Santa Barbara

EdieCaldwellEdie Caldwell

Having grown up in Nashville, Tennessee, Edie Caldwell sought a cooler climate and moved to San Francisco 40 years ago. She traveled the world as a travel agent for 12 years, then managed Therien & Co’s antiques gallery on Sutter Street. In 1991, she opened Edith Caldwell Gallery on Post Street near Union Square. Specializing in contemporary realism and representation art, the gallery had locations in San Francisco, Sausalito and Rockport, Maine. In 2011, Edie enthusiastically retired and moved to Santa Barbara.


C’est Cheese (photo below)
The one place I go every week is to this delightful cheese shop/cafe, and I go for one reason. Their Signature grilled cheese sandwich is quite simply one of the best things I have ever tasted PERIOD.
825 Santa Barbara Street

Lucky’s is the perfect, classic steakhouse, serving really expensive American comfort food. The astounding thing about Lucky’s is that if you have a craving for anything American, just order it and watch what happens. Want a martini up with ice floating on the top and bleu cheese in the olive or your filet cooked “Pittsburgh” (charred on the outside and rare in the center) or just plain meatloaf and potatoes? The wait staff is the best and with a smile and ease will see to it that you get exactly what you want, the way you want it.
1279 Coast Village Road


Paradise Retreats rents lots of great houses by the week all over Santa Barbara. I would like to live in their Island View Cottage.
16 East Arrellaga Street

Coast Village Inn (photo right)
For a modestly priced place to stay, I highly recommend Coast Village Inn. It is a quaint motel-like inn in the heart of Montecito, the high-end residential area of Santa Barbara. In the center of the shopping area, a short walk from the beach and in close proximity to the Music Academy of the West and the Santa Barbara Zoo, its location cannot be beat.
1188 Coast Village Road


In a charming clapboard cottage with the bright red Adirondack chair out front, the shop’s tag line is “Not What You Need, But What You Want,” and you will be hard-pressed to not find something you want there. Owners William Laman and Bruce Gregga fill the home-like rooms with an elegant, eclectic array of great finds, all in pitch-perfect style and taste.
1496 East Valley Road

Davis & Taft
This jewel of a shop is hidden away, so do seek it out. Owner Leanne Baker will be there to greet you and share her extraordinary collection of odd and wonderful objects d’art. Specializing in 20th-century modern design, the ever-changing inventory is a bounty of vintage furniture, unusual mid-century lighting and special surprises that make ideal presents for those not interested in the same-old, same-old found everywhere else these days.
1482 East Valley Road

Carty & Carty Antiques
This is another hard to find spot, but worth the search. Anne and Edward Carty are twin brother and sister and are the primary estate appraisers in Santa Barbara. They have the knowledge, expertise, connections and taste to fill their shop to the brim with exquisite antiques that convey the history of the area. The two Cartys are also witty, charming and have tales to tell.
539 San Ysidro Road


Lotusland (photo above)
A walking tour of Lotusland, an extraordinary 37-acre garden, is one of the most remarkable two hours you can spend in California. Created by Ganna Walska (1887–1984), an exuberant, outlandish, aspiring opera singer, Lotusland is a wondrous fantasy world of botanical design and inspiration. Enclosed behind the faded-pink exterior walls are the Topiary garden, the Blue garden, the Australian garden, the Butterfly garden, the Tropical, the Succulent and many more. The Japanese garden is one of the most beautiful in America and the Cactus garden, one of the most memorable. Open from February to November, advance reservations are required.
Cold Spring Road

DeannaSolakianDeanna Solakian

Deanna Solakian Williams is a Santa Barbara native who attended college in Boulder, CO and started her real estate career in New York City, before returning to the place she was born and raised. She is an avid hiker who loves spending time with her husband and six month old daughter at the beach and eating dinner outside with close friends. As one of Santa Barbara’s top residential real estate agents, she loves helping families find the perfect home in a place that she loves so much. “As a new mom, my daughter is my first priority, and I love re-experiencing the city through her eyes.”


Julienne (photo below)
The perfect date night restaurant. I love that they use local and organic ingredients and change the recipes with the season. Best food by far!
138 East Canon Perdido Street

Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant
The best place in town to get great wines by the glass. And I love their outdoor patio!
131 Anacapa Street, Suite B

Taqueria Cuernavaca
Mexican food is definitely my favorite! I grew up going to La Super Rica which is still by far one of my favorite places. Cuernavaca however is new within the past couple years and there are not many places in town that beat their menu for authentic Mexican food.
201 West Carrillo Street

The French Press
Nothing beats a French Press cappuccino! It’s my morning ritual. I love their pastries too!
1101 State Street


Upstairs at Pierre Lafond
Sometimes I have to stop myself from going in because I know ultimately I WILL come out with something. I just love their housewares.
516 San Ysidro Road

I could buy everything in this clothing store in Montecito’s Upper Village. I absolutely love the style!
525 San Ysidro Road

Amelia Jane
Amelia Jane in Summerland has the most precious children’s clothing and best selection of toys.
2325 Lillie Avenue


Hot Springs Trail
My favorite thing to do outdoors is hike. Being in our backyard, naturally Hot Springs Trail has become my favorite trail in town. I love to go with friends or by myself for some fresh air and alone time. My parents would take me here as a kid and in more recent years, my husband proposed to me at the top of this trail. It’s a special place to say the least!
Gaviota Park Boundary Road

Photo: Andre Theus via Flickr

Photo: Andre Theus via Flickr

Miramar Beach (photo above)
After living within walking distance to Miramar Beach, it has become my favorite. It’s usually the least crowded beach in Santa Barbara which I love.

