This post is sponsored by Lexus. All opinions are my own.
Earlier this month, my girlfriends and I took a road trip to Santa Barbara. Although I had been to Santa Barbara a decade earlier for a wine tasting, it was only a day trip, so I didn’t get to experience the city or the wineries in the area. It was my girlfriends’ birthday and also Cinco de Mayo weekend, so we were pretty excited to celebrate.
Road Trip to Santa Barbara
I picked my girlfriends up at LAX in the gorgeous royal blue Lexus RX and we headed the two hours+ drive from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara. If you’ve never been, the drive from LA is actually super easy. We did hit some traffic on our way out of LA, but it wasn’t too bad. Once you get closer to Santa Barbara, you can see the ocean on one side and the mountains on the other, so it’s quite a pretty drive.
The Lexus RX drove like a dream. I absolutely love this car. It’s not only sleek, it handles really well. It offers such a smooth ride and has a very large sun roof so we could let in all the California sunshine on our drive up. The trunk is plenty roomy for our luggage and the leather seats gave us a comfortable and plush ride.
Hotel Santa Barbara
About two hours later, we arrived in Santa Barbara. We decided to stay at the Hotel Santa Barbara. I couldn’t have asked for a better location. The hotel is right on the main drag of downtown Santa Barbara, which is lined with bars, restaurants and shops. The first day, we spent most of our time walking up and down the main street, we made our way down to the pier, and enjoyed a cocktail while looking at the gorgeous shoreline and mountain view.
Wine Tasting Near Santa Barbara
The next day, we decided to check out a few wineries and do our own mini wine tour. It’s about a 45-hour drive to the winery area. It was a pretty easy drive, although it is quite hilly, and we lost cell reception part of the time. However, once you get over the mountain, it’s well worth the drive because the views and Santa Barbara county is pretty amazing.
Once we got to Santa Barbara wine country, we stopped at Zaca Mesa winery and Andrew Murray Vineyards. There are so many award winning wineries in the Santa Barbara area, you really can’t go wrong. Most of the wineries offer a selection of wines, but many also offer other neat incentives. The first one we visited had live music and also a local pizza truck. They also offered cheese to pair with the wine. Since I was the designated driver, I can’t actually tell you much about the wine. But my girlfriends enjoyed all of it, especially the rose at the first winery. As we sat there looking at the vineyards, we definitely felt relaxed. We also talked about how much we’d enjoy going to Napa valley together, at some point.
On the way up to the wineries, we also stopped at Solvang to check out the cute little Danish town. We visited a few shops, checked out all the bakeries, and stopped at a local grocer to get some things to create a little impromptu picnic at the first winery.
Later that day, we spent a bit more time downtown Santa Barbara. We just relaxed with a glass of wine on Stearns Wharf, overlooking the Santa Barbara coastline. It was such a refreshing and seamless trip. This was my first ever girls-trip. I can’t believe I waited so long to plan one! We had the best time. We reconnected on a deep level and we also got to experience a cute little city together. If you visit southern California any time soon and, especially if you love wine, you definitely should take a road trip to Santa Barbara. You won’t be disappointed.
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