Travel // The Big Sur and Santa Barbara in one day

What a week! Work was hectic, I’m starting to enjoy the gym and the weekend went by in a flash! It had me reminiscing about our Summer Road Trip in particular The Big Sur and Santa Barbara.

What made me think of these places? The temperature has dropped and a mist was about on Saturday.  Autumn is officially here and this year I will definitely be cracking out the pumpkin spice candles and making the house all cosy ready for the cooler nights and shorter days 😊

The Big Sur was an experience! We woke up bright and early and were on the road by 7:30am from Pebble Beach in Monterey. We’d heard that The Big Sur gets busy in summer so wanted to get on the road. Highway 1 was still shut when we were on our Road Trip so we were only able to see a bit of the coast and then had to turn back inland to get the Santa Barbara.
The Big Sur has been called a national treasure and I can see why! It is one of the most beautiful coastlines I have ever seen and is said to attract the same number of visitors as Yosemite which means one thing… traffic! Conde Nast Traveller have even named it one of the top 10 famous streets in the world comparable to Broadway and the Champ-Elysees.
This area of coastline has inspired many a writer and artist. When we visited it was particularly misty which gave it an eerie and mythic feeling. We stopped at a couple points along the road to just enjoy the view and scenery. I mean just look at it!
I’d love to go back and see it on a clear day so I’ll definitely be coming back.
The drive to Santa Barbara is quite a long one and took us just under 4 hours. The temperature finally picked up as we got closer to Santa Barbara which was thoroughly welcomed! 
Santa Barbara was everything I thought it would be and more and I wish we had had longer to stay there. It has a Spanish colonial feel to it with terracotta tiles on roofs, white washed buildings and mountains in the background. 
The beaches were again so soft and white and the sea crystal clear.
I loved that there were palm trees everywhere! When I think of California I typically think of palm trees so I was in my element!
If you’re only in Santa Barbara for a day like we were I’d recommend walking up Stearn’s Wharf, along the beach to the harbour and then back along W Cabrillo Blvd to State Street. 
We stopped at Finneys Craft House and Kitchen for a pitstop lunch. We’d only planned on having something light so went for flatbreads. Now back home in the UK, flatbreads aren’t that big so when we ordered them we weren’t expecting pizzas to come. It was a pleasant surprise and for the price they were well worth it!
I had the Buffalo Chicken flatbread and the hubby had Pepperoni. Both were delish and we polished off the lot!
Unfortunately that was all the time we had in Santa Barbara as we were staying just down the road in Goleta. Where we stayed was nice but when we go back we’ll definitely shell out a bit more to stay more local so we can experience the evening vibe.
Our airbnb in Goleta was a good find. (See link here) It was an annex to a house and had a separate bedroom to a living area and a little bathroom. It did us perfectly for one night. There were a few nice touches including freshly made muffins which we enjoyed for breakfast the next morning and a water cooler which meant we didn’t have to buy any water.
There was also a lovely looking lemon bush right outside. Much bigger than our little lemon tree back home!
If you are staying in Goleta definitely check out Choppa Rolling Ice-cream. You can create your own or go for one of their creations. I had the Strawberry Graham Cracker with fresh strawberries, mini marshmallows and whipped cream on top and the hubby had Cookies and Cream with condensed milk, chocolate bits and mini marshmallows. They were delish and did us for dinner. Be warned of the waiting time though which was about 30 mins – we weren’t in a rush so it didn’t matter too much.


Looking back on it all this was one busy day but worth it! We saw so much and enjoyed some delicious food. We will 100% be going back to both the Big Sur and Santa Barbara when we get the chance.
Have you been to either the Big Sur or Santa Barbara?
Did you prefer one over the other?
Until next time…
Cathers x