Shoreline Park
Another favorite place of mine to take a walk is Shoreline Park. I walked here almost every day when I was pregnant. Now that my daughter is here I continue to take her walking there and look forward to her romping around the playground overlooking the ocean as I did when I was a kid.
Shoreline Drive

NancyHamiltonNancy Hamilton

Nancy Hamilton was raised in the Mississippi Delta and moved to Santa Barbara in 1986 after graduating from college in Virginia. She met and married her husband Michael, a Santa Barbara native, in 1987. They have three daughters, Austin, Jordan and Madison. For the last 25 years, Nancy has worked in real estate and is currently with Sotheby’s International. Nancy and Michael love walking their dogs (which include two Mastiffs), biking and hiking. They also enjoy playing tennis and golf.


So hard to choose because we have so many wonderful restaurants in town, but here are some of my favorites.

Empty Bowl (photo below)
At the new Public Market—my favorite dish is the Bangkok street noodles.
38 W. Victoria #109

The Lark
In the Funk Zone and my favorite dish is the fried chicken which is large enough for two people to share.
131 Anacapa Street

The Shop Café
A great new casual breakfast and lunch place is “The Shop” on Milpas Street. It is a tiny building with outdoor seating next to a tire shop. I love the Cecilia salad with fresh grapefruit and quinoa, and also their homemade biscuits.
730 N. Milpas Street

Other classic favorites are Lucky’s for steaks, Via Maestra for Italian, and La Super Rica for classic Mexican.

1279 Coast Village Road

Via Maestra 42
3343 State Street

La Super Rica Taqueria
622 N. Milpas Street


San Ysidro Ranch
The San Ysidro Ranch, with its individual cottages and great Stonehouse restaurant, is located in the Montecito foothills.
900 San Ysidro Lane

Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore
Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore…just the best beach (Butterfly Beach) and location in the area.
1260 Channel Drive

El Encanto
The El Encanto Hotel in located on the Santa Barbara Riviera with beautiful ocean views.
800 Alvarado Place

Bacara Resort & Spa (photo below)
The Bacara for the best spa experience. Also next door to Sandpiper Golf Club with a beautiful course overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
8301 Hollister Avenue

Circle Bar B Guest Ranch
For a really different experience, I like the Circle Bar B Ranch which is located 20 minutes north of Santa Barbara, next door to the Ronald Reagan Ranch. It is a true western throwback with horseback riding, hiking and a cowboy dinner theater. Go for the day or stay overnight.
1800 Refugio Road


They have everything that you will find in the great boutiques in NYC. Great designer clothing and shoes.
1324 State Street

Lily on Coast Village Road is a small boutique that carries wonderful jewelry and gifts for the home that are almost all designed by local artists.
1131 Coast Village Road

Botanik in Summerland is the most beautiful garden and home boutique. I go there for special plants, candles and home decor.
2329 Lillie Avenue

Coast 2 Coast Collection
Coast 2 Coast Collection carries lovely vintage jewelry, china, crystal and gifts.
1114 State Street


The best part of Santa Barbara is that it is sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and mountains, and you can play outdoors all year long. We love to rent paddle boards or kayaks at the harbor and cruise out by the pier where you can get close to the seals and dolphins.

The hiking trails are amazing. Our favorite is Cold Springs Trail in Montecito where you will find beautiful waterfalls and natural pools to swim in. Hot Springs Trail is also great and full of celebrities each morning.
Cold Springs Trail
Hot Springs Trail

The bike path takes you all the way from Summerland to University of California, Santa Barbara along the ocean. It is easy riding and fun for all ages.

Santa Barbara Bowl
This is a true local treasure. It is a large outdoor amphitheater where some of the largest names in music perform. It is wonderful to listen to music under the stars, enjoying the warm weather and looking out to the Pacific Ocean.
1122 N. Milpas Street

robinsniderRobin Snider

Robin Snider grew up in Santa Barbara. After spending 25 years raising four children in Cleveland, Ohio, she is thrilled to be back to her roots, her family and the lifestyle where she feels most at peace. Robin enjoys lots of yoga, hiking, beach walks and an overall outdoor lifestyle. She is an avid cook who once attended cooking school in San Francisco. Her entire family is food-obsessed, and their travels usually revolve around where to eat the best local food. According to Robin, Santa Barbara offers an abundance of culinary riches from the sea to the local produce.


