Your Guide to the Perfect Afternoon in Santa Barbara

A Blissful Afternoon in Santa Barbara

Here’s how to plan the perfect afternoon during a getaway to Santa Barbara, California – including where to stay and what to do.

Last month’s visit to Santa Barbara had a slightly different itinerary than our usual trips, but we made sure to carve out some time for a beach sunset as well as a kayaking trip to the Channel Islands (which we wrote about in last week’s post).

Since Scott works at an office during the week, he took the train from San Diego to Santa Barbara on Friday night to spend the weekend with me in Santa Barbara. On Saturday, we had some free time to do what we do best — eat, drink, and beach.

Your Guide to the Perfect Afternoon in Santa Barbara


Your Guide to the Perfect Afternoon in Santa Barbara


Enjoy an Afternoon Cocktail

We find it’s nice to have drinks on hand in our hotel room so we’re not always forced to head to a restaurant or bar when we are feeling lazy. If our hotel has a nice patio, then we like to enjoy this space. We packed a few Cayman Jack margaritas on our road trip to Santa Barbara, so we were all set.

At Hotel Indigo, we had our own private courtyard that stretched the entire distance of our room. We spent some quiet time with a chilled Cayman Jack while we pondered what to do with our afternoon. Yes, it was barely after noon when we had our first drink, but that’s what vacations are all about. Right?

Art, Wine, & Inspiration in Santa Barbara

Art, Wine, & Inspiration in Santa Barbara


Head to the Farmer’s Market

The Santa Barbara Farmer’s Market is held every Saturday in downtown on Cota Street and Santa Barbara Street. The vendors start to close around 1pm, so make sure to go early; we almost missed it!

We wanted to pick up a snack to pair with the blue agave nectar, organic limes and other natural ingredients in Cayman Jack. We found fresh hummus and colorful veggies for dipping. Vegetables dipped in hummus has recently become a new favorite snack of mine — especially if the hummus is fresh!


Beach Happy Hour

We couldn’t visit Santa Barbara without seeing at least one beach sunset. Scott and I headed to Stearns Wharf to view the twelve flags that have flown over California and continued along the beach, under the pier, to set up our happy hour picnic.

Art, Wine, & Inspiration in Santa Barbara

Art, Wine, & Inspiration in Santa Barbara

Ever since we began our partnership with Cayman Jack, we’ve put more thought into how we craft our journey in each place we visit. We try to make it a priority to give ourselves enough time to sit still and enjoy each new destination.

We don’t want to constantly run from place to place. We’ve been guilty of this on previous trips, but as seasoned travelers, we’re learning that it’s not fun to come home exhausted from travel.

Art, Wine, & Inspiration in Santa Barbara

I find that these moments of stillness are some of our favorite memories. As frequent travelers, we’ve created dozens of beach happy hours around the world, but sometimes it feels as if the only thing missing is our loved ones back home. Lucky for us, we’ve made a few new friends along the way to help soften the sting.

What is your idea of a perfect afternoon while traveling?


This Santa Barbara experience was made possible by Cayman Jack. As always, all opinions are our own.

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  1. Sonja @ Breadcrumbs Guide says:

    Looks like a relaxing day! Can’t beat margaritas!

  2. Alli Blair says:

    An afternoon cocktail followed by a trip to the farmer’s market . . . ahhh. Sounds perfect 😛

  3. Uncover Your Caribbean says:

    Sounds delightful! Way to take advantage of a perfect time of day!

  4. DeJav Speller says:

    Sounds like a good afternoon starting with a few drinks, head to happy hour, watch the sunset, and dinner. Being out and about in a place while being social is always a plus.

  5. This place looks beautiful, gorgeous photos! You two are so photogenic! ^_^

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      You are so sweet!

  6. Buddy The Traveling Monkey says:

    Making time for sunsets is always a good idea! I have yet to go to California so I’ll keep Santa Barbara in mind for when I plan my trip.

  7. Gloria Apara @NomadicChica says:

    I love this quiet times when traveling when I can enjoy the view and just enjoy the place I am without rushing or running anywhere, specially if it’s in a nice hotel! Yours sounds perfect afternoon to me too 😉

  8. iluv2globetrot says:

    You had me at afternoon cocktail and happy hour! Sounds lovely.

  9. Sounds like a wonderful afternoon! Sometimes it’s the little unplanned things that make a perfect travel day

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      I agree! We just have to remember to make time for those unplanned moments. 🙂

  10. Lindsay | Carpe Diem OUR Way says:

    i love the comment about rushing from place to place! we are guilty of that! for me with two little ones, our idea of a perfect afternoon includes a beach, sandcastles and playing in the water!

  11. The Adventure Ahead says:

    This really does sound like a perfect afternoon 🙂 Visiting farmer’s markets is one of our favorite activities when traveling – a great way to soak up culture, mingle with locals, and really get a feel for a place. Great post!