Day one - on the way to Santa Barbara!

Santa Barbara Travel Blog

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Our lunch spot in Korea Town in Los Angeles.

My friend and I decided to take a few days off from work to enjoy some wine tasting in Santa Barbara.  We had a slightly late start on Friday and grabbed a quick lunch in Korea Town at Pho ABC (pretty decent fast food pho).  I was coming down with a little cold so the hot soupy noodles hit the spot.  Then we were off on our drive from LA to SB!!!

Santa Barbara is typically known as a beachside resort - imagine watersports, kayaking, sailing, whale watching, etc.  But since I'm from LA, I don't really come up here for beach activities - rather, I come up for wine tasting.  In recent years, Santa Barbara has gained more popularity as a wine tasting destination - I suspect partially due to the movie Sideways.

MMMM... pho...

We had booked a package deal at Brisas Del Mar (see review below) which included 3 nights hotel, a wine tour, a sunset cruise and a few dinner vouchers for about $450 pp.  The hotel is not fancy at all, but clean and in a convenient location.  After checking in, we walked along the beach towards the Wharf.   Santa Barbara is very pretty, mellow and pristine.  I'm always surprised how close it is to LA, yet so different....Then we headed towards State Street (the main shopping/restaurant street in the area) and serendipitously ran into a wine tasting at Giessinger Winery!  It specialized in sweet wines - even their red wines were on the sweet side.  One wine actually had a slight fizz and tasted like Dr. Pepper, and one tasted like peach gummies .

Wine tasting list at Geissinger Winery.
.. very odd, but fun.  I actually liked the Chenin Blanc (nice bouquet, not too terribly sweet).  It was probably the best deal for a wine tasting I've ever seen - $6 for 18 wines!  crazy!  We then shopped a bit and then stopped at Madison's for happy hour.... well, actually we missed it by 5 minutes but we were too thirsty and impatient to wait.  My friend had the largest coke I've ever seen and I had my normal drink - grey goose martini with a twist - and then we both dug into a huge platter of fried finger foods.  So bad for you but so good too!!! :)

After "resting" at the inn, we headed out to dinner at Chuck's - I wasn't too impressed.  Looked like a cheezy touristy spot playing up the nautical theme..  the clam chowder was decent, but my steak and scallops were pretty ordinary.  Luckily we used a dinner voucher so I didn't feel cheated.   And then, we went back to the inn and watched dvd's - I have to say the nightlife in SB seems pretty lame - but then perhaps I'm a bit jaded (and maybe too old)!  :)

sybil says:
if you're too old, what does that make me? haha!
Posted on: Dec 10, 2007
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Our lunch spot in Korea Town in Lo…
Our lunch spot in Korea Town in L…
MMMM... pho...
MMMM... pho...
Wine tasting list at Geissinger Wi…
Wine tasting list at Geissinger W…
Enjoying the dessert wines.
Enjoying the "dessert" wines.
State Street - so quaint!
State Street - so quaint!
The large coke!
The large coke!
Dinner at Chucks.
Dinner at Chuck's.
Clam chowder - quite tasty!
Clam chowder - quite tasty!
Steak and grilled scallops.
Steak and grilled scallops.
Santa Barbara Hotels & Accommodations review
Very quaint clean inn with nice included amenities - free continental breakfast every morning, free wine tastings in the afternoons, fresh baked cooki… read entire review