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It has been a while since I posted about the laws and regulations as they affect short term rentals and vacation rentals in Santa Barbara. While there still exists some “gray area” as it relates to the City of Santa Barbara and their interpretation, just know, anything located in the coastal zone of Santa Barbara is currently “license-able”. If that’s even a word.

WHERE IS THE COASTAL ZONE IN SANTA BARBARA?
Well, it meanders through Santa Barbara and has no definitive line however, as the crow flies but here is a photo for reference.

Mesa

For more information on other areas located in the Coastal Zone, here is the link:
Santa Barbara Coastal Zone Info

WHAT HAS CHANGED WITH VACATION RENTAL REGULATION IN SANTA BARBARA SINCE 2019?
There have been a few lawsuits to hit the City of Santa Barbara since they attempted to shut down all vacation rentals and short term rentals in Santa Barbara in 2015. One important decision has paved the way for ALL homes (no matter what zoning designation) to be able to rent their homes for less than 30 days however ONLY applies to those properties in Santa Barbara that are located in the Coastal Zone.

ARTICLE

While we have fought the City of Santa Barbara Zoning and Planning Department, hired attorneys, planners and just about any and every expert in the field, we realized early on that the California Coastal Commission was our biggest ally in the fight to save vacation rentals in Santa Barbara. Coastal Zone properties in Santa Barbara have prevailed!

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR MY HOME LOCATED IN THE COASTAL ZONE OF SANTA BARBARA?
Well, there still exists a “controversy” between the highest courts decision and how the City of Santa Barbara interprets this decision.

Just recently, we helped an owner that owns a second home on the Mesa secure a business license to operate a short term vacation rental. Their home is located in the Coastal Zone of the Mesa and according to the decision by the second district court of appeals, allowed to rent as a vacation rental or short term rental. However, when we contacted the city, here is what they told us…

Any attorney would find this contradictory to say the least:

City: Home is in the E-3 Zone of the Non-appealable Jurisdiction of the Coastal Zone. The E-3 does not allow for short-term rental use.

Tiffany: E-3 does not restrict STRS. There is nothing in the zoning ordinance that “restricts” vacation rentals in E-3.

City: Short-term vacation rentals are unlawful in Santa Barbara, including in the coastal zone, unless they are permitted by the City and they are located within zoning districts that allow for hotels or motels. The City will not issue business licenses for unpermitted STRV’s outside of the Coastal Zone.

Tiffany: Please define: Permitted. Are you saying that no business license will be given for this property?

City: The City will enforce against all illegal short term rentals in non-coastal zone areas while enforcement against illegal short term vacation rentals in the Coastal Zone will occur in response to the City receiving nuisance complaints.

Tiffany:
Are you saying this is an “illegal short term rental”?

City: Property owners that have operated short-term rentals lawfully or unlawfully are subject to and liable for the City’s transient occupancy taxes.

Tiffany: How can a city collect taxes for what they deem is “unlawful” acts or is illegal? That makes no sense.

City: Paying these taxes do not give a legal right to operate unpermitted Short term vacation rentals.

Tiffany: Yet again, this makes no sense. Please confirm that the property WILL receive a business license and IS legal in the coastal zone as defined by both the lawsuit and the California Coastal Commission. I will be reaching out to them today as well as the attorney handling this. What the city keeps doing is not legal…

City: (no response)

2 days later, in the mail we received the Business License for this home on the Mesa in Santa Barbara to vacation rent the home.

This is all so confusing, what do you recommend we do if we live in the Coastal Zone of Santa Barbara and wish to rent our home as a vacation rental or short term rental?

WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO CONTACT US ASAP.
We know this game the City of Santa Barbara continually plays and until they can figure out regulations that will get approved by the California Coastal Commission, the City of Santa Barbara must allow vacation rentals in the Coastal Zone. We have been to every City council meeting and Planning Commission hearing since 2015 and fought to keep vacation rentals where they are legally allowed and/or zoned for this use. While they may say they are “unlawful”, nothing exists in the current zoning ordinance as it applies to the Coastal Zone that forbids or requires a permit for this use. If you speak to the City of Santa Barbara Zoning and Planning Department you will most definitely get a different answer. That is why we encourage you to contact us to know your rights as property owners of vacation rentals in Santa Barbara. As local Real Estate Brokers and Property Managers of Vacation Rentals in Santa Barbara, we can help you with the entire process from start to finish.

We are here to help you navigate vacation rentals in Santa Barbara!

About Us
Join Our Family
How Are We Different than Other Property Managers?

