Santa Barbara Scrapbook

    Santa Barbara (where I went to college, briefly) is such a jewel of a little city. We were just there over the Easter holidays. Here is my scrapbook.



    P.S. Thank you to everyone who helped It's All Good debut at #1 on The New York Times Best Seller list!

    This week’s goop collaboration

    araks for goop - http://www.goop.com/shop/


    San Ysidro Ranch

    900 San Ysidro Lane

    The San Ysidro Ranch is one of my favorite hotels ever (I got married here!). A private and romantic hideaway in Montecito, with 41 cozily and individually decorated guest cottages, it’s perfect for a honeymoon or a special wine tour weekend away. Among many other things, the ranch is famous for its $130 "Montecito Margarita" made with Don Julio Real Añejo Tequila and Grand Marnier 150th Anniversary.

    El Capitan Canyon

    11560 Calle Real

    Made up of cabins and tents (for those who are looking to "glamp" in large decked out tents with a double bed and electric lighting), El Capitan offers a rustic but luxurious way to experience the El Capitan Canyon and beach near Santa Barbara. Perfect for a family trip with kids, choose between doing your own cooking (each cabin has it's own "outdoor kitchen" with a grill/fire pit) and opting for super healthy meals at the Canyon Market and Deli.

    El Encanto

    800 Alvarado Place

    We haven’t been quite yet, but we've heard great things about the newly re-opened hotel – Orient-Express' first foray into the American west coast. Made up of 92 individual bungalows, each carefully designed and restored to bring the historic property back to its original elegance. The hotel boasts a world class spa, ocean views, electric bikes (along with picnics on request), and its own cow, Ellie, from which all the cheese served at the hotel is made.


    Brophy Brothers

    119 Harbor Way

    Located on the waterfront, this is an always packed, lively and fun place to come for great, fresh fish dishes with the family. The clam chowder and fish & chips are especially popular here.

    Padaro Beach Grill

    3765 Santa Claus Lane

    A favorite spot for family dinners in Carpinteria (just a few miles from Santa Barbara), Padaro serves up casual food like burgers, quesadillas, nachos, and fish tacos in a beautiful setting. Order your food on arrival and then find seating on their expansive lawn outside and take in the ocean views. This is a super kid-friendly place with a big outdoor area and a sandpit.

    Pane e Vino

    1482 East Valley Rd

    My dad brought me to this Italian trattoria for a special dinner when he came up to visit when I was at UCSB. It still serves all the delicious and seasonal Italian dishes you’d expect in a warm, welcoming setting. Choose between the cozy interior or the vine covered outdoor patio for lunch or dinner.

    La Super Rica

    622 Milpas St.

    One of the best, freshest, most authentic Mexican spots ever. I have been coming here for 20+ years and it is insanely good. The tacos, tostadas, salsas, and specialties are pretty much unmatched. Casual to the max, line up for delicious Mexican food served on plastic plates.

    Lucky’s Steakhouse

    1279 Coast Village Road

    We ate at Lucky's one night and loved the American fare. Great martinis, oysters, steamed artichokes with vinaigrette, turkey burgers, tons of sides for the kids. Delish.

    Current Exhibitions We Love

    Courtesy Ana Cristea Gallery

    NYC: Emerging artist Luke Diiorio's "Very Similitude" at Ana Cristea Gallery, through May 11th.

    Installation view of Stefan Sagmeister: The Happy Show, photo by Brian Forrest, © The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

    LA: Stefan Sagmeister's "The Happy Show" at MOCA, Pacific Design Center, through June 9th.

    © Chuck Close Photo: Ben Westoby, Courtesy White Cube

    London: Chuck Close, "Prints: Process & Collaboration" at White Cube, through April 21st.

    Health and Beauty

    B Boutique

    900 Embarcadero del Mar - A

    The B Boutique is known for organic spray tans, bikini waxes and a great selection of South American swimwear, but the facials (which they don’t advertise) are great.

    Yasa Yoga

    Photos: Tai Kerbs

    22 West Mission Street, Suite B

    Charlie Chaplin’s former mission style home is now an airy, open yoga space for SB’s health conscious. Open every day with classes to suit different styles.