Farmers’ Markets
It’s amazing what the farmers’ markets have to offer—from incredible (and addicting) almonds and pistachios, to handcrafted cheeses, grass-fed beef and pork, eggs, flowers, olive oils, local honey, hand-picked and tied sage smudge sticks to endless fruits and vegetables. Do not miss an opportunity to go to one of these markets. Two of the largest and most fun are Tuesday evenings on State Street and the Saturday market on Cota Street.

RSthelarkThe Lark (photo above)
My favorite restaurant, for sure! Do not miss the crispy Brussels sprouts (secret ingredients include dates, garum and lime!), and the whole grilled branzino is an explosion of flavors and textures—perfectly executed.
131 Anacapa Street

Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant
A sweet spot to enjoy fantastic wine and lovely little bites such as charcuterie and cheeses, olives and pickled vegetables and small plates of salads.
131 Anacapa Street, Suite B

This little gourmet deli is a favorite lunch spot that serves wonderful food (especially if you catch them on the days they make gyro). They also sell wine and the best gourmet provisions such as a huge assortment of arborio rices, lentils, jarred items, spices…I never manage to leave here without something!
216 East Yanonali Street

The Stonehouse at San Ysidro Ranch
Tres romantico! The trees, the old stone, the twinkle lights…I’m instantly in a good mood there. Love everything—even the burger is noteworthy!
900 San Ysidro Lane

Olio Pizzeria
We are addicted to their fried cauliflower and the calamari which is served black as night thanks to the addition of squid ink—absolutely delicious! Then get any one of their pizzas, they are perfection. Follow with the arugula salad—it has a lemony dressing and shaved artichokes!
11 W. Victoria Street, Suite 21

Taqueria El Bajio
OMG…the best little taco stand in the city! (There are limited seats inside and on the sidewalk.) Get the asada and adobada tacos!
129 N. Milpas Street

Bouchon (photo above)
A sweet and romantic little gem that prides itself on locally sourced and seasonal food with wonderful wines to match. The forest mushroom ragout is a must!
9 West Victoria Street

Scarlett Begonia (photo right)
Our favorite breakfast spot (although open for lunch and dinner too). Nothing beats sitting out in the courtyard with the lovely fountain. They love dogs, and when you bring yours they swiftly bring a water bowl and homemade dog biscuit! Everything is good!
11 W. Victoria Street, No. 10

Don’t miss the green fresh pressed juices and the Cocoa Royale. Try this or any other spot in the new Santa Barbara Public Market, our version of the Ferry Building in San Francisco.
38 W. Victoria Street


San Ysidro Ranch
Stay here if you can! Best location, charming cottages on beautiful grounds with access to some of the best hiking right at your doorstep!
900 San Ysidro Lane


If you need a little yoga ensemble for your practice, try Drishti or Lolë!

130 East Canon Perdido Street

Lolë Atelier
714 State Street

Industry Home (photo above)
I adore this well-curated combination of antique finds, pillows, art, gift items and lighting and furnishings they manufacture themselves. Co-owner Hayley Bridges is so sweet—it’s a pleasure to poke in there and see what’s new.
740 State Street

Mate Gallery
This Montecito gem is another well-curated, postage stamp-sized shop with all things beachy, nautical and surfer-esque. It’s continually changing which makes it fun to browse whenever you’re in the area. One of the two owners, Matt Albiani, is a photographer, and his images are featured there…swoon worthy!
1024 Coast Village Road


The Funk Zone
A newer addition to the city with a very young and vibrant energy. There are wineries and breweries and galleries to explore (including Raoul Textile’s workshop/showroom) in addition to fabulous eating establishments. Located between State Street and Garden Street, from Montecito Street to Cabrillo Boulevard.

Alchemy Arts Center
This wellness center and spa is my most favorite place in all of Santa Barbara! It is so beautiful inside, and it has a healing energy the moment you walk through the doors. The food is straight from the farmers’ markets, very healthy but outstanding in freshness and flavor! It is the best spa in Santa Barbara for massage, facials, acupuncture and many other healing modalities.
35 W. Haley Street

Power of Your Om
I have been practicing yoga here from the moment I returned to Santa Barbara, and I love each and every teacher. From beginners to serious athletes, it is a very welcoming place, no matter what level you are!
1221 State Street, No. 201

Photo: John Wardlaw, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

Photo: John Wardlaw, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

Butterfly Beach (photo above)
Don’t miss a good beach walk, especially during low tide…I love this beach in front of the Biltmore Hotel in Montecito.

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
Another fun thing to go see…everything from succulents to redwoods (seriously…it’s amazing!). Great for little kids, plus they allow dogs on leashes. It’s a terrific place for a picnic, especially if we have our famous “June Gloom” which soaks our beaches with fog…drive towards the mountains, and it all disappears!
1212 Mission Canyon Road
805.682.4726Scarlett Begonia