If you’re considering Santa Barbara as a destination for an upcoming meeting, there are more hotels and restaurants than ever before, along with new flights into Santa Barbara Airport.
Here are some highlights.
Palihouse Santa Barbara, a 24-room boutique hotel in the historic Presidio neighborhood has opened. Offering a “vintage preppy meets American Riviera vibe,” total group buyouts are available, as well as outdoor entertaining space for intimate events.
Kimpton Canary will begin a renovation in late 2022, set to be completed in early 2023. The luxury boutique property will be refreshing its rooftop, meeting space, lobby and guest rooms. (The hotel has seven flexible meeting spaces for a total of 7,300 square feet of event space.)
Finch & Fork, the hotel’s signature restaurant, recently completed a renovation, and has appointed Craig Riker as executive chef and Jazz Moralez as beverage manager.
Drift Santa Barbara, from TCM Hospitality, is set to open in the fourth quarter of 2022 on downtown State Street. The tech-driven, affordable, contemporary hotel is aimed at the millennial market, with contactless check-in and a virtual concierge named Eve offering tips to local sights, drinks, and eats.
Riviera Beach House is the new name for the former Hotel Indigo. Located near the Funk Zone, the property has new ownership and is being refreshed in partnership with Pacifica Hotels, the owner and operator of a collection of design-inspired hotels in California and Hawaii.
The State Street Promenade—a pandemic innovation—has revitalized the downtown corridor, with its mile-long street closure allowing restaurants, bars and pedestrians to expand into the streets. The city is exploring ways to make it permanent.
Known for mouthwatering lobster rolls, Santa Barbara sea urchin and oysters on the shell featured in past pop-ups at Municipal Winemakers, Broad Street Oyster Company opened a location at Kim’s Service Dept. in downtown Santa Barbara in January 2022.
Bedda Mia, a State Street restaurant specializing in Sicilian cuisine, including seafood and fresh produce-forward dishes and Sicilian wines, opened in February 2022.
Rare Society, a “retro-swanky” steakhouse, will open a new location in the Funk Zone later this summer.
Alma Fonda Fina, blending Mexican City cuisine with local ingredients, is set to open soon in the Montecito Country Mart.
XO Santa Barbara, which opened a few months ago in the Funk Zone, has won a dedicated following for its delicious comfort food, including seared brisket-blend smash burgers, crispy fried chicken sandwiches, milkshakes and more. XO recently added a menu of decadent breakfast burgers and sandwiches.
Reunion Kitchen + Drink is serving scratch-made “elevated casual” eats on East Beach at the newly renovated Cabrillo Pavilion, a historic venue dating back to the 1920s.
Santa Barbara Airport Updates
Southwest Airlines has added a new route from Sacramento International Airport (SMF), with daily flights starting June 5, 2022. (The carrier began service in Santa Barbara in 2021 with routes including Las Vegas, Oakland and Denver.)
United Airlines has resumed daily service from Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) to SBA.
Alaska Airlines began a nonstop flight from San Diego International Airport (SAN) to SBA June 17, 2021.