As fairy-tale destinations for lovers go, a romantic Santa Barbara getaway tops the list. From scenic Stearns Wharf and the beautiful Santa Barbara Mission to the tree-lined State Street shopping district and glorious sandy beaches, renowned wineries, spas and art galleries, a romantic getaway is just what the doctor ordered. And Santa Barbara vacation rentals can help you create the special retreat for Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, honeymoons or that dreamy romantic tryst you’ll remember for the rest of your lives.
Travel writers have waxed rhapsodic about many romantic Santa Barbara activities but instead of a simple list of romantic tourist attractions (I’ve included those at the end), these tips will help you create the ultimate romantic getaway.
Romantic Getaway Tip #1: How to compose your perfect love symphony. Planning the ultimate romantic getaway is easy. Santa Barbara offers a full orchestra of locales and activities at your disposal. All you have to do is compose the most romantic getaway for your beloved. As with any great piece of music, the secret to a romantic getaway is varying the pacing.
Mix slow leisurely beach walks (or art gallery walks, if you prefer) with high-energy activities like dancing. Start with lyrical passages like getting a massage at a local spa. Up the tempo with an invigorating horseback ride. Build to a romantic crescendo with a candlelit dinner at a fine restaurant. Then segue over to a passionate evening of poetry reading (or whatever else comes to mind).
One of the best ways to pull off a memorable romantic getaway is to get a vacation rental home. A musical masterpiece should be played in a venue worthy of it. But beyond a great showplace, picking the right vacation rental home can inspire romantic activities based just on the location. A vacation home gives you so much more opportunity to create great romantic moments than an anonymous hotel room.
Imagine your vacation rental home just steps away from Shoreline Park and the sand, with easy access to Ledbetter Beach. When you stay at a vacation rental you can enjoy a morning stroll through the park. There is also a children’s playground and seating areas for afternoon BBQs in the sun. Watch the surfers at the beach, take a walk through the harbor area, and enjoy the oceanfront atmosphere of beautiful downtown Santa Barbara.
The physical layout of a vacation rental home is also important. For example, imagine the relaxing you can do on your own private rooftop patio with incredible views of Shoreline Park and the Pacific ocean in both directions. Each individual feature of a Santa Barbara vacation rental home is a piece of music waiting to happen.
Romantic Getaway Tip #2: Set the stage for love. The best way to enjoy a romantic getaway is to completely control your environment so that you can set the stage for love. A vacation rental home costs half as much as a luxury hotel for more than twice the square footage, plus you have an outside oasis all your own.
With a romantic vacation rental home, you can drop a trail of rose petals, light all the candles you want, even light a roaring fire in the fireplace. Almost every romantic vacation rental home has a multimedia system to play any mood music you like.
One of the best ways to set the scene is to choose a romantic vacation rental that fits your mood or style. If the sound of waves crashing on the shore causes insomnia, maybe you’d prefer a home on a beautiful tree lined street in Montecito. You’ll still be close enough to enjoy the beach, but you’ll also have easier access to shopping and fine dining. Instead of going out, maybe you’d like to cook on a gas BBQ grill and relax with your honey in a hammock.
Many vacation rentals offer concierge service to help you set the scene according to your specifications before you arrive. The dedicated Santa Barbara vacation rental concierge staff will have your favorite wines, food and flowers ready for you and will even arrange for your personally selected mood music to be playing when you arrive. This perfect “Wow!” moment is priceless. Prepare to pick your beloved’s jaw up off the floor.
Romantic Getaway Tip #3: Rule your personal love nest. With a vacation rental home, you won’t have to worry about hotel conventioneers making lots of noise or crowding out all your romantic moments. You control the environment. Instead of a noisy hotel, imagine your own private villa with outside decks, including a “living roof” terrace, a fireplace, a fountain and 360-degree views of the ocean, mountains, Santa Barbara Harbor, Mission and Riviera. It is like having all of the beauty and amenities of a luxury hotel, but all the privacy of a private home.
Romantic Getaway Tip #4: Enjoy top flight hotel amenities at half the cost. The San Ysidro Ranch has often been called Santa Barbara’s most romantic hotel. Take your significant other to the Ranch to walk the grounds and eat at their delicious and headily romantic Stonehouse restaurant. You can enjoy the ambiance of the hotel, but enjoy a beautiful nearby vacation rental home for half the price.
Romantic Getaway Tip #5: Have the best of Santa Barbara come to you. Once you arrive at your vacation rental home for your romantic getaway, you don’t have to leave it. You can have the best of romantic Santa Barbara come to you. Many of the city’s finest restaurants will cater your romantic dinner in your very own vacation rental home. Santa Barbara vacation rentals also offer in-home massage and spa treatment services.
Let a Santa Barbara vacation rentals concierge team arrange to bring the very best of city to your door. Although the area has a lot of outside activities to enjoy, sometimes it is the inside activities that visitors remember best from a romantic getaway.
Romantic Getaway Tip #6: The way to a lover’s heart is through the stomach. If your honey is a foodie, you don’t have to book a worldwide cruise. Santa Barbara has cuisine from all over the world. You can sample an English breakfast, then an Asian lunch and finally a seven-course French dinner. While some of the area’s finer restaurants (such as the Four Seasons Biltmore) may require reservations well in advance for your romantic dinner, you can often get an equally romantic lunch reservation the same day.
To make sure your gourmet trek is flawless, engage the Santa Barbara vacation rentals concierge to make all the arrangements. Not only will the concierge know all the best places, but they might be able to get you a deal or an elusive reservation at the impossible-to-get-into restaurant your beloved would love to try.
Romantic Getaway Tip #7: Surprise is on your side. One of my favorite romantic Santa Barbara getaway stories is about a husband who secretly booked a vacation rental home as a surprise for his wife. The husband asked one of her friends who lived in in the city take her out to lunch, while he secretly checked into the romantic vacation rental home. After lunch the friend followed the husband’s instructions and asked the wife to look at a Santa Barbara vacation rental home the friend said she was interested in buying. When they walked in to inspect the property, her husband was there and announced to his shocked wife that he was surprising her with a romantic vacation.
Don’t feel you have to cram every activity into one romantic getaway. There’s one thing better than your first romantic Santa Barbara getaway, and that’s returning to your vacation rental home for your second romantic getaway.
Helpful links for romantic Santa Barbara getaways: