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Suggestion on location

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New Jersey
posts: 114
reviews: 1
Suggestion on location

Hi. My husband and I are just beggining to plan a trip for Southern California that will include travel from San Diego to Santa Barbara with a stop in L.A. (maybe Santa Monica for L.A.).

We are going to be able to allow 10-14 days for the entire trip and in my head now it breaks down to SD-4 nights, LA-2 night, SB-the remainder of our time.

We have never been to any of these areas so trying to allow decent amounts of time to cover what we want to see/do as well as relax. I see the SB portion as more of the relaxation area especially since we will spend the most time there.

We want to see Santa Barbara itself - beaches, Mission, shopping, dinners, etc. But we also want to do some exploring in wine areas away from SB (I believe that means further north).

Is there a location that I should be looking that will allow for easy access to both SB downtown area and beaches as well as access toward wine touring.

We will have a car and don't mind driving and exploring but I'm unable to decipher a most central point.

I would also consider spliiting time between SB and location X, although that would mean 4 moves for us. I don't love that idea but would consider it if I knew what location X was.

One more ? Is there advantage to planning the route SB to SD vs. SD to SB?

New Jersey
posts: 114
reviews: 1
11. Re: Suggestion on location

I have one Big Sur/Hearst but husband has not and I have no problem repeating.

We talked last night about possibly droppin SD. Still a work in progress so appreciate the input.

posts: 54
reviews: 23
12. Re: Suggestion on location


There are great things to do around Santa Barbara, including wine tasting north in the valley and in SB proper. Check out the urban wine trail for tasting options around the city. Jaffers, ABC and Grassini are a few of my favorites. Take a day trip north to the valley, have lunch in Los Olivos and do some tastings there. If you don't want to drive there are plenty of good options for wine tours and they let you customize where you want to go. Also ask for the Santa Barbara Wine Map at most of the tasting rooms in SB. It will give you an idea of what the layout of the valley is. The coast north of SB to Carmel is amazing, but you are adding a fair amount of driving and moving around. If you truly enjoy wine you could stay around Avila Beach, Sycamore Hot Springs is a nice place. From there you could make your way back south to SB, hitting the three major wine regions of SB county. Santa Maria(most northern), Santa Ynez(middle) and Santa Rita Hills(most southern). There are great wineries in all areas.

Enjoy your trip



Abe and Autumn


Los Angeles...
posts: 4,831
reviews: 295
13. Re: Suggestion on location

Ok, here goes the enabler again ... How about flying in and out of two differente hubs? Say, into San Diego (if you insist) or LA and out of San Francisco? You can then move quite leisurely about California Northward. As stated by one of my travel gurus and enablers, "there is really nothing to visit South of Santa Barbara" but perhaps this is an overstatement.

As previously noted, Santa Barbara County is very nice. I love the Central Coast, i.e., County of San Luis Obispo/Paso Robles region more. There are wonderful wine producers there; at least three fantastic restos in Paso (Artisans, Cafe Laurent, Il Cortile, all top notch), and the place is hopping with weekenders. Lots of places to stay from chain hotels (new or remodeled) to luxury hotels (Cheval). However, how much wine can one really taste? I am done after stopping at three wineries, particularly since they do not really serve food with the taste, just some crackers, and husband can only take little sips so that he can drive without killing people or small animals. In other words, I would not allocate eight days to this endeavor.

Have you been to San Francisco and I apologize in advance if this has been asked and answered? Perhaps do two city book-ends, e.g., San Diego and San Francisco, and spend the rest of the time cruising up the Coast? Big Sur is uber romantic and not to be missed, IMO.

Edited: 11:47 am, February 16, 2013
New Jersey
posts: 114
reviews: 1
14. Re: Suggestion on location

I have been to SFO but I think the last time I spent traveling was 1992 so more than happy to revisit.

Happy to consider 2 airports but husband wants 2 nights in LA. Don't ask why it is just a "thing" for him.

If we did SFO to LA how best to organize that in say 4 moves max.


Anaheim, California
Destination Expert
for Anaheim
posts: 23,686
reviews: 13
15. Re: Suggestion on location

Another option, the Temecula Wine Country as a stop, start in the San Diego area, then head to Temecula, then the LA Area and then Santa Barbara.


16. Re: Suggestion on location

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