Happy renting!
Tiffany & Kurt
Owners
Haller Coastal Homes

Searching for and finding the best property manager in Santa Barbara can be a daunting task. On top of that, the stress of having to coordinate service people to prepare for each new guest can make you wonder if you’ve gotten yourself in over your head.

Finding the perfect property manager

We know this feeling; we have been there, and we are here to help. Owning properties in another state was quite a challenge for us initially. Finding the best property manager for our out of state vacation rentals ended up being a game of trial and error. We needed the right property manager for our vacation rentals that met all our needs as involved rental property owners. So, after trying out a few other property managers, we took a leap of faith and decided to expand our own existing property management company here in Santa Barbara and take over our properties.

Property care and personal service

When your property reviews matter, it’s critical to have your property management company in Santa Barbara handle your home with the best, quickest and most efficient care.

As vacation rental owners ourselves, we found that bigger property management companies also meant longer wait times for owners and guests. Plumbing and maintenance items cannot wait and the same can be said of guests locked-out of your vacation rental! Who wants to wait when they are on vacation in Santa Barbara?

best property manager vacation rental santabarbara

Guests know they can contact us with any issue they may be experiencing during their stay, and we will make sure everything is taken care of in a timely manner.

At Haller Coastal Homes, we believe in communicating with property owners and letting them know about any issues. Likewise, we also make sure you hear about the great reviews guests submit!

Your property’s success as a vacation rental

We do more for our clients and charge less! Many other property management companies in Santa Barbara also charge a list of additional fees to guests and owners. We don’t!

And with a company-wide occupancy rate of 83% in 2021, we not only surpass other similar property management companies in Santa Barbara, but we also keep a 50% + guest retention rate.

We would love to partner with you in managing your vacation rental in Santa Barbara. Want to learn more about us?

Read our testimonials:

Testimonials

Read our story:

Our story

More information about property management services in Santa Barbara:

Property Management

Why choose Haller Coastal Homes over other property management services in Santa Barbara:

Why Choose Us?

Ready to get started? List your vacation rental property with Haller Coastal Homes:

List your Rental with us

 

All our best,

Tiffany & Kurt

Did you know the average hotel room is only 325 square feet? Our vacation rental homes, on the other hand, offer you an entire house for less than you’d pay for a hotel room suite. Here are just a few of the ways we save you money when you book a vacation rental home with Haller Coastal Homes:

 

🚫No hidden fees to guests

🚫No service fee

🚫No management fee

🚫No administration fee

🚫No additional house fee

🚫No tour fee

 

Space and privacy

Hotel rooms average about 325 square feet. In contrast, you can stretch out in one of our homes with a choice of anywhere between 1 to 3 bedrooms, 1 or more bathrooms, plus kitchen, living area and perhaps even an outdoor patio. So, why book multiple small hotel rooms when you can stay in a large home or condo that can accommodate your entire group or family? And your vacation rental property is your space for the time you rent it. You don’t have to share common areas like you would in a hotel. It truly is your home away from home.

Cook in a full-sized kitchen

Vacation rental homes can save you a small fortune on food compared to a hotel. The costs of eating out while on vacation for every meal can add more costs to your overall holiday than expected. Our vacation rental homes have fully equipped kitchens that have been cleaned according to Center for Disease Control recommendations. Breakfast is a breeze in our full size home kitchens, and you can easily store or freeze snacks for the kids. Stop by the Santa Barbara Harbor and pick up some fresh fish or drop by the local farmer’s market and grab some fresh veggies to cook for dinner. Pair your meal with a bottle of wine purchased during one of your wine-tasting tours and you’ve just saved yourself a significant amount of money on food and drink. And save the leftovers in the spacious fridge for tomorrow’s lunch. Now, you can’t do that in a hotel!

No hidden charges and awesome amenities

We’ve listed it above, but there are no extra, hidden fees. There are no mini-bar charges or pool towel charges, so you know precisely what your stay includes and exactly how much it will cost. From smart TVs to washing machines and BBQs, many of our rental homes offer amenities above and beyond what you’d expect and you might even feel like you got a steal! While each property owner is different and unique, we do offer quite an extensive list of amenities you can expect to enjoy in the home rental you will be staying at (some exceptions apply). View a list of our amenities here: https://hallercoastalhomes.com/amenities/

How to book a vacation rental

Our managed vacation rental homes offer you more space, more amenities and more space than a conventional hotel can possible hope to offer. Many of our first-time visitors turn into returning guests because the value is just too tough to beat! You’ll find that you’re have lower costs for amenities that are of higher quality – and often more modern – than what you would get in a hotel. Additionally, our homes are within walking, biking or short driving distance from Santa Barbara, Carpinteria or Montecito shops, restaurants, beaches and activities. Browse vacation rental homes now and find the perfect home for that next romantic getaway, girls’ trip or family reunion and skip the hotel headache. Browse here: https://hallercoastalhomes.com/short-term-rentals/?group_id=11770

