Living in Santa Barbara was always a dream for my husband and I while growing up about an hour or so south of here in Hidden Hills, California. Once we were able to make the move and start a family, it was as if there wasn’t a need to travel for vacations anymore? Each time we ventured somewhere nearby like Palm Desert, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego or Laguna Beach, we always found ourselves longing to be back in the comforts of our own home with everything Santa Barbara has to do and offer. As grateful as we were to be able to take a trip, we were equally grateful to be so fortunate to live in a town like ours!
With that common thread of thought, many of my local friends have recently been doing mini staycations at the Bacara Resort and Spa. They have found the true meaning in the “best of both worlds” scenario. There was even a recent article in the Santa Barbara Sentinel that featured some of my friends!
Case in point: Heather and her husband hire a babysitter to stay overnight with their 3 little ones while they travel a short 20 minutes up the road to enjoy an evening alone with wonderful food and amazing accommodations. The following morning, after a delicious breakfast and spa treatments, they are able to hop back in the car, pack the kids up and head back out to Bacara for a fun day of swimming with the kids, golf and activities for all. They all stay overnight for the second night and another fun day of swimming, beach and surfing the Gaviota Coast are on the agenda for the following day. Magical…the parents get a night off and the kids get a great weekend of fun close to home in our very own Santa Barbara county!
Interestingly enough, I just read an article this morning in the Santa Barbara Newspress about a couple from Las Vegas who traveled by cruise ship to Santa Barbara to get married during a stopover. How incredibly ingenious to choose a destination so close to home for relatives to travel by car yet romantic enough to have a separate honeymoon all their own while traveling to get married! Word to the locals…the word is getting out!
Statistic: Cruise ships traveling to Santa Barbara in 2013 set a record of 22 stops here versus the typical 2-6 per year. While this does boost our local economy, some locals are keeping watchful eyes that these cruise liners abide by the Environmental Declaration each ship’s captain must sign.
So whether you are a local or hope to be a local someday soon, Santa Barbara aka “The American Riviera”, has so much to offer all of us. Help to protect it, make sure to see all that it has to offer and take time to plan a staycation. I think I will take my own advice and start some planning right now!
To book a local staycation at Bacara:
Interested in things to do in Santa Barbara:
For information on the Santa Barbara Channel Keeper and how you can get involved:
For the current 2014 Cruise Ship Schedule:
Have fun planning!