WHERE TO WINE & DINE
900 San Ysidro Ln, Santa Barbara, CA 93108
The Stonehouse is located at the San Ysidro Ranch inside what was formerly a 19th century citrus packing house. The space is something out of another era with its wood-burning fireplace and (heated) stone flooring. You’ll enjoy regional cuisine here with vegetables and herbs harvested from the on-site garden as well as locally sourced meats. Some of the best dishes include the Miso Glazed Channel Islands Black Cod and Pan Seared Santa Barbara Abalone.
9 W Victoria St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Technically speaking, a bouchon is a type of restaurant found everywhere in Lyon, France but to most, Bouchon is a restaurant made famous by master chef Thomas Keller. This eatery is not a Keller-owned property, but it is one of the best restaurants you’ll find in Santa Barbara. Bouchon serves “Wine Country Cuisine” using fresh and local ingredients from the surrounding countryside presented with a plethora of the best local wines.
1305 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Downey’s owner John Downey, along with Wolfgang Puck and San Francisco’s Alice Waters, were instrumental in creating what is now known as the “California Cuisine” movement. Downey’s is a local favorite that serves up locally sourced, fresh and organic ingredients. You must try the local king salmon with sorrel sauce, asparagus and parsley potatoes as well as the local white seabass with saffron and lobster sauce: you’ll be in foodie heaven.
Jonata: (805) 564-6581
Sea Smoke Cellars: (805) 737-1600
Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard: (805) 688-1545
Santa Barbara has nearly 20 wineries on its Urban Wine Trail – all located in downtown Santa Barbara mere blocks away from the beach — but our favorites are slightly further away. We highly recommend you book a private tour at Jonata, which is owned by Stanley Kroenke, who also counts the St. Louis Rams and Denver Nuggets among the items in his portfolio, though it is winemaker Matt Dees that is personally responsible for creating the earthy blends of Sangiovese, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Jonata’s slate of wines demand the highest prices of any in Santa Barbara County; its 2009 bottlings fetch $125 each from club members, who are only allotted a certain number of bottles per year. There is no tasting room on the property; it is a private vineyard for those lucky (and luxurious enough) to be invited. We also recommend Sea Smoke Cellars, as well as the Fess Parker Winery, which some may know as Frass Canyon in the 2004 oenophile film, Sideways.
WHERE TO PLAY
There are more than a dozen options for golf lovers in Santa Barbara and the adjacent town of Montecito. If you can get a pal who’s a member to take you (or feel like becoming a member yourself) two of the best options are the Montecito Country Club and the uber-private Valley Club of Montecito. A fabulous public course is the championship-level Sandpiper. 17 of 18 holes at the William Bell Jr. course have ocean or mountain views; six are located right on the bluffs.
Winter isn’t the best time to indulge in a love of polo, but you can bet your bottom dollar that there are a plethora of events every spring, summer and fall at the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, have even attended a match on the club’s gorgeous grounds.
WHERE TO STAY
SAN YSIDRO RANCH
900 San Ysidro Ln, Montecito, CA 93108 (805) 565-1700
The San Ysidro Ranch often tops the list of best hotels in the world for its privacy, natural beauty and romantic heritage. Despite being located more than two hours away from LA, the Ranch has a storied Hollywood history. It is the very spot where Vivien Leigh and Sir Laurence Olivier first exchanged vows and also where John and Jackie Kennedy spent their honeymoon. Hence, there is a luxury cottage named after the Kennedys, which includes a 2,000 square foot unit with a courtyard, two master suites, Italian linens, fireplaces, Persian rugs, crystal chandeliers and a large outdoor deck overlooking the Channel Islands. Haute indeed.
THE FOUR SEASONS RESORT THE BILTMORE SANTA BARBARA
1260 Channel Dr, Santa Barbara, CA 93108 (805) 969-2261
The Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara is elegance personified. This Four Seasons property is built in the area’s classic Spanish Colonial style and includes 207 luxury oceanfront guest rooms and suites as well as twelve cottages. We recommend you take advantage of the glittering Pacific Ocean view and book a stay at the Ty Warner Cottage. This three-bedroom, four-bathroom 2,000 square foot space, named after “Beanie Baby Billionaire” Ty Warner, offers heated bathroom floors, a therapeutic rain shower and its own backyard, among other luxuries. A stay in one of the Biltmore’s best rooms also includes complimentary access to the tony Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club, a private reserve tour and wine blending and access to its award-winning spa.