 

International travel isn’t as simple as it used to be. While globetrotting is temporarily on hold for most of us, there are still ways to take in some culture, color and flavor closer to home. Santa Barbara is a glorious melting pot of international cuisine, offering up plenty of tempting cookery and libations to sip and savor from all four corners of the world.

indian cuisine food state street

In a time when overseas travel has been drastically limited, it’s about time to reinvent the “staycation.” Santa Barbara has plenty of dining options that will make you feel a world away – without the PCR test. Travel the globe with these culinary experiences while staying within Central California. We’ve listed a few restaurants below, but do know, this list is just scratching the surface of the international cuisine Santa Barbara has to offer. Here are seven restaurants where you can sample the flavors and culture of another country without crossing the state line.

French paired with California wine

Experience France in California wine country. Dubbed “the original Santa Barbara Wine Country restaurant,” Bouchon features French-accented California cuisine that intentionally pairs well with local wines. This restaurant is a must-visit and has been featured in numerous, respected fine-dining publications. Using as fresh as possible ingredients, including fish from the Santa Barbara Channel, Bouchon’s menu offers a light California touch to the richness of French cuisine. Dine in leisurely European style in a warm and inviting ambiance for a truly enjoyable evening. https://www.bouchonsantabarbara.com/

Italian Mediterranean

Look out onto the blue waters of the Mediterranean without leaving the American Riviera. Santa Barbara’s Toma Restaurant & Bar features Italian-inspired Mediterranean handcrafted cuisine in a charming building directly across from the beach. Enjoy classic Italian dishes with contemporary flair, like tomato bisque to start – a puree of tomato, lobster-sherry cream, herb oil and basil. Then choose from a simple, yet mouthwatering selection of flat bread pizzas or new twists on old favorites, like black spaghetti – fresh squid ink pasta with clams, pork calabrese salame, garlic, white wine butter and parsley. https://www.tomarestaurant.com/menu

Guadalajara, Mexico

Corazon Cocina has been a favorite among locals since its humble pop-up beginnings. Since opening its permanent home in the Santa Barbara Public Market, the restaurant has only flourished. Get there early or prepare to wait in line at this popular spot serving up authentic Mexican tacos loaded with locally sourced ingredients and dripping with flavor. Chef Ramon Velazquez offers a menu of comforting and deliciously familiar, yet colorful and inventive Mexican favorites inspired by local markets and early years in Guadalajara with his mother and grandmother. Handmade tortillas cradle tasty meats like braised short rib, as in the Birria, or octopus and shrimp in the Tia Juana taco. Savor comforting favorites like tortilla soup with a pasilla chile broth, grilled chicken, avocado, oaxaca cheese and braised local greens or chorizo queso fundito, a warm bowl of melted jack and oaxaca cheese, roasted poblanos, caramelized onions, mushrooms and three flour or corn tortillas. https://corazoncocinasb.com/menu

Best Indonesian, Southeast Asian food in Santa Barbara

vietnamese state street santa barbara

Indonesian

Travel to Southeast Asia for a rewarding yet affordable Indonesian fusion meal. Meaning “together” or “same to you,” Sama Sama aims to bring you to the islands of Java and Bali and beyond without leaving State Street. Asian food aficianodos will love fresh starters like the gado gado salad or the green papaya salad and traditional staple meals like mie goreng, which is stir fried noodles with cabbage, gailan, eggs and fish sauce or nasi goreng, a stir-fried rice dish with cabbage, gailan, eggs and fish sauce. Enjoy rich and spicy Indonesian soups like Soto Ayam and Soto Betawi. Make sure to try the Kue Gula Merah for dessert, a palm sugar cake with house-made pineapple ice cream, plantation rum caramel, and salty short bread. Sama Sama also has an extensive bar menu with a wide variety of clever cocktails, sake, wine and spirits. Head to the back patio for delightful seating and large table seating perfect for weekday happy hour. https://samasamakitchen.com/

Vietnamese Phở

Another long-time local favorite brings you to the streets of Saigon where you can savor delicious Phở, Vietnamese rice noodle soup with a choice of beef mignon, roasted duck, chicken, seafood or meatballs. Come for the Phở and stay for the Hot Pot, turmeric curries and a variety of noodle or rice plates. The food is fresh and so reliably good, this Vietnamese favorite will be your new alternative to Chinese Takeout. https://saigonsantabarbara.com/menu/

