Santa Barbara Weekend Getaway

Hi everyone! This past Sunday we took Ella to Santa Barbara for the first time! Santa Barbara is one of my favorite places in California; the mountains and the ocean- it is SO beautiful. I planned the trip somewhat last minute, when I realized we had a long weekend for Labor Day (it sneaks up on me every year.) We have never taken an over night trip with Ella (besides our trip to Maine) so I thought it would be fun. You will see from the pics that we had a great time! 

As you can see, Ella was ready to go with our luggage.

The drive took around 2.5 hours. Ella slept the first hour or so, and Michael joined Ella in the backseat for the rest of the drive to entertain her and keep her smiling! 

Our first stop! The Public Market to get some lunch.

We walked around for a while before deciding on Mexican. We went to a place called Corazon Cocina. Michael ordered the ceviche, which was fresh and delicious! We ordered the child's chicken quesadilla for Ella. It came with rice. I picked the chicken out of the quesadilla and fed it to her with the rice. She also had some peas and broccoli packed from home. 
Not pictured is my meal, which was a beef, potato and cheese burrito. It was good but not nearly as good as Michael's ceviche. He shared with me, and he also ate Ella's leftover quesadilla (basically just the cheese/tortilla.) 

After lunch, dessert! I always get these mini cupcakes at the Public Market when we come to Santa Barbara. They are delicious! Ella may have stolen a bite or two.

We walked to State Street to get coffee at Starbucks and walk around. There was a cute little "give a book, take a book" shelf in the middle of the sidewalk. I thought it was too cute so I took a pic. 

I had coffee. I was happy!

We I decided to walk through this corridor before realizing it took us into the middle of an outdoor restaurant. We proceeded to walk thinking it would lead us to the street (based on the signs) but nope. Totally awkward. We turned around and Michael told me I am never allowed to make decisions on where we walk again. Hahaha!  

Someone fell asleep after lunch!  We let Ella nap in the car while we waited in the parking lot at the Santa Barbara Zoo.

Ella woke up and it was time to tour the zoo. It's a small zoo, but extremely clean and gorgeous. I didn't get too many pictures with the animals because it was hard to capture them without 1 million strangers in the pics.


The elephant! Pics of the elephant aren't great, but isn't the exhibit and view so beautiful?

The penguins were one of Ella's favorites.

We stopped at a park area. There were kids sledding down this hill with cardboard, and playing in a bounce house. It looked so fun but Ella is too small to participate, so she sat on this turtle statue instead.

There were parrot look alike, but I can't remember the exact name of this bird.

Giraffes are my favorite!

The gorilla was just hanging out, directly outside of the glass. It was perfect, you could see him so well! He's looking quite relaxed.

Looking a little rough, right before exiting the zoo! 
Sorry for the lack of animal pictures! We had a great time though.

After the zoo, we drove to our hotel to get checked in! We stayed at The Castillo Inn. We have stayed there before. It's not super fancy, but it's affordable and was one of the only places in a good location that I could find with vacancy so last minute. 

Ella liked the room, as you can see. :) The Inn provides a crib, so Ella didn't get to share a bed with us... which I am sure she would have loved, but I am glad we had the crib option.

We stayed in the room for a while, relaxing from our morning/afternoon. We then got cleaned up, and dressed for dinner! We made reservations at a nearby restaurant called The Finch & Fork. They serve new-American style food and it was so good!

We ordered the street corn and Brussel sprouts as starters. For the meal, I ordered chicken which came with veggies, potatoes and the most amazing date-mint sauce. Michael got the prime rib, mashed potatoes and carrots. Ella had bites of my chicken, carrots and potatoes.

Despite being a restaurant that is definitely not 'designed for children' they were extremely accommodating. We were able to park our stroller with the hostess out front, they had high chairs, a water sippy cup and even a miniature spoon for Ella. I was praying for good behavior since it was a nice restaurant, and Ella did GREAT.

After a quick stop at the room to change Ella's diaper and get her into some pajamas, we took a walk to Stearns Wharf to enjoy the sunset.

Had to stop at this park we saw along the way! And then took lots of pics on our way.

We made it to the wharf!

Michael is cheesing pretty hard. HAHA!

Walking back I had to take some pictures of the palms!

It was such a beautiful night! We came back to the room around 8, and I immediately fed Ella a bottle, and put her down for bed. Despite being in a pack-n-play in a random hotel vs her crib at home, she fell asleep in minutes! 

The next morning, Ella had us up at 5!  Normally, she'll sleep 12 hours (not necessarily 12 straight, but 12 total.) She was super cranky.

Ella really enjoyed playing with her Dad's headphones. She was cranky and refusing to go back to sleep, so I was doing anything to keep her happy at this point! 

Because we were up so early, I decided to shower and get ready, and we'd grab an early breakfast.

We went to this breakfast spot called Sombo's across from the ocean. It was also walking distance from our Inn, so it was perfect. Ella made herself cozy in her stroller at the restaurant.

The waiter brought us a basket of mini muffins with our coffees while we browsed the menu.

And within 60 seconds, Ella was passed out. I couldn't believe it! Poor girl missed the whole meal... and SHE LOVES EGGS! 

I ordered the corn beef hash, my go-to at new restaurants. Michael got scrambled eggs with bacon and potatoes. It was a yummy and extremely filling meal. 

After breakfast, we enjoyed the area a bit longer before deciding to check out and head home. We wanted to beat the traffic, and Ella was sooo cranky, so not much would have been fun at that point. She slept while in the car and luckily for us, the drive home only took 2 hours! 

We had such a great time in Santa Barbara, and that will definitely not be the last time! 

If you're still reading, leave a comment. I would love to know which one of my friends are reading/supporting my blog :)

What did you and your family do for Labor Day?
Have you ever been to Santa Barbara?
Where is your favorite local weekend getaway where you live?

**This post contains affiliate links. See disclosure for more information. Thank you for supporting my blog**

No comments

I appreciate and love all questions and comments!