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Notes from the Weekend: Birthday in Santa Barbara

by Marissa on October 11, 2016


I’ll admit that when David told me he had booked a trip to Santa Barbara for my birthday weekend, I was a little ambivalent about it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m super grateful, but I’m somewhat of a homebody when it comes to my birthday. And this, my friends, is why David is the perfect match for me. The weekend ended up being one of my best birthdays ever and another fun trip in the books. 

Because this post would be forever long if I recapped everything, I’ll stick with the highlights: 

We flew into LAX and arrived late Thursday night, so we stayed in LA and made the two-hour drive to Santa Barbara Friday morning after a quick early-morning dip in the hotel pool. Don’t ask (YOLO) and a workout. 


Halfway to Santa Barbara we stopped at Sun Life Organics to share an acai bowl that was out. of. this. world. Seriously, THE BEST I’ve ever had. Superfood PACKED. 

We arrived at The Four Seasons Biltmore late Friday afternoon and settled into our room.

Dinner was at the enchanting San Ysidro Ranch – a truly exceptional experience from the grounds to the food and the service. 


Saturday was my actual birthday and my only request was that we go hiking – one of my favorite things to do in California. We hiked the Seven Falls Trail to Inspiration Point and back down for a total of just over four hilly miles and then enjoyed breakfast at Savoy Cafe and Deli, a vegetarian and gluten-free friendly cafe and bakery.


Since it was my birthday, we had to have the gluten-free pancakes which were so fluffy I’m still dreaming about them!


After a pre-dinner cocktail around the hotel firepit, we headed to The Lark, a trendy restaurant in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone, for an out of this world dinner. I didn’t take many photos of our meals, but trust. If they don’t offer special menus, all of the restaurants in Santa Barabara are more than willing to accommodate dietary preferences, which was a big relief for me. 


On Sunday, we headed to the Santa Ynez wine region for a day of wine tasting. The region is known for its pinot noirs and red blends so there was a lot of red wine flowing. 


On the last morning, we took the hotel bikes for a 6-mile ride along the beach. East Beach was the one area of town we hadn’t seen so we were glad to have the opportunity to do so on wheels. There are ample bike paths throughout the town and plenty of people out walking and exercising. We were surprised to find how friendly and laid back everyone is compared to New York.


On our way back to LAX, we stopped at Jeannine’s for breakfast – a recommendation from our Uber driver – and it did not disappoint. I wanted a change from my usual eggs so I ordered the warm quinoa bowl with spiced apples, slivered almonds, pistachios, raspberry compote and steamed almond milk. I’m usually wary of grains for breakfast but I loved it and it kept me satiated! I’ll definitely be making a version of this at home for a change of pace once in awhile. 

I have to admit, this was one of those trips that is hard to return home from. Santa Barbara is easy to love and hard to leave!

How was your weekend? What’s your favorite way to spend your birthday? 

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