Local Michelin Star and Michelin Guide mentions

Japan

Sushi | Bar Montecito is the proud recipient of 1 Michelin star. Just down the street from Santa Barbara, this truly authentic Japanese sushi bar with seating for just 10 people ensures your dining experience is deeply personalized. Sitting up front and center to the chef’s cutting boards in this omakase-style sushi restaurant offers a uniquely intimate dining experience. Enjoy a meticulously crafted 17-course meal where before each course, chefs will explore flavor profiles so that no one ever experience the same 17-course meal twice. In addition to the fresh sushi, look forward to the wine, sake, cocktail and beer pairing. Book weeks in advance, as only 10 seats are available to keep the experience intimate. https://www.exploretock.com/sushibarmontecito/

India

Though no Michelin star, this Indian restaurant was most recently added to the Michelin Guide California. Bibi Ji is a contemporary Indian restaurant on State Street where guests can eat like kings sitting under chandeliers and vaulted ceilings in this Downtown spot just a short stroll or bike ride from Stearns Wharf. “The cooking is strong and flavors well executed,” writes the Guide’s description. The modern twist on Indian cuisine features local seafood served sea-to-table, traditional Indian curries, locally sourced produce and sustainably and organically farmed wines. Bibi Ji is not the usual Indian hole in the wall joint. This restaurant is the perfect stop on your Santa Barbara wine tour, with a wine list curated by the talented sommelier and co-owner Rajat Parr. https://bibijisb.com/menus

Where to stay in Santa Barbara for international dining experiences

International travel may still be in the distant future and most of us will probably be spending our vacation days stateside. Get away without the hassle or the PCR test and take a trip to Santa Barbara where you can enjoy tasty cuisine from around the world. Choose a vacation rental home in Santa Barbara that is within walking distance from local restaurants and cafes and have fun exploring the city’s international cuisine one country at a time. Search vacation rental homes in Santa Barbara now and book in advance for the best rate.

Your fur baby deserves a vacation, too! Santa Barbara is a dog-friendly city and there are plenty of ways to enjoy this coastal town with your best friend. With our comfy, pet-friendly vacation rental homes in Santa Barbara, there’s no reason Fido should have to stay behind. Check out what Santa Barbara has to offer for pets and owners alike.

pet friendly vacation rental santa barbara beach

The Central Coast offers a variety of on and off the leash adventures for the whole family. You’ll love being able to bring your best friend along during your outdoor activities and you’ll especially enjoy being able to relax together in your pet-friendly* vacation home rental. Whether it’s getting a cup of coffee, patio dining and picnics, or even wine tasting, check out some of the fun things you and your dog can do together in Santa Barbara.

We have several NEW dog-friendly properties. *Click here to view*

Hint: look for the white paw print in the upper right corner of the listing indicating it’s a pet-friendly rental.

Every dog’s favorite beaches and parks in Santa Barbara

Of course, the American Riviera is known for is its coastline and there are loads of beaches and shoreline for you and your dog to enjoy morning walks and evening strolls.

Start the day with a brisk morning walk at Shoreline Park. Shoreline Park is a popular coastal bluff park just west of Leadbetter Beach. Dogs are allowed on-leash in the park, which includes a playground, picnic tables and benches on which you can take a rest and gaze out onto the sweeping views of the Santa Barbara coastline and Santa Ynez Mountains. You can exercise your dog off-leash on the beach from the Shoreline Park Staircase to the eastern edge of the Arroyo Burro Estuary. Remember to pick up after your dog. Mutt mitt bags are provided in most parks.

Dogs and owners love Arroyo Burro Beach Park, known by the locals as “Hendry’s Beach.” There are two sides to this beach, one of which is where dogs can roam free unleased! This beautiful beach offers so much for sunbathers, nature-lovers and dog-lovers. Bring your own lunch or grab some takeaway from the on-site restaurant, The Boathouse. When it’s time to leave, this beach has a dog-wash in the parking lot, complete with shampoo, conditioner and hair blower.

Douglas Family Preserve is a well-loved spot for locals to bring their dogs and enjoy outdoor activities, such as hiking, bike riding, wildlife viewing and peaceful walks. This 70-acre undeveloped open space has miles of trails and vistas of the ocean. Dogs should be on-leash when entering the park but there are signs alerting you of the off-leash areas.

Dog-friendly restaurants, patio-dining and cafes in Santa Barbara

Having a pet shouldn’t hamper your plans as you dine out and explore Santa Barbara’s food and wine scene. You’ll be in good company walking along State Street where you’ll see owners walking with their canine companions. State Street boasts a number of restaurants and cafes with outdoor patios – almost every restaurant now has an outdoor patio (or parklet) since the pandemic. And some places even offer water bowls and doggie treats, so you pup won’t feel left out while you enjoy your meal.

