Nestled between the mountains and the sea, Montecito’s beauty and understated luxury makes for an idyllic weekend getaway. This upscale community is filled with high end resorts (we recommend the new Rosewood Miramar), chic boutiques and local foodie favorites. Below are some of the top hidden gems of the ‘American Riviera’.
Since 1964, this Montecito classic has been making everything in-house from scratch. Order a farm cake or wine loaf from the takeaway counter and enjoy on the outdoor patio or inside from one of two indoor seating areas. This quaint shop has an interesting supply of hard-to-find cooking components: pastas, olive oils, vinegars, cheeses, and spices. Upstairs you’ll find a unique collection of clothes, furniture, books, paintings and ceramics from local artists and next door, the Pierre Lafond Wine Bistro offers farm-to-table cuisine and local wines.
This world-renowned music conservatory for young, gifted, classically-trained musicians sits on a ten-acre, ocean-side property in Montecito . During the eight-week summer school and festival, musicians are provided the opportunity for performance under the guidance of famous faculty artists, guest conductors, and soloists. Each year, nearly 200 summer events are hosted for the community on campus and at various venues across Santa Barbara. We suggest joining their e-mail list for performance dates and ticket information if you’re planning a summer trip!
Small and cozy, this Italian restaurant features an extensive menu of simple, delicious, high-quality cuisine. The clean decor includes warm hardwood floors, classic black-and-white photographs of vintage celebrities and white tablecloths. The friendly staff at this Coast Village Road landmark serve fresh, seasonal courses for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Don’t miss the traditional capricciosa pizza and the melt-in-your-mouth Milanese-style osso buco.
Lotusland’s new Japanese Garden reopened to the public this year, after a $6 million renovation that took 11 years of planning and 20 months of work. It has been recognized as one of the ten best gardens in the world and is the only remaining post-World War II Japanese Garden that is open to the public on the California central coast between Los Angeles and the Bay area. This tranquil place features a central pond surrounded by winding paths where guests can enjoy scenic overlooks and contemplate nature’s beauty. Keep in mind that reservations and tickets are musts and should be arranged well in advance since county regulations restrict the venue to 15,000 visitors a year.