family travel guide ft. montecito, ca

 montecito, ca

this storybook town is nestled along the coastline of santa barbara county and is known for its lush landscapes and beautiful beaches — and served as the perfect backdrop for our resort collection. within our family-friendly travel guide, we’re sharing some of our favorite things to do, places to eat and where to stay to help make your next retreat memorable.

getting there

montecito is conveniently located just eight miles south of santa barbara. the nearest major airport is santa barbara airport (SBA), which offers domestic flights and is only a short drive from town. pro-tip: rent a car for an easy and convenient way to explore the area.

to stay

four seasons resort the biltmore santa barbara

from luxury resorts to cozy vacation rentals, montecito boasts an array of accommodations for families. this resort offers large suites, a stunning pool and a kids’ club. it’s located right by butterfly beach — ideal for a day by the water.

packing list for montecito, ca

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montecito inn

built in 1928, this iconic and charming boutique hotel is located in the heart of montecito and within walking distance to the beach and coast village road. if you’re in town on a friday, check out the farmers market at the end of coast village road, starting at 8am.

san ysirdo ranch

tucked in the foothills of santa barbara, san ysirdo ranch offers a unique blend of privacy, peace and tranquility in an idyllic setting. the property has thirty-eight vine-covered cottages surrounded by incredibly landscaped gardens.

polaroids from montecito, ca
to eat

la super-rica taqueria

a local taco shop perfect for lunch and dinner. freshly prepared and great for the family. fun fact: in 1996, julia child proclaimed this as her favorite place to eat…

third window brewery

a family-run brewery in santa barbara and the perfect place to unwind after a long day of exploring the area. the smash burgers are the best — and we guarantee your children will love them!

honor bar

this intimate space features an exhibition kitchen where you can watch all the action. enjoy cocktails and snacks at one of the outdoor patio tables. walk-ins only. after, visit the honor market next door for coffee, espresso and take-home pizza.

montecito country mart

a must-see! our favorite stop for a collection of boutique shops and a variety of dining options. set in a beautiful garden-like environment, it’s a pretty place to spend the afternoon. some of our go-to restaurants include sandwiches from panino and homemade pastries and coffee from merci. for shopping, we love poppy marché, mate gallery and dôen.

to do

visit the beach

spend your day on the beautiful stretch of sand at miramar beach and butterfly beach. lookout for california grey whales on the coastline during february, march and early april.

packing list montecito

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casa del herrero

a 1920s estate known for its spanish colonial revival architecture. an activity for families with children 10 years and older. book a 90-minute docent-led tour and view the historic house museum and gardens.

the funk zone

an area of santa barbara located just two blocks from the ocean and stearns wharf. the funk zone was once a manufacturing area, then turned into art galleries, tasting rooms, wine bars and farm-to-table restaurants.

santa barbara zoo

just a short drive from montecito. complete with a train ride, playground and interactive exhibits — it’s a big hit for children!

mission park and rose garden

pack a picnic and enjoy the breathtaking views of the santa barbara mission. visit between april and november when the 1,500 roses are typically in bloom.