These are just a few of our favorite pet-friendly restaurants & cafes around town:

Santa Barbara Brewhouse https://www.sbbrewhouse.com/

Opal Restaurant & Bar http://www.opalrestaurantandbar.com/

Crushcakes Café https://www.crushcakes.com/

Breakwater http://sbbreakwater.com/

McConnell’s Ice Cream http://www.mcconnells.com/

Sama Sama Kitchen http://samasamakitchen.com/

Santa Barbara Fishhouse https://fishousesb.com/

For a more extensive list of pet-friendly restaurants and eateries in SB, visit https://www.bringfido.com/restaurant/city/santa_barbara_ca_us/

Dog-friendly wine tasting rooms in Santa Barbara

Feel free to bring your furry pal to one of the many dog-friendly wine-tasting spots around town. Most wine tasting rooms Downtown have outdoor patios where furry friends are welcomed with a bowl of water where they can wet their whistle.

There are also more than a handful of tasting rooms in the Funk Zone that welcome pets either inside or on the patio and even one that houses a resident cat.

After crawling the Funk Zone or Downtown, make your way over to the pier to visit Deep Sea Tasting room, the only tasting room on the Waterfront. Dogs are allowed on the outdoor patio where you can enjoy views of the whole coast.

Make sure to bring a leash, as some wineries have leash policies, while others are more laxed.

To find out more about dog-friendly wine tasting in Santa Barbara and dog-friendly wineries in wine country near Santa Barbara visit https://santabarbaraca.com/itinerary/dog-friendly-wineries-in-santa-barbara/

Where to stay in Santa Barbara with pets

We are pleased to welcome your pet (and you) to Santa Barbara. Our pet-friendly coastal vacation rental homes fill up fast, so book early to secure your stay during your ideal dates. And if you have any questions about a pet-friendly property, feel free to contact us by using the Property Inquiry form located on the property’s description page. Choose a rental within walking or biking distance to pet-friendly restaurants, beaches and activities. Make memories and selfies together the whole family will cherish.

Check out our NEW dog-friendly properties. *Click here to view*

Hint: Look for the white paw print in the top right corner indicating the home is pet friendly.

Enjoying meaningful time with friends and family has become profoundly more precious within the last two years. Though virtual happy hours, Zoom reunions and online hangouts are the norm these days, in-person, face-to-face time is now all the more rare. The opportunities where we can gather, embrace and feel the warmth of friends and loved ones is not wasted or taken lightly anymore. True connections matter and a vacation to Santa Barbara should be filled with memories between you and your favorite people.

Here are a couple of our favorite heart-centered, local Santa Barbara companies that value community and togetherness, allowing visitors to experience Santa Barbara through meaningful and creative custom home experiences where friends and family can bond in the comfort of their own Santa Barbara vacation rental home.

Togetherness is more meaningful than ever in Santa Barbara

Gather in the comfort of your own backyard, patio or garden – or rather – those of your Santa Barbara vacation rental home. Choose from a variety of bespoke experiences catered for small groups by the company Santa Barbara Together.

bespoke catered parties santa barbara

Celebrate a special occasion or birthday with a backyard experience to remember, such as a magical movie night under the stars. This family-friendly 3-hour backyard event includes a 17-foot screen set-up, lounge chairs, lanterns, blankets and classic movie treats even the kids will love!

Santa Barbara is famous for wine tasting but why not bring the experience to your own backyard during your stay? Gather your wine aficionado friends together for a custom wine tasting experience complete with a two-hour sommelier-led tasting education, a selection of wines and appetizer plates for a minimum of eight people.

There is a reason Santa Barbara is often referred to as the American Riviera. With a temperate climate, glorious sunsets, endless beaches and mountain vistas, you will often find artists at their easels attempting to capture the beauty of this picturesque coastal town. But painting is so much more fun together, isn’t it? Experience a two-hour painting session en plein-air for a fun lesson led by a professional artist that both beginner and experienced artists will love. Seat up to 12 guests with easels, canvases, brushes, paint, pallets, aprons, water cups and artist cloth. To make any of the above experiences even more memorable, consider available add-ons, such as cocktails, wine, a Bubble Tea bar, Florals or Charcuterie.

If you’re the kind of person who prefers to call the beach your own backyard, this next catered experience is just for you. Lounge in luxury with a stylish beach day set-up with large canopy, tables, chairs, recliners, ice chest, beach games and toys. Add on a catered lunch for a truly exquisite experience.

