ocean view shot of Santa Barabara with mountains in the backdrop during golden hour

Relaxing Fall Weekend Getaway to Santa Barbara, California

Relaxing Fall Weekend Getaway to Santa Barbara, California

Fall is a perfect time to visit Santa Barbara for a weekend getaway. Santa Barbara is a very accessible destination, just 90 miles from Los Angeles. The temperature is excellent year-round, and the summer crowds are gone, giving you time to explore what the city has to offer: sandy beaches, cool ocean breezes, beautiful weather, breathtaking views, and charming Spanish-Colonial style architecture. With similarities to the world-famous French Riviera, there’s a reason why Santa Barbara is often called the “American Riviera.” Visitors to Santa Barbara will find a great deal of wonderful activities to enjoy in the fall. Put on your shades and get ready to play!

beach in santa barbara ca

Get a Dose of “Vitamin Sea” at Some of Santa Barbara’s Best Beaches

Your trip isn’t complete without a day at the beach. With miles of sandy coastline, there is no shortage of beautiful beaches. Imagine yourself lounging by the ocean, enjoying the warm sun, cooling off with a quick dip, and finishing the day watching the sunset or horseback riding on the beach. Our top picks include Butterfly Beach, Arroyo Burro, East Beach, and Leadbetter. Butterfly Beach is great for sunbathing and Leadbetter is a popular location for surfing, paddle boarding and boogie boarding. If a game of volleyball or cycling along the sandy beach is more of your style, then head to East Beach for a friendly game and scenic ride.

white, sandy beach near Santa Barbara, CA

Explore the Town and Get Some Retail Therapy

If shopping is your preferred cardio workout, head over to State Street for the ultimate Santa Barbara shopping experience. This pedestrian-friendly street is filled with some of the city’s best boutique shops, one-of-a-kind stores, and even a few mainstream shops that you can spend the day exploring.

night shot of Santa Barbara and ocean

Get a Taste of the Region with Some Wine and Culture

While you’re out and about, be sure to check out the eclectic Funk Zone. It’s home to shops, breweries, restaurants, galleries, and over 20 wine tasting rooms. In fact, Santa Barbara is the perfect city for wine connoisseurs, because it’s teeming with wineries and tasting bars that will give you an authentic Santa Barbara wine tasting experience. So swirl, sniff and sip your night away at the Funk Zone. Craving for a wine country experience with gorgeous views of the vineyards? You can visit the Santa Ynez Valley which is about a 30-minute drive.

woman wine tasting in the funk zone

Check Out Local Festivals and Attractions

If you’re looking for even more excitement, visit some of the festivities happening around the city this fall, like the California Brew & BBQ Festival on September 29, the Harbor & Seafood Festival on October 13, Pints for the Park on October 20, and Pianos on State from October 2 to 24, which is an annual interactive public art project where community members get to participate in impromptu musical performances.

Other great landmarks to see while you’re here include:

Stearns Wharf – Stretch your legs on the boardwalk by visiting this iconic spot and California’s oldest working wharf. Feeling hungry? Try one of the restaurants that serve freshly caught seafood!

Waterfront view of Stearn's Wharf, in Santa Barbara, California.

Old Mission – Visit this historic landmark and travel back in time to the early days of Santa Barbara. Make sure you have your camera ready to capture the grand double bell towers, lush gardens, and the San Ynez mountains.

Old Mission in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara Courthouse – This Spanish-Colonial style estate was built in 1929. The top of the courthouse offers an incredible 360-degree view of the area.

overview of courthouse in Santa Barbara

Have a Comfortable Home Base to Go Back to After a Day of Exploring

exterior view of lush West Beach Inn with pool view

Stay in the heart of the action at West Beach Inn, a Coast Hotel. The hotel is just steps from the beach, 3 blocks from Stearns Wharf and downtown State Street. During your stay, enjoy a host of amenities and features, such as:

● Free Wi-Fi
● No resort fees
● Complimentary continental breakfast
● Complimentary parking and local calling
● Wine and Cheese Happy Hour every evening
● Nightly turndown service with chocolates

continental breakfast at west beach in

Your stay also comes with a free two-hour bike rental, an hour of paddle boarding or kayaking, and access to the hotel’s heated outdoor pool and whirlpool spa. Fall in Santa Barbara is a wonderful time of year to visit. The summer crowds have dissipated and the weather remains brilliant. Start planning for your fall mini-vacation and book your stay at the West Beach Inn.