Thursday, September 18, 2014

Santa Barbara’s Best Kept Secret

One of the most fascinating works of nature is fast approaching.  It’s the yearly migration of thousands upon thousands of monarch butterflies which gather amongst the beautiful blue eucalyptus trees of the magnificent Ellwood Park to find their mates.  This is a spectacular event which occurs between November through March and is an easy 20 minute drive from the Cheshire Cat Inn.  Located in the Ellwood Preserve, you can see these beautiful creatures hanging in clusters resembling bunches of grapes and dancing about in the late morning hours. It is a feast for the senses to see their fantastic colors and feel their soft fluttering motion – be careful not to touch them though as the oil from your skin can damage their wings. 

Monarch Butterfly Migration

A very popular pastime with  Santa Barbara’s,  Christine Dunstan owner of the Cheshire Cat Inn, suggests spending the day enjoying the entire park which not only includes the Butterfly Preserve but also Ellwood Bluffs and Ellwood Beach.   After a breakfast of cereals, fresh fruit, tasty homemade scones and the signature hot dish of the day, you embark on your day of discovery.  Easy directions are given out by our knowledgeable Innkeepers guiding you to the entrance of the park.  From there, meander through the grand forest of trees which house the butterflies to the flora and fauna of the pasture land ahead.  Trails abound which entertain dog walkers, families and college students alike and culminate at the rugged bluffs and exquisite beach below; a perfect time to have a picnic lunch.    The South Coast Deli, voted the best sandwich shop in Santa Barbara and only 2 blocks from the Cheshire Cat Inn, offers yummy “sammies’ to go such as roast beef with horseradish or a chicken chipotle club.  Relax and watch the ocean tide but don’t be too late to miss the wine and hors’ doeuvres hour from 5-6pm back at the Inn.    Chilled white Chardonnay alternating with Sauvignon Blanc, both from our local Santa Ynez Valley region is poured by our resident Innkeeper who offers restaurant choices for the evening ahead.  Enjoy easy conversation while chatting with other guests who share their day’s adventures and the ones ahead.  You might want to keep your day out a secret though so as to preserve Ellwood Park as one of Santa Barbara’s hidden treasures!  A perfect ending to a fabulous day.


We look forward to seeing you soon and hope you will be able to delight in the truly magical experience of the Butterfly’s annual pilgrimage. 

Ellwood Park
Innkeeper Cheshire Cat Bed and Breakfast Inn

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Magical Evenings at The Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara



As the end of summer comes to an end, we look forward to the city’s cultural and musical season ahead with particular fondness for the Granada Theatre.  Home to the Santa Barbara Symphony and host to a vast array of musical events from opera to ballet to pop culture, this theatre is truly a venue for all.  Beautifully restored and gracious in every aspect, your experience is bound to be special.  Entering this elegant theatre takes you back in time to a period of gentility where people still dress up, almost a lost art these days.  There isn’t a bad seat in the house and the acoustics are first rate.  The 2014/15 schedule promises wonderful performances along with some special events presenting Tony Bennett, Manuel Linan attending the Flamenco Arts Festival and Winston’s royal roost, modeled after the popular jazz night club of the 1950’s, the “Royal Roost”. 

The Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara

Upcoming Events at The Granada Theatre, Santa Barbara
  • September 4, 2014 @ 8:00 Russell Peters - stand up comedy.
  • September 8, 2014 @ 7:00 Bugsy Malone 
  • September 18, 2014 @ 8:00 Winston's Royal Roost
  • September 20, 2014 @ 8:00 Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood: Two Man Group
  • September 27, 2014 @ 8:00 Compania Manuel Linan - Nomada (Flamenco Arts Festival)
  • October 2, 2014 @ 7:00 Tony Bennett
  • October 4, 2014 @ 8:00 Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
  • October 9, 2014 @ 8:00 London Philharmonic Orchestra
  • October 14, 2014 @ 8:00 Winston's Royal Roost
  • October 18, 2014 @ 8:00 and October 18, 2014 @ 3:00 Rachmaninoff and Chopin
  • October 21, 2014 @8:00 Michael Lewis 
  • October 25, 2014 @ 7:30 Scheherazade (street ballet) 
  • October 28, 2014 @ 7:00 Joshua Bell (violin)