Visit https://www.santabarbaratogether.com/ to learn more about the many bespoke curated events available for you to experience in your vacation home.

<<View our vacation rental homes, beachfront or within walking or biking distance from Santa Barbara beaches >>

Custom picnics and charcuterie boards in Santa Barbara

Nothing bonds humans together like the breaking of bread. Eat lavishly and savor the delicacies of an artistically curated charcuterie board experience delivered by Travessa. Platters include fine meats and cheeses sourced through local distributors who import directly from Europe and locally sourced vegetables, fruit, dips and even honey and flowers from local farms.

charcuterie boards Travessa Santa Barbara

 

Travessa can custom design platters for your unique occasion whether big or small. Choose an elegant charcuterie board experience for a small gathering or intimate private picnic at your scenic beachfront Santa Barbara vacation rental home. Platters are also available for larger gatherings and events. Plan your event and work with Travessa to design a custom charcuterie board experience to suit your party and guests.

<<View our Santa Barbara vacation rental homes with scenic beachfront views and relaxing garden patios >>

The company takes pride in only sourcing the most high-quality meats and cheeses that are made in small batches with care using traditional artisan methods instead of industrial machinery.

Travessa Santa Barbara meat cheese boards

Travessa is a locally owned spinoff from Villa Wine Bar, a craft beer and wine kitchen in Santa Barbara in operation since 2014. When starting the charcuterie board catering and delivery business, Travessa partners Lynne and Gabi chose the name “Travessa”  garnering inspiration from Gabi’s Brazilian roots – the word travessa means “platter” in Portuguese.

If you’d like to pair your custom charcuterie board from Travessa with an optimal champagne or wine, Villa Wine Bar has an extensive selection in their wine shop in Downtown Santa Barbara (Visit https://www.villawinebar.com/ for a wide selection of wine and bubbles to choose from). For charcuterie board orders and deliveries, contact Travessa via direct message on Instagram @travessasb.

Experience curated home parties in your Santa Barbara vacation rental home

It’s the perfect way to celebrate a special event, anniversary or birthday. Bring your friends and family and rent a vacation rental home in Santa Barbara. Enjoy the spaciousness of your temporary home that is safe and fit for entertaining and a comfortable space to host several guests under one roof.

Stay in one of our conveniently located vacation rental homes and reach out to the above companies to order one or more of the above curated Santa Barbara home experiences and create memories this trip that will last forever. Visit https://hallercoastalhomes.com/ to check your dates.

If you’ve fallen in love with Santa Barbara yourself, send the charm of Santa Barbara to your friends and family this holiday season.

A Taste of Santa Barbara

Helping community is the holiday spirit in Santa Barbara in 2021. If you have enjoyed your stays throughout the years in Santa Barbara and call this little corner of paradise your second home, consider shopping small this holiday season to support local shops and vendors. To get you in the gift-giving spirit, we’ve highlighted a few local businesses that offer some splendid gifts and packages unique to the Central Coast and Santa Barbara. When you shop Santa Barbara small businesses for your holiday gift giving, you make a difference in the community.

Santa Barbara treasures delivered anywhere in the United States

Santa Barbara is renowned for its award-winning wine and craft breweries as well as its boutique shops offering of hand-crafted luxuries, fine gifts and gourmet foods. Santa Barbara Gift Baskets bundles these local treasures together to create a “taste of Santa Barbara” full of welcome amenities to fit a wide variety of budgets and themes. Whether you are sending one basket as a gift to a discerning friend or family member or purchasing a number of gift baskets for an event, these thoughtfully designed gift baskets aim to please. Featuring gourmet food, wine, craft beer and even treats for those on special diets or fun games and puzzles, these exceptional gift baskets are literally bundles of joy. Contents are locally sourced from Santa Barbara vendors and those in surrounding areas within California. Choose from a variety of baskets, crates, totes and boxes that are “top-notch” and deserving of the many glowing reviews from repeat customers. Additional wine or beer items can be purchased and added to baskets, as well as other additional gifts or a personalized ribbon.

Santa Barbara Gift Baskets shop small 2021

Santa Barbara Gift Baskets delivers locally in Isla Vista, Santa Barbara, Goleta and Montecito and also ships nationwide. Visit https://www.santabarbaragiftbaskets.com/ to browse gift baskets and order online.

Read on to find out how you can support local Santa Barbara hunger-relief charities this 2021 holiday season by purchasing one of these delightful gift baskets for yourself or as a gift!

Make your gift count – Support local hunger-relief charities in Santa Barbara County with a Foodbank Holiday Gift Basket

Do your part to mitigate hunger during these tough times with the purchase of a Foodbank Holiday Gift Basket. Santa Barbara Gift Baskets and the Foodbank of Santa Barbara have teamed up to offer this local gourmet holiday gift basket with sales that will benefit the Foodbank and support 15 different small businesses.

