frosé which you know I’m a fan of. Then followed it up with dessert at McConnell’s at the Paseo Nuevo shops (their Instagram worthy stairs are down a bit in this post). They’re known for their eureka lemon and marionberry which was probably one of the most incredible ice cream cones I’ve ever had. I’ve even contemplated ordering a few pints to be shipped to my house. Yes, it’s THAT good. It reminded me of a cheesecake we always had for my birthday while living in Oregon. Marionberry is a popular fruit on the west coast that is usually only found in Oregon.
This cute restaurant was just 2 blocks from our hotel, the Montecito Inn. I went there for breakfast the last two days as our call time was a little after the crack of dawn the rest of the trip. Their food is simple, fresh and very California. I loved sitting outside and taking in the fresh air and watching them set up the weekly farmer’s market. It was just one of the things to do in Santa Barbara that felt very true to California. I picked up some Valencia marmalade to take home with me. Always love finding local items to bring home to enjoy long after trips are over.
I have to be honest, I didn’t get a chance to eat the food here. I got insanely car sick all of a sudden on our drive to this adorable turquoise restaurant, that I missed out. Everyone RAVED about it. According to the line out the door, I would have to say, I’m sure it’s delicious.
Photos by Matt Kisiday and Julie Florio