Planners who like exploring unique architecture and eclectic urban places or experiencing incredible natural beauty, will find plenty of options when attending the 2019 APA Conference in Santa Barbara this Fall. If you would like help with your itinerary, this planner's guide details a range of fun options to help you make the most of your visit to Santa Barbara and for exploring California's beautiful Central Coast. The Conference Co-Chairs welcome you and hope this guide and maps will connect you to the many fun activities and incredible dining and entertainment options available in Santa Barbara. Welcome!
This year's APA CA Conference is being held at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort (formerly the Fess Parker). The hotel fronts the Pacific Ocean and the City of Santa Barbara?s East Beach with the nearby Andre Clark Bird Refuge and is backdropped by the spectacular Santa Ynez mountains. The conference hotel is located a short mile from Santa Barbara's quaint and charming downtown anchored by Stearns Wharf and the Santa Barbara Harbor, and other fun attractions. You can explore nearby popular destinations: restaurants, shopping and nightlife along State Street (an APA designated Great Street), or visit the beaches, the Santa Barbara Zoo, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History's, Sea Center on Sterns Wharf, or the Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation (MOXI). The revitalized Funk Zone is a short walk from the conference and is an eclectic and vibrant mix of art galleries, restaurants, breweries, and features an Urban Wine Trail.
For those willing to travel a bit further around town, the historic Santa Barbara County Courthouse and Sunken Gardens (the site of the conference opening reception) the Presidio , and the Mission Santa Barbara, are cultural landmarks, not to be missed. The Natural History Museum, the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens and many great scenic hikes and parks are also nearby (see the Hiking and Parks Map below). You can also rent a bike or a kayak and explore the city's waterfront or Play golf at several area golf courses. If you are looking to visit the Santa Barbara Channel Islands, travel is only by boat and plane and you should plan on spending the day. The Santa Ynez Wine Country is less than an hour by auto and is well worth a visit.
1. Leadbetter Beach. Located west of the Santa Barbara Harbor.
Parking: Limited free 90 minute parking or pay parking.
The harbor has some good places to eat and a fish market. Shoreline Cafe right on the beach.
2. Arroyo Burro/Hendry's Beach. Located off Cliff Drive. Limited free parking, lots of dogs, Boathouse Restaurant right on the beach.
Recommend also walking in the Wilcox preserve which is on the cliff overlooking the beach and can be accessed from the beach parking lot.
3. Mesa Lane. Between Leadbetter and Arroyo Burro there are some beach access points off Shoreline or Cliff Drive. One is in Shoreline Park and the other is at the end of Mesa Lane off Cliff Drive (locally called 1,000 Steps). These involve going down staircases and the beach is often not accessible if the tide is really high but otherwise these are nice beaches and not very crowded. There are no bathrooms or facilities.
4. Goleta Beach County Park. This is a County beach about 15 minutes north of Santa Barbara by car with free parking, grassy area, barbeques, bathrooms, and a restaurant. Take 101 North to Highway 217 towards UCSB. Exit before UCSB, follow the signs to the beach. This beach also has a pier.
5. East Beach. This beach is to the east of Stearns Wharf near the Santa Barbara Zoo. To get here, take 101 South, exit on Milpas toward the ocean. Take a left at Cabrillo Blvd. Parking options include limited free parking on Cabrillo, free parking near the hotels in the area or self pay $2.00 in the parking lot. This beach is the favorite for walks, viewing nature and the beach volleyball crowd.
Lama Dog Tap Room & Bottle Shop. In the Funk Zone. Adjacent to food options in the same building.
Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. 137 Anacapa Street. Live music and many more beer choices than what they sell in the store. No food, but can be ordered
Third Window Brewing. 406 E. Haley. Great beer and nice setting, food can be ordered here. Also a winery in the building.
Brass Bear Brewing. 28 Anacapa Street. Nice little place, limited menu.
Topa Topa Brewing. 120 Santa Barbara Street. Another great spot, also winery next door. Food can be ordered.
Pure Order Brewing. 410 N. Quarantine Street. Fun place, great beer, food trucks there sometimes.
