I’m going to take a break from the Australia trip to do a quick hit on Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara is a great little city with a fun, vibrant wine scene. We took an excursion out there for the weekend during a work trip to L.A. and had the opportunity to stay in one of Santa Barbara’s newest hotels — the trendy, the fun, The Wayfarer.
I’ll say this off the bat, The Wayfarer is not the cheapest place you’ll stay. Full disclosure, we were able to get a great rate for a room because our friend’s husband works for Pacifica Hotels, the company that manages The Wayfarer. Now that being said, you will be able to find a full range of rates due to the fact that it’s technically a hostel. It’s a very, very swanky hostel, but still technically a hostel. Because of this, you’ll be able to get a bed in a male only/female only dorm for only $50 a night. But if you want a private room, it’ll cost more depending on when you stay.
From everything I saw, it’s worth the price no matter what way you want to stay there. The location is fantastic. You’re within walking distance of the beach, wineries and the shitshow that is State Street. The rooms are brand new, and in some of them there’s a great murphy bed that comes out from above the king size bed, making it look like a bunk bed/cruise ship cabin. Yes, I was the overgrown child who got to camp out on it. There rooms also come with free wi-fi and flat screen HD TVs.
The pool area is small, but comfortable enough. There is also a communal kitchen where each room gets their own pantry space with plenty of kitchenware for everyone to use. In the common area, you’ll find giant sized Jenga and Connect Four. Free breakfast is available every morning as well.
Places to go around The Wayfarer? Check out The Lark for the Hand Rolled Pappardelle with Crispy Braised Lamb. For brunch, The Brewhouse is the only place that offers brunch on Saturdays as well as Sundays. The brunch area looks a little like a mess, but don’t be scared off. The food is actually quite good and the chefs make pretty much made-to-order anything. For wine, head out to Kunin Wines for a tasting where they offer a Classic Tasting and a Syrah Tasting. You can also check out O’Malley’s for a good regular bar scene, and the Wildcat if you really want to end your night like you’re still a 20-year-old UC-Santa Barbara student (The Wildcat I don’t exactly “recommend”, but it you’re in that place where you want to be that way, well, then it’s there…).
In the end, with the beautiful 80 degree temps and sunny weather, there wasn’t really anything that you could do in Santa Barbara that’d be wrong.