This exquisite 15-lb holiday gift basket will bring joy to more than just the one receiving it. As the gift that truly keeps on giving, $25 from the sale of each Foodbank Holiday Gift Basket will be donated to the Foodbank and will go toward efforts to combat hunger through support of hunger-relief charities in the County of Santa Barbara.

Foodbank Holiday Basket santa barbra

Your purchase will put a smile on the faces of those aided by the charity’s efforts. And your gift basket recipient will be delighted to know that proceeds from the basket’s purchase will help those in need. A card inside of the basket informs your recipient that a donation of $25 was made to the Foodbank of Santa Barbara with the purchase of that holiday basket.

foodbank-holiday-basket

Visit https://www.santabarbaragiftbaskets.com/foodbank-holiday-basket/ to view the contents of the Foodbank Holiday Gift Basket and to order today. Follow https://www.instagram.com/sbgiftbaskets/

Bookstores in Santa Barbara – gifts for bookworms

Bookstores are a treasure worth protecting, and as such, lovers of the written word will no-doubt want to support these Santa Barbara gems.

 

The Book Den in Santa Barbara

This Santa Barbara treasure has been in the community for than 80 years. The Book Den, just off State Street on Anapamu, has been a reliable mainstay for lovers of the written word with their vast offerings of both new, used and out-of-print books. From art and literature to history and science, New Age philosophy to gardening and more, The Book Den’s inventory has your reading and research needs covered.

With a collective amount of bookselling experience totaling more than 100 years, the Book Den staff are the backbone of this well-established local business. Need some questions answered or a hard-to-locate book? They’ve got you. If you have a collection of books in good condition that you’d like to offload, consider speaking to the staff about book buys.

Drop by the Book Den for an enjoyable visit or in-house author event. You can also go online to https://www.bookden.com/ to browse a long list of subjects and purchase online. Gift certificates are also available to purchase for your most discerning literary friends.

Chaucer’s Books since 1974

Bookworms will find themselves in bliss at Chaucer’s Books. This independent, locally owned bookstore on upper State Street has been a haven for avid readers near and far since 1974. Chaucer’s houses 150,000+ titles with recommendations from a very well-read staff. Drop in and get assistance from this knowledgeable and courteous staff who live to read.

If you can’t come by, Chaucer’s has added a hearty schedule of virtual events since the pandemic, so if you can’t get into the store, no problem. Visit https://www.chaucersbooks.com/ to find out more about local, on-site, as well as virtual events, including in-store book signings or virtual author discussions

In search of gifts besides books? Chaucer’s also carries a selection of puzzles, games and other gifts and cards for ages young and seasoned. If you can’t decide, you can’t go wrong with a gift certificate!

Shop local – Where to stay in the Santa Barbara community

Santa Barbara shops are just blocks away from your vacation rental home. Enjoy unique boutiques and stores on State Street and surrounding areas. Discover new hideouts and revisit old favorites.

Stay in one of our conveniently located vacation rental homes near shops, restaurants and popular Downtown Santa Barbara destinations. Live like a local in one of our coastal rental homes and spend your afternoons leisurely enjoying coffee or wine along with stress-free holiday gift shopping. Search Santa Barbara condo and home rentals for the 2021 holidays at https://hallercoastalhomes.com/

Santa Barbara is a town rich in Spanish history and culture, and we have the food to prove it. Tour the town one taco at a time and wash your meal down with a zesty margarita or cold Mexican beer. Viva!

Did you know October 4th is National Taco Day? A trip down Santa Barbara’s taco trail is a great way to savor the flavors of what is arguably Californians’ favorite food – the taco.  Whether it’s national taco day or Cinco de Mayo or just plain ol’ Taco Tuesday, there’s a taco waiting to be discovered by you.

tacos santa barbara taco trail

Best spots for Mexican food and taco lovers

For truly authentic tacos from some of the oldest and most well-loved taco spots in Santa Barbara, head over to Milpas and Haley streets. There you’ll find Taqueria El Bajio. This traditional taco joint serves home-made Mexican food and is where you’ll find the best pinto beans in town. Classic taco favorites are the carnitas tacos, or for the more adventurous, the lengua (flavorful cow tongue with onions and cilantro).