A perfect evening can begin with tasty hors d’oevres and a glass of wine during the Cheshire Cat’s early evening social hour where you can mix and mingle with other guests before an easy walk down to the Granada.  This 10 minute stroll leads you past lovely buildings whose architecture is reminiscent of the city’s history and Spanish heritage.  Small boutiques and lively restaurants pave both sides of the main drag, State Street, offering early dining options and evening cocktails.  A favorite is Carlitos, a local establishment located just 2 blocks from our Santa Barbara bed and breakfast. Offering traditional Mexican cuisine, the food is delicious and is complemented with great service and atmosphere.  For a more fine dining experience, try Downey’s, just 1 block further down State Street whose reputation places it in the top echelon of Santa Barbara restaurants.  Owner and master chef John Downey creates wonderful dishes which tantalize the taste buds.  Having opened their doors at the same time as the Cheshire Cat Inn, we share a common bond of warm hospitality and have thus created the Santa Barbara “Great Escape” package including 1 night’s accommodation as well as dinner for 2.

There’s certainly no shortage of theaters in our small but “culturally rich” city  including the Lobero, Arlington & Victoria, each offering their own distinct flavor but the Granada holds a special place in our hearts and is truly the “grande dame”  We hope you will come and visit us by taking advantage of our midweek  packages  to experience the Granada first hand.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Wine Tasting at the Funk Zone in Downtown Santa Barbara


With the world class shopping, restaurants and attractions that downtown Santa Barbara has to offer, we are all too aware that it’s hard to tear yourself away for even a day to go wine tasting out in the valley. Why do that, when steps from the heart of downtown is The Funk Zone; a hip, exciting neighborhood teeming with eclectic shops, innovate restaurants, and over 14 tasting rooms. This vibrant area is the perfect choice if you only have a few days in the city and don’t want to spend a lot of your day (especially after imbibing a fair amount of wine) stuck driving in your car. Perfect for the urban explorer who wants to discover some hidden pockets of Santa Barbara.
Wine Tasting

After a restful night's sleep and a fantastic breakfast at the Cheshire Cat Inn, enjoy a morning discovering the amazing history of Old Mission Santa Barbara, strolling or cycling along the beach-side path, or visiting the multitude of downtown shops. There are so many options, but they are all just a precursor to your focus of the day. Now it’s time to meander down for wine tasting at The Funk Zone! The Santa Barbara Winery was the first winery in the county, and is a wine we are proud to pour during our daily afternoon social. Take a visit to this friendly spot, and discover the many other pours available.  Another favorite of ours, especially for their exquisite reds, is Kunin. From personal experience you will not be disappointed with any Funk Zone establishment. They all boast an inviting atmosphere and incredibly friendly and knowledgeable staffs. You can even mix it up with some award winning micro-brews or an artisan distillery.
Artisan Distillery
There are so many tasting rooms to choose from and they are all within blocks of each other. Be careful though! It is not unheard of to miss out on the other offerings of The Funk Zone by overdoing it. For a fantastic meal, we cannot recommend The Lark any more highly. Using locally sourced and seasonal ingredients, the chefs here will craft you the ideal culinary experience to end your downtown adventure. Stroll, cycle or drive back to the inn and enjoy a soak in your in-room Jacuzzi or a late evening respite in our beautiful garden before you end another perfect day in Santa Barbara.



