Friday Five: Highlights from my trip to Santa Barbara

if you know me, you know i love a lot of places, and California resides pretttty high up on that list. like, very much at the top.

i was fortunate enough to be able to spend some time in the magical coastal city of Santa Barbara last week, visiting some lovely friends and surprising one of my dearest girlfriends. it was truly an amazing trip, full of non-stop activities and wonderful people and so many memories i’ll cherish. that little city is something special.

so, for this week’s Friday Five, i figured i’d give you a glimpse into some of the highlights from my trip, mmmkay? (note: i unfortunately have zero pictures with my friend i surprised — not sure how that happened — so seeing her transcends this post!) πŸ™‚

ONE: beach run. it’s hard to believe that at this exact moment last week, on a gorgeous Friday morning, i was having one of my very favorite experiences from this trip: aΒ  morning run along Hendry’s Beach, barefoot (i started with sneaks but quickly got overcome by the high tide so happily stashed ’em on a rock and kept going!), literally running in the water. i was so completely, blissfully happy to be starting my morning that way. it was by far the most beautiful, enjoyable run i can ever recall.

TWO: flying. i received one of the coolest surprises of my life last Thursday evening: a sunset flight over the Channel Islands in a little baby plane.

it was absolutely wild and breathtaking and exhilarating and i totally felt like i was in an episode of The Bachelor. you know those moments where you’re like, “How did I get so fortunate to have this as my life?” yep. this was one of those.

THREE: wine tasting. who knew SB was such a hot spot for wineries & tasting rooms? i loved every place we went in the Funk Zone, the hip, artsy, wine-and-foodie part of town, and wish i’d spent more time there. (aka, i want to go to every.single.winery.)

i really loved Les Marchands, a cozy wine bar ideal for ending your evening,

and AVA winery was so rad, boasting a huge mural of the whole Santa Barbara topography and surrounding region and showcasing the various wineries and highlights of the county. ridiculously cool.

other great wineries & tasting rooms we visited:

  • Riverbench in Santa Barbara — small & cute, amazing service/fun people, solid wines
  • Municipal Winery (i went to both, SB & the one in the Santa Ynez Valley — this is my friend’s favorite winery)
  • Curtis in Los Olivos — this place was beautiful and spacious and lovely and all the wines were delicious. it’d be a great spot for either a group or a date, and a place i could see myself lounging around at for a while on a lovely day.

FOUR: the views. the ocean. the mountains. the scenery. the sunset. the night sky.

basically every time i looked anywhere on this trip, it was breathtaking. i absolutely understand why people will do anything they have to in order to live here.


FIVE: Solvang. i had no idea this quaint little Danish town even existed until two different friends insisted the week before i left that i had to see it. while i definitely preferred Santa Barbara, i am glad i got to pass through Solvang; it’s such a charming historic village dropped in the middle of the Santa Ynez Valley and seems delightfully out of place, like a little gingerbread town that fell from the sky. i half expected the Munchkins to come bopping out of bakeries and trinket shops and lead me down a cobbled road. πŸ™‚

the literary geek in me LOVED this: Hamlet Square! one of my favorite Shakespearean works (and basically the only thing i can reference in regards to Denmark).

so, there’s my enchanting little West Coast trip in a nutshell! i’m so fortunate that my friend is an amazing photographer and captured this trip for me — i can’t take credit for these photos, and having talented friends is such a gift!

have a great long weekend, loves!


Last great trip you took?
Best surprise you’ve received (or planned for someone else)?


18 thoughts on “Friday Five: Highlights from my trip to Santa Barbara

  1. These pictures are beautiful! You’re friend did a great job, and you did a great job modeling lol. Your trip looks like a blast :-p Last great trip I took was to the Outer Banks. Feeling like I need another trip soon!

    • haha thanks, lady! i’ll shamelessly model for a good photographer anytime. πŸ™‚ haven’t been to Outer Banks but a lot of people i know vaca there often — always looks fun!

  2. Just amazing. And you look so effortlessly happy. It reminds me of my hubs and I on vacation–we just feel easy and breezy and beautiful (covergirl). And Cali makes it easy! Have a great weekend my dear!

  3. I’m going to CA in 2 weeks for the first time ever! I’m SO excited! I’ll be driving up the coast from SD to SF and will make sure to stop for some views in SB!

    • ahhhh i hope you have the best time!! i adore California — every single place i’ve gone to — and driving up the coast sounds amazing. definitely stop in SB!

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