Next up for most authentic taco shack would be La Super-Rica Taqueria. This place owes a bit of its fame to the late Julia Child who tapped it as her favorite local taco shop. This quintessential taco house with bright blue and white exterior is famous with other taco loving celebrities, too, and even appeared in a Katy Perry video. Prepare to wait in line, as both locals and visitors know these tacos are worth the wait.

best authentic tacos santa barbara taco trail

Head over to Haley Street to visit “one of the oldest Mexican restaurants in Santa Barbara offering traditional food with family recipes dating back 40 years.” Lito’s Mexican Food is the best way to start your day. Come here for the breakfast burritos or famous pork posole that was featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-ins & Dives” TV show. You can view a video clip of the show with a peek into their kitchen as posted on their website: https://www.litossb.com/

Continue on Haley Street, following the scent of fresh pan dulce (Mexican sweet bread) to Los Tarascos Bakery and Deli. Humble on the outside but rich and sweet on the inside, this simple Mexican bakery and deli is well-known for its tortas (Mexican sandwiches), as well as mouth-watering fresh-baked Mexican pastries. If you want to take a break from tacos and try tortas, this is the place. Wash it down with a fresh juice.

Fish tacos by the beach

No trip to a beach town like Santa Barbara would be complete without fish tacos. Stop by East Beach Tacos, a small taco stand near the batting cages and just a few blocks from the beach. Fish tacos here are inventive, with fresh poke or Bahn-mi inspired tacos, in addition to traditional fish and shrimp tacos. Where else can you get specialty tacos for less than $10 bucks that would satisfy even the most finicky Mexican food connoisseur?

If you’re near the Santa Barbara Harbor, it’s worth popping into On the Alley, a casual stand that serves the type of food you want to eat after a day at the beach – fish & chips, clam chowder, and especially, Baja fish or shrimp tacos. Take your food to go and walk a few steps down to the sand for a beach picnic, just watch out for hungry seagulls.

fish tacos santa barbara beach

It’s Cinco de Mayo or Taco Tuesday any day of the week here

Corazón Cocina inside of Santa Barbara Public Market offers a modern and innovative twist on Guadalajaran street food. Tacos here are colorful works of art. It’s a must-visit while you’re in town and a regular go-to for locals. Tacos on the menu include the Al Pastor (spit-roasted pork marinated in adobo, cilantro, salsa cruda and pickled habanero-pineapple salsa, wrapped in a corn tortilla); a traditional Birria taco (braised short rib, salsa macha, onions, cilantro, homemade corn tortilla) or Mole con Pollo (natural chicken, black almond mole, rice, onion, lime mayo crema, queso fresco, roasted almonds, homemade corn tortilla) or vegetarian favorites like the tempura cauliflower or roasted butternut squash tacos. If these don’t make your mouth water, you might want to check your pulse.

There are a couple of newcomers to State Street and these new taco spots are making a big splash in the taco scene. Crazy Jim’s Tacos Y Mas is located in the heart of Downtown Santa Barbara. “Taco Tuesday” is the best day of the week to visit this tacos and more spot with ‘three for $8’ crispy or soft tacos every Tuesday. Wash ‘em down with an ice cold Modelo, Corona or Pacifico beer…or perhaps a wine slushie.

The queso taco comes to Santa Barbara thanks to Yona Redz. The red birria tacos have been a hot trend in places like Los Angeles and the Bay area. Now, Santa Barbara has its own claim on the birria queso taco – a crispy, cheesy taco filled with slow-simmered, chili-soaked beef and a side of hot consommé. Order the birria queso taco combo, which includes three tacos, consommé dipping sauce and a soda. Dip the chili red taco into the consommé, a spicy chili broth that drenches the taco when you dip it. A soft crunch gives way to juicy, soft birria that has been simmered for hours before making its way to your plate. One bite and you’ll be hooked.

Ready, set, eat!

This is by no means and exhaustive list of all the taco spots in Santa Barbara. We invite you to go on your own taco excursion throughout Santa Barbara’s streets. Whether it’s your first trip to Santa Barbara or you’re a frequent guest, one thing we can say, is that you’ll never run out of new places to try. There’s a taco for every day of the week and every season.

taco trail sb downtown

Where to stay in Santa Barbara near the taco trail

Santa Barbara culture is rich in food and history. With an abundance of taco eateries and Mexican restaurants, an authentic and savory meal is just a block or two away from your beautiful vacation rental home. Enjoy rich tacos and sip on icy margaritas or cold beer under the Santa Barbara sunshine. Design your own taco tour in Santa Barbara and discover new hideouts and revisit old favorites.

Stay in one of our exquisite vacation rental homes near the taco trail and Santa Barbara beaches or popular Downtown destinations. Live like a local in one of our coastal rental homes where tacos and drinks are within steps of your front door. Search Santa Barbara condo and home rentals and check your dates at https://hallercoastalhomes.com/

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