Innkeeper Cheshire Cat Bed and Breakfast Inn

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Fourth Of July, 2014

Are you coming to the beautiful coastal town of Santa Barbara while you celebrate the 4th of July holiday weekend! With the 4th falling on a Friday this year, it’s the perfect time to schedule a Santa Barbara getaway weekend at the Cheshire Cat Inn. We’ll use our over 30 years of hospitality experience to make sure you have a memorable and relaxing stay. Cheshire Cat Inn is located close to the heart of Santa Barbara, so you will be near all the action. Wrap yourself in the lap of luxury at our Victorian Inn, and take advantage of our delicious continental breakfast or join us for our wine and hors d’oeuvres hour as you take in some of these 4th of July holiday festivities in Santa Barbara:
·        Spirit of ’76 Parade: The parade will take place on Friday July 4, with a grand march beginning at 1:00 p.m. at Micheltorena Street and proceeding down State Street to Old Town Santa Barbara, concluding at Cota Street. Over 175 nonprofits will participate, with this year’s parade theme focusing on safeguarding our nation’s Bill of Rights.
·        4th of July Fireworks Display: The City of Santa Barbara will again host the traditional beachside Independence Day fireworks show on Friday, July 4. Food vendors will be at the West Beach waterfront from 11am - 9pm, so bring a picnic blanket and set up for a fun day at the beach! The fireworks show will start at 9pm and will last for 25 minutes; West Beach is open to the public during the day's festivities.
·        Free Concert at the Courthouse Sunken Gardens: Don't miss this free concert of inspiring and patriotic American orchestral masterpieces presented by the West Coast Symphony Orchestra at 5pm Friday, July 4th in the historic Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Gardens. The early performance will allow plenty of time for dinner downtown, and a walk to the fireworks show off Santa Barbara Harbor. The concert is made possible by the support of the Cielo Foundation for the Performing Arts.
·        Butterflies Alive!: Experience the magic of Butterflies Alive! at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History as you stroll through a beautiful garden filled with flowers, luscious greenery, and hundreds of free-flying butterflies. See one of nature's most beautiful ambassadors and reconnect with nature. Entrance into the exhibition is included with Museum admission.
Make your reservation now to spend the 4th of July holiday weekend celebrating America at one of Santa Barbara's premier Bed and Breakfasts. Be sure to ask about our Inn Specials.

About The Cheshire Cat Inn - Located at 36 W. Valerio Street in Santa Barbara, the Cheshire Cat Inn is known for its perfect combination of location, ambience and comfort. Winner of a 2013 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, the Inn’s spa treatments, quaint Victorian charms, and special hotel deals make it perfect as Santa Barbara’s Great Escape. Visit the website and Facebook page or call 805- 569-1610 for more information

Innkeeper Cheshire Cat Bed and Breakfast Inn

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Spring Into St. Patrick’s Day With a Cheshire Cat Inn Getaway


Cheshire Cat Inn Getaway On St. Patrick’s Day

If you're a guest staying at Cheshire Cat Inn on St. Patrick's Day, we've put together a handy list of things to do in Santa Barbara.

St. Patrick’s Day is a fun time to stroll around Santa Barbara and reminds us that a lush, green spring is just around the corner. The weather has been fabulous lately; feels like summer arrived early!

Below is a list of Santa Barbara activities you may wish to consider while staying at the inn this St. Patrick's Day.