The Brewhouse. 229 W. Montecito Street. Neighborhood place, been in Santa Barbara longer than the others. Really good beer and full restaurant service.
Telegraph Brewing. 418 N. Salsipuedes Street. Nice tasting room.
Night Lizard. 607 State Street. Another great option.
Institution Ale Co. 516 State Street. New and popular, great beer selection, can oder pizzas and pretzels.
Brophy Bros, 119 Harbor Way. Seafood, very popular, hard to get a table but the more limited menu downstairs option is also good.
On the Alley. Great tacos, casual outdoor eating.
Chuck's Waterfront Grill, traditional steaks and seafood. Also see Endless Summer upstairs, casual, great views.
Enterprise Fish Co., 225 State Street. Another famous happy hour spot.
Zen Yai Thai Cuisine, 425 State Street, small, modern Thai cuisine.
Holdren's Steaks and Seafood, 512 State Street. A classic.
Paxti's Pizza, 515 State Street. Chain restaurant with tasty, large pizzas.
Natural Cafe, 508 State Street. Long time Santa Barbara casual spot for healthy, California cuisine.
Joe's Cafe, 536 State Street. Classic Santa Barbara since the 1920?s. Strong drinks.
Dargan's Irish Pub, 18 E. Ortega. Traditional Irish food and great beer selection.
Pascucci, 729 State Street. Italian. Santa Barbara icon
Paradise Cafe, 702 Anacapa. Another long time, classic Santa Barbara restaurant. Happy hour and good for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Finch and Fork, 31. W. Carrillo. In the Canary Hotel. Great happy hour.
Wine Cask, 813 W. Anacapa Street. Elegant, amazing wine list. Intermezzo next door is more casual, also good.
Roy, 7 W. Carrillo. Open late, good food, nice atmosphere.
Petit Valentin and State & Fig. Also Jeannine's for lunch or breakfast and Andersen's Bakery for Danish pastries.
Santa Barbara Public Market. Lots of choices, also good places for beer and wine. Recommend Empty Bowl Gourmet Noodle Bar, Corizon Cocina, Rori?s Artinsanal Creamery
Olio e Limone Ristorante & Olio Pizzeria, 11 W. Victoria Street. Italian and pizza.
Benchmark Eatery, 1201 State Street. Neighborhood hangout, casual American.
Jane, 1311 State Street. Upscale California cuisine, great menu choices, yummy coconut cake.
Opal, 1325 State Street California cuisine, lots of menu choices.
Los Arroyos Downtown. 14 W. Figueroa. Casual, healthy Mexican food.
Scarlett Begonia, 11 W. Victoria Street. Casual breakfast and lunch.
Soho, 1221 State Street. Restaurant and music club, different shows nightly.
Lobero Theater, 33 E. Canon Perdido. Historic theater, usually live music but sometimes movies and other types of entertainment.
Granada Theater, 1214 State Street. Historic theater, live music, plays, dance etc.
Arlington Theater, 1317 State Street. Historic theater, usually films but also live music and other events.
Santa Barbara Bowl, 1122 N. Milpas. Outdoor venue, amazing place to see live music.
Test Pilot, 211 Helena Street
East Beach Tacos, 226 S. Milpas. Wonderful tacos, outdoor seating only
The Habit Burger Grill, 216 S. Milpas. Fast and famous and originated in Santa Barbara. Also on State Street
Convivo Restaurant and Bar, 901 E. Cabrillo. Great happy hour.
Bluewater Grill, 15 E. Cabrillo Boulevard. Great happy hour and seafood.
Lilly's Taqueria, 310 Chapala Street. Great tacos and inexpensive.
Corks n' Crowns Tasting Room and Wine Sales, 32 Anacapa Street
Goodland Wines, 22 Anacapa Street
Kunin Wines 28 Anacapa Street
Margerum Tasting Room, 19 East Mason Street
Municipal Winemakers, 22 Anacapa Street
Riverbench Santa Barbara Tasting Room, 137 Anacapa Street
Santa Barbara Winery, 202 Anacapa Street.
Pali Wine Co. 116 East Yanonali Street
Paradise Springs Winery, 210 State Street