Day 2: Meander Through Montecito

Just a five-minute drive from Santa Barbara is the lovely village-like town of Montecito, home to many celebrities, the historic Biltmore Hotel, a beautiful beach, distinctive restaurants, and some of the best shopping on the central coast. We recommend starting your day in the foothills of Montecito, at the San Ysidro Ranch Stonehouse Restaurant. Enjoy a fresh breakfast and take a short stroll through the enchanting gardens of the ranch. Next, for a one-of-a-kind experience, head over to Lotus Land. Established in 1882, this thirty-seven acre estate is a living museum of gardens. With a wealth of exotic trees, palms and other subtropical plants, Lotusland is a garden lovers delight, not to be missed. Garden tours are by reservation only and calling in advance is well advised. Next on the Montecito agenda is shopping Coast Village Road and East Valley Road, referred to by the locals as the lower and upper villages respectively. Grab lunch and hit the streets, as both of these destinations offer many very unique, locally owned, exclusive stores, boutiques, galleries and restaurants. By now, your feet could be in serious need of a break and you may have worked up quite an appetite after all of the shopping. We suggest that you take a load off at Cava, Montecito’s best-loved Latin cuisine. Try a mojito while sampling some tasty tapas. According to the Zagat Survey, “Simply the best upscale Mexican fare that reaches a new level.”