  • Urban Wine Trail: Taste some of the finest wines produced in Santa Barbara County, all within blocks of downtown and the beach. Created by a group of like-minded wineries, the Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail offers both novices and aficionados the opportunity to learn about and taste wines of many different varieties and styles crafted from Santa Barbara County’s best vineyards.
  • Waterhouse Gallery houses paintings from nationally known artists from the Western states and are members of the California Art Club and Oil Painters of America.  
  • The Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara is where adults can learn from Santa Barbara artists during their ever popular living room conversations, panel discussions, and lecture series. 
  • Fuzion describes itself as a “hybrid retail store” that focuses on glass art pipes, men’s underground fashion, and street art culture. The store’s glass collection is a particular source of pride as they focus mainly on American made pieces. 
  • Sullivan Goss represents the works of American artists from the 19th century to today. They have spent the last 25 years curating a collection of over 3000 works featuring the best in paintings, sculptures, watercolors, drawings, prints from artists labeled as luminists, impressionists, expressionists, and modernists.  
  • Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History has twelve exhibition halls that feature a life-size 72-foot Blue Whale Skeleton, birds, insects, mammals, marine life, paleontology, and the Chumash Indians. Guests experience the wonder of space exploration in the Gladwin Planetarium. The Museum also owns and operates the Ty Warner Sea Center located on historic Stearns Wharf.
  • Santa Barbara Zoo is always a great option, with plenty of fun family activities. With 30 acres and 500 animals, visitors need a map to be sure they see Condor Country, the pair of realistic high-tech dinosaurs in the “Dino Doc” show, the two baby giraffes, and many more animals in naturalistic habitats.
  • Santa Barbara Land and Sea Tours is Santa Barbara’s original amphibious tour vehicle. Guests climb aboard the LAND SHARK for a personally narrated 90-minute land and sea tour adventure and enjoy exquisite views of the Santa Barbara coastline, the American Riviera, and the Santa Ynez Mountains as seen only from a boat at sea.
  • Susan Quinlan Doll & Teddy Bear Museum & Library is dedicated to the love of dolls, teddy bears, books and the support of doll and teddy bear artists. 
  • Chase Palm Park Antique Carousel in Santa Barbara was made in North Tonawanda, New York, by the Allan Herschell Company in 1917. Herschell was the largest manufacturer of these flights of fancy during the Golden Age of carousels. Old-fashioned calliope music plays as the carousel turns. 

Don't forget to mark your calendars for the upcoming Santa Barbara Vintners Spring Weekend - April 10 – 13. This is a long weekend filled with special events held at wineries, vineyards, tasting rooms, and restaurants throughout Santa Barbara County. The Festival Grand Tasting held on Saturday, April 12 has wine tasting from all 100+ member wineries, an Art Walk, Farmers Market Pavilion, and the Connoisseur Club Pavilion.


The Cheshire Cat Bed and Breakfast Inn offers tempting breakfasts and cozy accommodations in The Main House, The Eberle House, The Coach House or Bramhall, Mobberly, Prestbury and Woodford Cottages, each with its own unique charms and revitalizing atmosphere. We have relied on our 30 years of hospitality to create a relaxed and inviting atmosphere so you can simply relax and revel in the small town warmth and charm of Old Santa Barbara. If you’re looking for a little more fun, Cheshire Cat Inn is also located close to Santa Barbara wine country, downtown and within minutes of fine dining, shopping, and beaches, with plenty of Santa Barbara activities close at hand.

We look forward to welcoming you on your next visit. Best of all we’ve got some great Cheshire Cat Inn Specials that include options for in-room luxurious massages or fine dining at some of Santa Barbara’s tastiest restaurants.  

Happy St. Patrick's Day from all of us at Cheshire Cat Inn,


About The Cheshire Cat Inn - Located at 36 W. Valerio Street in Santa Barbara, the Cheshire Cat Inn is known for its perfect combination of location, ambience and comfort. Winner of a 2013 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, the Inn’s spa treatments, quaint Victorian charms, and special hotel deals make it perfect as Santa Barbara’s Great Escape. Visit the website and Facebook page or call 805- 569-1610 for more information.




Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Cheshire Cat Named in Top 10 Romantic Inns List


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 12th, 2014 – SANTA BARBARA, CA – Historic Cheshire Cat Inn of Santa Barbara recently made the 2014 list of Top 10 Most Romantic Inns nationwide featured on Iloveinns.com.  This marking comes as no surprise as this award winning Santa Barbara Bed and Breakfast has been a long favored getaway destination. 

Among the finest accommodations in Santa Barbara, each room follows along the same whimsical inspiration as the inns name, bearing titles like the Dormouse’s Room, the Mad Hatter’s Room, the Duchess’s Room, and the White Rabbit Balcony Room.  Guests can expect to find the same kind of storybook charm and romance throughout the inn couched in such amenities as gourmet breakfast, afternoon wine & hors d’oeuvres, and in-room Jacuzzis. Cheshire Cat Inn has also partnered with Santa Barbara fine dining restaurants Louie’s and Downey’s to offer an unparalleled vacation package to impress even the most discriminating tastes.

