California is THE perfect place to live in if you are a road-tripping adventurer! You can ski, swim, surf, vineyard romp, and festival in the Desert, all in the same weekend! There are so many amazing destinations within half a days drive, and Santa Barbara tops my list. In the past, it's been our stop for lunch on the way up to Carmel Valley, but this weekend we made it our destination adventure! Once you get past LA traffic (insert Plant Therapy's calming "Let It Go" in a Car Diffuser here), it's a short jaunt up the PCH! We went a little north of SB, to Goleta and the Stunning Bacara Resort and Spa! The Bacara is the only Ocean front resort and it is quite breathtaking.
Once we arrived, we were eager to get out of the car and explore the grounds! We were immediately welcomed with incredible service. They really take care of you in a genuine way. It's one of the best service experiences we have had as a family, no exaggeration! After a quick check in, we spoke with the helpful concierge who set us up for the whole weekend. Pool Cabana? Check! Babysitter for Hudson for Saturday night so Mom and Dad can Date night? Double Check! We were excited to check out the resort as we headed to our Villa. Bacara is set on over 78 acres of immaculate grounds, and the rooms are divided into separate Villas. Our Junior Suite was near the two "Family Friendly" Pools and Cabanas, and had an incredible view of the ocean. Nothing better than falling asleep to the relaxing sound of waves crashing! I love how tasteful the design of the Bacara is. Using the Mediterranean style, and incorporating accents of Ocean Blue and warm Saltillo Tile tones, it blends with the scenery so magically, you feel you are in another world! If you are traveling with a family, I highly recommend a luxury suite. We had two adjoining rooms with huge French doors opening to the ocean. Great space for the whole family to play and rest. Plus a huge tub for bubble bath fun! The Bacara greeted us with fresh flowers, and every room comes with a Complimentary local bottle of wine! Yes to local Pinot! We opened the bottle and relaxed as we waited for our luggage.
Once our luggage came, we threw on our Swimsuits and headed to the Pool! There are two Salt Water pools over looking the Ocean, plus a Kids Sandbar area with Sandcastle Toys. We loved the private Cabanas, with delicious fruit, Prosecco, and a great variety of drinks and bites to choose from. Plus, their portions are huge! The chicken nachos were yummy, and I loved the fresh fruit. We had a great time cooling off in the pool, and relaxing in the shade. All Cabanas come with TV, mini fridge, and WIFI. Plus, did we mention The Bacara is incredibly dog friendly? Dixie our Dobie had a blast all weekend.
The Bacara is the best place for daytime fun with family, and nights get even better. On Friday evening, they have a complimentary wine tasting with assorted cheeses (perfect for satisfying the littles, while Mom and Dad sample great wines), and on Saturday they had a fun S'mores station by the cozy Outdoor Fireplace. Hudson had a great time getting S'mores with his sweet babysitter, while Jeremy and I had a wine tasting in Bacara's Foley Tasting Room, by The Foley Food & Wine Society, followed by a decadent meal at Angel Oak, Bacara's fine dining restaurant. Our food was incredible. I highly recommend all of Bacara's food experiences! My favorite of the weekend was definitely the Scallops.
The Bacara is quite impressive at night, with warm sunsets, twinkling lights and beautiful cars.
Although you could really make a long weekend without leaving the resort, we decided to venture out and explore some Goleta spots, as well as a little Los Olivos Wine Country exploration. We had breakfast in a local favorite spot, Domingo's Cafe. We both had the Huevos Rancheros, and it was so delicious and very fairly priced. I'd recommend getting there early on the weekend, as it seemed to fill up pretty quickly. They are dog friendly if you can snag the table out back (we lucked out!), and our server was super friendly. After full and happy bellies, we drove to the Goleta Butterfly Grove, very close to The Bacara Resort. There was an easy place to park, then we followed the marked butterfly path toward the Sea. We saw a few monarchs, but we were really impressed with our view at the Top!
Our last part of our trip, we drove into the quaintly charming town of Los Olives to grab a picnic from Panino, an amazing sandwich shop with locations peppered through Central Cali. They use tons of fresh herbs, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Goat Cheese, and all of the sandwiches we tried were delicious. Call ahead to pick-up and save time. They get quite busy on the weekend! We took our lunch and headed to Beckmen Vineyard.
This is a wonderful Vineyard in the Santa Ynez, if you are looking for a laid back atmosphere that's family friendly. It has a really easy feel to it, and beautiful views. Grab a Gazebo, or a spot by the pond and then head inside, or on their porch for a tasting. Bacara guests get a free tasting ($20 value each) with room key. Plus, they own 150 acres plus an additional 365 acres in Ballard Canyon, and use only their own grapes for their wines. I love that! Our sommelier was so easy going and knowledgeable, really the best of both worlds. Even though we were on the porch, she was attentive and kept checking on us, and brought our sweet Dixie water! You have to love a dog and kid-friendly Vineyard, with delicious wine and without an ounce of pretense! We took home a bottle of our favorites, the Chardonnay, very clean and without the "buttery" vibe of some Oakey versions. Also, we chose an incredible Red, their Syrah PMV. 92 points and yummy! What a great way to finish our weekend! We were sad to leave, but so happy we spent the weekend together exploring new parts of California. We left with a lot of happy memories, and can't wait to come back.
Want to stay at The Bacara? I highly recommend using Tablet Hotels App!
Click on all links in this Story to explore and shop. Happy Travels, friends!