    Santa Barbara Rock Gym

    322 State St

    Our friends, who have kids with similar ages to ours, took us to this fantastic rock climbing place for an afternoon of fun. That's Moses on the wall...

    See & Do


    Photos: Bill Dewey

    695 Ashley Rd

    A truly unique botanical garden founded by singer turned botanical gardener Ganna Walska. She bought the property in 1941 and over the years transformed it with the help of several world-renowned landscape designers. Today, the garden continues her work by preserving her singular designs and continually expanding the stunning collections of exotic plants from all over the world. As it’s located in a private residential neighborhood, book in advance and reserve to join a docent-led tour.

    Kyle Irwin

    Kyle Irwin is responsible for the interiors of some of Santa Barbara’s most elegant homes. With a great mix of antiques and contemporary finds, his aesthetic is luxurious but with a light touch.

    Tecolote Book Shop

    1470 E Valley Rd #52

    A Santa Barbara classic, this bookstore has been around for almost 100 years and is a local gem. They carry all the standards, and if you’re on the lookout for a book that’s out of print, Tecolote is happy try and find it for you.

    West Wind Drive-In

    Photo: Brian Birzer

    907 S. Kellogg Avenue

    Go old school at this drive-in with double feature movies almost every night.

    Santa Barbara Zoo

    Photos: Chuck Graham (left); Tony Luna (right)

    500 Niños Drive

    Located on thirty acres of botanic gardens overlooking the ocean, this is one of the most beautiful zoos, housing 500 animals in faithfully recreated natural habitats. Programs like “Backstage Pass” and “Behind the Scenes”, give visitors the chance to get even closer to the animals and see the inner workings of the zoo alongside a zookeeper.

    Old Mission Santa Barbara

    2201 Laguna St

    A true Santa Barbara landmark, this historic building, ten acre garden, active parish and mausoleum, is still home to a group of Franciscan friars as it was when it was built by the Spanish in 1786. It’s a great and scenic place to take kids to learn about California’s history.

    Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

    2559 Puesta del Sol

    Housed in Spanish Revival-style buildings on an extensive property with lush gardens, the museum is the home of an extensive collection of artifacts including a fantastic bird collection, a 72-foot Blue Whale skeleton that greets you upon entrance, and a planetarium. A relatively small museum, it’s not overwhelming, and perfect for a visit with kids. The Natural History museum also owns the Ty Warner Sea Center, which is located on the water and worth a visit on another day.

    Rose Bakery

    Rose Carrarini of Rose Bakery fame has a new cookbook, "How to Boil an Egg", featuring, rather than photographs, Fiona Strickland's hyper-realistic botanical drawings of the recipes.


    The Santa Barbara area is fast becoming a wine destination with the Santa Maria, Los Alamos and Santa Ynez Valleys, and Santa Rita Hills all offering different microclimates that all produce distinctive grape varietals. It's definitely a region to go exploring for great new wines to try. Here are a few standouts in the area:


    8 Ashley Place

    A small operation run by husband and wife team Matthias Pippig and Jamie Kinser along with assistant winemaker, Jessica Gasca, this winery located in downtown Santa Barbara creates wines from a mix of the area’s best locations for growing grapes. Visits are by appointment at their tasting room, where you get to try and learn about a variety of their wines in a sleek and modern setting.

    Sea Smoke Cellars

    Some of the best wine in the area comes from this winery in the Sta. Rita Hills. Produced by a small team of six, the winery does not offer tastings, however they do recommend visiting Taste of Sta. Rita Hills in nearby Lompoc to try Sea Smoke’s Pinot Noir and other hard-to-get wines of the area.

    The Blackjack Tasting Room

    Click here for directions

    This famous (and Robert Parker approved) winery has a busy tasting room that’s open daily. Beyond their own wines, the owners have collected some of the best wines from California and all over the world for guests to try.

    This week’s goop collaboration

    araks for goop - http://www.goop.com/shop/

    Also currently available on goop

    Enamel Skull Pendant

    Solange Azagury-Partridge for goop

    Hello My Friend Cards

    Sugar Paper for goop

    Thin Gold Bangle

    Jennifer Meyer for goop

    Saan Herringbone Throw

    Oyuna for goop

    Brown Leather Bracelet With Pyrite Bead

    Sheryl Lowe for goop


    Kings of Cole for goop


    The goop collection