Travelers looking for the perfect place to honeymoon or rekindle passions will certainly find it here nestled in Santa Barbara’s Mediterranean climate, sidewalk cafes & boutiques, and waterfront adventures.  In fact, many of the town’s best offerings are right within walking distance to the inn.  Guests can even book an in room massage as part of their ideal romantic getaway

About: Cheshire Cat Inn is made up of three Queen Anne Victorians, a Coach House and three cottages, originally constructed in 1894.  Fountains, gazebos, and lush flower gardens abound.  Many of the rooms have fireplaces, refrigerators, and private balconies, and all are decorated with English antiques, and the coziest, most romantic of linens and accessories. Rates range from $194 - $429. For more information or to inquire about specific dates, visit their website, see their Facebook page, or call (805) 569-1610.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Cheshire Cat Inn Is a Christmas Gift that Will Make You Grin

Stay At Cheshire Cat Bed and Breakfast Hotel In Santa Barbara

Cheshire Cat Inn, one of Santa Barbara's premier Bed and Breakfasts, wishes you and your family a very Merry Christmas and the happiest of New Years. We know there is no better time than the holiday season to get together with friends and enjoy all the warmth and hospitality Santa Barbara has to offer. We welcome any of your out-of-town visitors to our cozy bed and breakfast, and offer a wide variety of gift ideas for that special someone or maybe just for yourself!

Visiting guests and relatives will find that the Cheshire Cat Inn is conveniently located close to downtown and within minutes of fine dining and shopping. Meet your guests here after they have enjoyed breakfast at the Inn and tour Santa Barbara together, or let us make arrangements so they can experience the California lifestyle and enjoy some of Santa Barbara’s great activities. We’ll make sure wine lovers know about tours of the Santa Barbara Wine Country vineyards or the Urban Wine Trail downtown Santa Barbara.


As a gift idea for a loved one or yourself, you can’t beat the lovely accommodations available in our Queen Anne Victorian-styled Main House, The Eberle House, The Coach House, or the whimsical appeal of our Bramhall, Mobberly, Prestbury and Woodford Cottages. Our 30 years of hospitality has helped create a relaxed and inviting atmosphere from which guests can enjoy the small town warmth and charm of Old Santa Barbara. Cheshire Cat Inn Specials include:

·        Santa Barbara’s Great Escape: Fine dining at two of Santa Barbara’s most loved restaurants and two nights’ accommodations at our Santa Barbara bed and breakfast. Available Monday to Thursday.
·        The Cat’s Meow: Great pampering during a mini-vacation in our classic King-bedded accommodations with two ½-hour massages in the privacy of your own room. Available Sunday to Thursday.
·        The Cat’s Grin: A romantic one night stay in our classic Queen-bedded accommodations, including dinner for two at the celebrated “Bouchon” restaurant, which celebrates wine country cuisine in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara. Available Sunday to Thursday.
·        The Scarlett Cat: One night’s accommodation plus dinner at one of Santa Barbara’s new restaurants, the Scarlett Begonia, offering an innovative approach to cooking that captivates taste buds. Available Tuesday to Thursday.

Cheshire Cat Bed and Breakfast Hotel In Santa Barbara

After returning from a day of fun and family in Santa Barbara, we treat our guests to yummy chocolate chip cookies and brownies which are baked fresh. We look forward to welcoming you or your guests for a holiday visit to the Cheshire Cat Inn.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from our family to yours!

Christine, Jack, Andrea + Everyone at Cheshire Cat Inn

About The Cheshire Cat Inn - Located at 36 W. Valerio Street in Santa Barbara, the Cheshire Cat Inn is known for its perfect combination of location, ambience and comfort. Winner of a 2013 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, the Inn’s spa treatmentsquaint Victorian charmsand special hotel deals make it perfect as Santa Barbara’s Great Escape. Visit the website and Facebook page or call (805)569-1610 for more information.