Sometimes you just need a change in scenery and that can be hard with a busy schedule (or limited PTO). Luckily there is no shortage on quick weekend getaways near Los Angeles. This specific trip to Santa Barbara was planned as an early Valentine's Day retreat but more importantly, a celebration to the end of The Whole 30. Obviously. I've only been to Santa Barbara a few times so it was hard to narrow down the itinerary, but since it's so close I can always go back! Every trip I plan includes three very important components: adventure, food and w i n e.
Knapp's Castle is an old mansion (or what's left of it) that was built and then destroyed by a forest fire in the 1940's. It's nestled up in the Los Padres National Forest with a panoramic view of Lake Cachuma and the Santa Ynez Valley. Being the ambitious person that I am, I set my alarm for 5AM so we could catch the sun rising from the top of Knapp's Castle. Too bad the weather decided to be a jerk and all we saw were tiny water droplets moving around in misty waves.. I was a bit underwhelmed in the moment but I'm sure it has a lot of photo potential during a normal golden hour.
We made pit stops at Jeannine's, Mony's, The Lark and Breeosh. Jeannine's was a pretty standard breakfast spot that I wasn't crazy about. Mony's was an unexpected delight after two wine tastings. Breeosh was a pastry heaven run by adorable French people and also located in a really cute area with lots of shopping. And the Lark was AMAZING. Hands down one of my favorite meals. The boothang and I were still pretty full from all the wine tastings and ended up splitting the corn bread (with HONEY BUTTER), brussels sprouts (which I normally don't like but loved theirs), duck confit and the most incredible and delicious cheesecake ever. It came with speculoos cookie butter (I am now a believer), honeycomb candy, honey ice cream and grapefruit. I wanted to order five more...and literally said that multiple times throughout the night.
We started the day at Santa Barbara Winery, which was probably my favorite because of the people and environment. The people who worked there were super friendly and conversational, and were very knowledgeable about their wines (the sauv blanc and pinot were my favorites!). Plus, the back room had a very IG-worthy set up with strung lights and wine barrels. Santa Barbara Wine Collective didn't seem like a wine tasting room and the service felt a bit more cold. The wine selection was okay but definitely in the higher price range. We made an impromptu visit to Riverbench, which in hindsight was probably a bad idea because all the bubbly made me miss my planned sunset trip to Deep Sea Tasting Room (wah) and almost made us lose our dinner reservations.
Overall I'd say it was a successful weekend getaway and can't wait to go back. I've got quite a few trips coming up so stay tuned to see more travel guides :)