Santa Barbara, one of my favorite places to visit in California. I’ve been visiting Santa Barbara for many years. However, getting to Santa Barbara today is a much longer drive than 10 years ago. We often choose not to go because it’s no fun sitting in traffic! My best friend and I were determined to have an easy Santa Barbara getaway. This time we chose to take the Amtrak train. What a brilliant idea it was!
Santa Barbara is only about 95 miles away from Los Angeles. It use to take less than 90 minutes to get there. Today you’re lucky to drive there in 2 hours. On the weekends it can sometimes take 3 hours and even longer in the summer.
My best friend and I decided to take the Pacific Surfliner train. We decided to splurge a little and bought seats in business class. It was well worth the price of about $90 roundtrip from Burbank. A guaranteed seat with snacks. We brought our own food and drinks. Not sure you can bring your own drinks, but if you’re discreet it won’t be a problem. It wasn’t a problem for us!
The ride was approximately 2 hours from the Burbank station. It was a quiet ride as we stopped in different towns and rode by hills, lakes, the Pacific Ocean and the 101 highway. At times we saw cars just sitting in traffic. Poor things!
We arrive in Santa Barbara and we were welcomed with a beautiful Spanish styled train station. This station serves 2 Amtrak lines, the Coast Starlight and the Pacific Surfliner. The Coast Starlight runs once a day each way between Los Angeles and Seattle. Pacific Surfliner runs fives times a day each way from Santa Barbara down to San Diego.
The minute we stepped outside of the train station to grab our Lyft ride, we were greeted by this strange yet festive vehicle. This vehicle is called the Santa Barbara Land Shark and yes you can tour the city by land and by sea! This Land Shark was in full party mode!
After a 10 minute ride we arrive at our gorgeous hotel, Santa Barbara Inn. This boutique hotel was recently renovated and is located right across the Pacific Ocean! It has 70 rooms and suites, many with ocean views. The hotel has a pool, hot tub and a wonderful restaurant.
We were so fortunate to have a nice room with a great view of the pool, the outdoor terrace and the Pacific Ocean! Our bathroom was large and all the amenities in the room were quite luxurious!
Relaxation was in order and lounging by the pool was mandatory. The pool wasn’t big, but was quite lovely. We were perfectly comfortable. Waiter service was an added bonus. There’s nothing better than enjoying the sun with a drink in hand and an ocean breeze.
We were within walking distance to all things fun, including State Street and The Funk Zone. The Funk Zone is an area with wine tasting rooms, breweries, art galleries, gift shops and great restaurants. We even walked by an art festival on the beach while going to lunch on State Street. What a treat!
We ate at many wonderful places including the restaurant in our hotel called Convivo. It’s superb and I highly recommend it. We also stopped in a hipster tiki bar in the Funk Zone called Test Pilot We went to a few wine tasting rooms, including Sanford and Santa Barbara Winery. All incredible. Whew! We got a lot in!
Sadly, the weekend came and went too fast. Sunday hit us like a ton of bricks and we were right back on the train. Luckily riding the train was so easy breezy. What a way to travel back home! Thanks for coming along on our train trip to Santa Barbara. Now grab your friends and ride the train. Enjoy!
Santa Barbara Inn is located at 901 E. Cabrillo Blvd. (800) 231-0431. Test Pilot is located at 211 Helena Avenue, Santa Barbara Winery is located at 202 Anacapa Street, Sanford Wine tasting room is located at 1114 State Street.