The Other Wine Country-Santa Barbara

Featured in Wine Spectator, Santa Barbara was not a disappointment! From our bed and breakfast, THE SECRET GARDEN to discovery of great vineyards, restaurants and the quaint streets of Solvang, we explored the countryside. The grand finale, Halloween on State Street must not be missed!


The Other Wine Country-Santa Barbara

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by BeAdventureous! on November 11, 2002

Loved our B&B, hidden in a neighborhood close to everything--THE SECRET GARDEN was delightful! Run by a French madamoiselle, we were treated royally. Gigantic pomagranite trees laden with peached colored fruit, avocado trees, likewise pregnant, gardenias, camilla bushes all amid winding paths of brick pavers. French wine with cheeses and olives, served in the evening, cider and brownies at night before bedtime, and home-made breakfast daily. The warm breads are especially delicious. Daily local paper, menus from surrounding restaurants, and all my favorite magazines! Art fills the walls and you awaken to the strains of classical music! Collins is WONDERFUL. He assists as innkeeper. Quiet but very special. Driving throughout the wine country is intriguing. Visited Fess Parker winery and Zaca Mesa vineyards. There is something about the smaller boutique cellars that resounds in me. We brought home a case of the CuveeZ 2000--magnificent! Super-Rica taco stand deserved my kudos for a superb meal for less than $5, spoken of highly by none other than Julia Child herself, who happens to live here. A senorita stands by the grill handrolling each tortilla as you wait, while meat is seared, accompanied by vegatables, and eaten at picnic tables. The city sits right on the coast, backed by purple mountains majesty, about 2,000 ft. high. Eucalyptus, citrus trees, and brilliant flowers make the place lush. Spanish style homes with red tile roofs give a Riviera look. Many are hidden by massive gates and gorgeous landscaping. Restaurants abound on the pier with seagulls and pelicans providing spectacular shows as you dine. ${QuickSuggestions} We drove the scenic routes as suggested in the tourist maps to get an overview of the area. Solvang is interesting but very touristy.${BestWay} You will need to rent a car. Parking is tough. If you are persistant, a spot will open up.

The Secret Garden

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by BeAdventureous! on November 11, 2002

Delightful! But no TV, no hairdryer, and no ice machine. We stayed in the main house and were given the key, having it all to ourselves. We loved our innkeeper, Collin, and the owner, Dominque from France.

The bed and breakfast was filled with art, a piano, magazines, menus from all local restaurants, and decorated beautifully--we had a great three days! The garden was puncuated by a winding walkway leading through pomagranite and avocado trees, pink camilla bushes, creamy magnolia flowers, and roses.

Breakfast was homemade, and the breads were especially good. Evenings brought French wines and cheeses, olives, walnuts, and other guests, who were colorful and fun. Nighttime snacks included spiced cider and warm brownies. Parking is behind the facility. It was within walking distance to some shops and restaurants.

The Secret Garden
1908 Bath Street
Santa Barbara, California, 93101
(805) 687-2300

La Superica Taqueria

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by BeAdventureous! on November 11, 2002

Great dining experience and our very favorite! The food is made on the spot and very authentic. A senorita makes the tortillas by hand as you wait, while the meat is grilled with vegatables, wrapped in paper, and eaten at picnic tables. The sauces are terrific! Cash only! Lots of locals.
La Super-Rica
622 N Milpas St
Santa Barbara, California, 93103
(805) 963-4940

Brophey Brothers

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by BeAdventureous! on November 11, 2002

Views of the harbor were delightful, even if the food was so-so. I enjoyed the clam chowder and the clams were good. Hard to find a parking place. The place was packed. My advice is to wait for an outside table--there are heaters so it is very comfortable.
Brophy Brothers
At the marina
Santa Barbara, California, 93101
(805) 966-4418

Sage and Onion

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by BeAdventureous! on November 11, 2002

We sat at a corner table overlooking the street and parade of characters dressed for Halloween. I had an appetizer of a Fog Horn goat cheese tart/souffle, which was delightful.

My husband ordered the rabbit--you don't see that on the menu in Arkansas, Dorthy--and he throughly enjoyed it. Our dessert was fantastic!

Sage Onion Aldo's Italian Restaurant
1031 State St
Santa Barbara, California, 93101
(805) 963-6687

Halloween

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by BeAdventureous! on November 11, 2002

It's wild, it's crazy, is it Mardi Gras? No, but EVERYONE dresses up and promanades State Street. From Homer and Marge to shower stalls, cowgirls and cowboys alike congragate. All the imagination and color was fascinating. Families trick or treat in the shops and they are open. It was a treat, and our best Halloween ever!
Halloween
State Street
Santa Barbara, California

State Street

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by BeAdventureous! on November 11, 2002

The prices are right in this delightful cozy shop. Saw everything from a songsheet that read MAMMY'S LITTLE BABY LOVES SHORTNIN' BREAD, to a beaded Charleston-type hat. We bought a used book called Hollywood Color Portraits which depicts all the old divas of the silent screen and the early days of Elvis, including Kim Novak, Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, etc. We also eyed the jewelry, but moved on.
State Street
State Street
Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara Farmers Market

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by BeAdventureous! on November 11, 2002

Only fills the street, but it does have the fresh stuff! Smell the corn as it pops and they bag it up--they ran out by the time we arrived, so get there early! The wares are organic and pricy, but I bought some red strawberries and a half-dozen of myer lemons.
Santa Barbara Farmers Market
State Street
Santa Barbara, California, 93120
(805) 962-5354

The Italian Grocery

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by BeAdventureous! on November 11, 2002

Buy a humongous sandwich for a few bucks, looks like the muffalatos in New Orleans. We bought red vino, roasted artichockes, and Italian latticed cookies to take home. The prices are right here!
Italian Grocery
415 E De La Guerra St
Santa Barbara, California, 93101
(805) 966-6041

The wine country of Santa Barbara

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by BeAdventureous! on November 11, 2002

We took a day trip and the scenery was awesome. We stopped in Solvang, but it was very touristy. Still, we did a bit of wine tasting at Lucas and Lewellen and brought away some wine for take-home, plus two nice wine glasses that were part of the wine tasting experience. The staff was delightful!

On to Santa Ynez, a western-looking town, wishing we had more time here, but after a brief interlude, it was onward! We saw Fess Parkers' upscale restaurant/hotel/spa, and then on to the winery. It was so commercial, that we didn't stay long, and went on to Zaca Mesa, were the staff was personable and we tasted and purchased a case!

The downside was returning to Santa Barbara--I got a ticket for speeding, unaware of the speed limit and unfamiliar with the car, beware!


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