Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Christmas Guide For Santa Barbara Vacation Shoppers

Visitors to the Santa Barbara area, and especially those enjoying the superb Santa Barbara hotels and Santa Barbara bed and breakfasts, will find a multitude of interesting and unique shopping venues this holiday season.  Several new and exciting options make Santa Barbara downtown hotels a fantastic choice for those seeking a truly authentic Santa Barbara experience!

Santa Barbara Bed and Breakfast Hotel Downtown
Cheshire Cat Inn ( has identified three must visit, uniquely Santa Barbara businesses, each offering vacationers the chance to create some lasting holiday memories.  Each of these venues was selected, based on uniqueness, “can’t miss” appeal, and its connection to Santa Barbara culture.

The Painted Cabernet (

Santa Barbara Wines
The Painted Cabernet, located within walking distance to all downtown hotels in Santa Barbara, “speaks to the artist in all of us.” The upscale urban studio, located in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara, at 1229 State Street, offers a friendly, hip, and creative environment.  Instructional artists walk visitors step-by-step through the painting experience giving one-on-one instruction while affording the freedom to create. Visitors select a painting they want to reproduce, with the studio offers many choices.  Patrons paint, drink wine, and socialize in a fun, vibrant, casual atmosphere.  A wide selection of Santa Barbara wines are available, from local favorites to some of Napa and Sonoma Valley’s best await the amateur Picasso or Renoir. Visitors to Santa Barbara this holiday season can easily walk to the Painted Cabernet from downtown hotels in Santa Barbara, or take a short drive from Santa Barbara garden hotelsVisit their website Visit their Facebook Page Follow on Twitter

Hampstead Village (

travel books, Irish recipes, English Lily of the Valley soaps, and a wide selection of distinctly British foods
Hampstead Village brings a truly authentic British experience to Santa Barbara, offering a huge selection including travel books, Irish recipes, English Lily of the Valley soaps, and a wide selection of distinctly British foods, such as old fashioned chocolate biscuits.  Perfumes from Penhaligon's of London are available, along with Taylor of Old Bond Street toiletries.  Visitors will feel a strong sense of nostalgia immediately upon entering Hampstead Village, taking them back to “the good old days” when quality was the standard. The Children’s Corner offers Peter Rabbit china, memorable books, and cuddly toys to keep the kids busy while adults shop at their leisure.  Hampstead Village is located at 1100 State Street on the corner of State and Figueroa, walking distance from several exceptional Santa Barbara hotelsVisit their website Visit their Facebook page

Cielito Restaurant (

Santa Barbara Restaurant
Restaurant offers Mexican cuisine with influences from African, Asian, Middle Eastern, and Caribbean flavors, with recipes from Mexico City to Oaxaca and from Veracruz to Guadalajara. At Cielito, Chef Ramon Velazquez reveals the true flavors of traditional dishes prepared with simplicity and elegance. Each dish celebrates the essence of the ingredients and is presented to delight the eye and the palate.  Cielito Restaurant is located at 1114 State Street, within the historic La Arcada complex, and has been a longtime favorite gathering place for dining and relaxation around the famous turtle fountain.  This location is ideal for visitors lodging with downtown hotels in Santa Barbara, and is the heart of the downtown shopping and entertainment corridor.  La Arcada offers many shops, galleries, and restaurants to delight visitors, providing the authentic experience that is so uniquely Santa Barbara.
Cielito Restaurant offers both indoor and al fresco dining on their private outdoor patio.  Private parties and events can be scheduled, including large functions and small, intimate gatherings on their mezzanine level. 

Cielito’s lunch menu includes Quesadillas, enchiladas, lots of taco options, salads, and even their “Heavenly Burger.”  Their vanilla bean flan has received some heavenly reviews as well!  Prices range from about $9 to $15.

The dinner menu is decidedly upscale, with antojitos (snacks), taqueria (street style cravings for sharing), soups, salads, and entrees.  Entrees include enchiladas, fish, a filet, and chicken, while desserts include Apple Empanadas, Tiramisu, Chocolate & Caramel Peanut Semi-freddo, and their signature vanilla bean flan.

Though Cielito has a decidedly Mexican flare, the menu is diverse enough to satisfy just about any palate.  Cielito also offers a full bar with many signature cocktails, wines, and craft beers.  For more information: visit their website visit their Facebook page

With so many wonderful options, visitors to Santa Barbara this holiday season are sure to find plenty to keep them busy.  The three options presented here should provide a good starting point for visitors staying in downtown hotels in Santa Barbara, or those visiting one of our extraordinary Santa Barbara bed and breakfasts.  The central location of each of these venues offers the pedestrian visitor exposure to many other exciting destinations along State Street and the many cross streets that offer additional shopping and entertainment options.  Visitors are invited to take their time, explore, shop, eat, drink, and be merry this holiday season.  Enjoy your visit and take home some uniquely Santa Barbara memories!

About Cheshire Cat Inn

Santa Barbara B and B
The Cheshire Cat Inn is a romantic and elegant Victorian Inn with old oak trees, fountains and flower filled gardens. This Santa Barbara bed and breakfast offers 18 guest rooms, suites and cottages, some having in-room Jacuzzi tubs, fireplaces, private decks and outdoor hot tubs. The Inn is located in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara, only four blocks from shops, restaurants, and theaters.  This downtown Santa Barbara hotel has an Alice in Wonderland theme and offers Santa Barbara lodging with gracious English hospitality and a touch of whimsy. Visit their website Visit their blog


  1. Thanks for sharing this guide, This is really useful for anyone who are planning to visit Santa Barbara.

  2. geneevermore@gmail.comMarch 6, 2013 at 12:25 AM

    I went to the Painted Cabernet and the Cielito Restaurant. The experience was fantastic. Cheshire Cat Inn had it on the list of must visit, uniquely Santa Barbara businesses. I was not dissapointed, and the service at the Cheshire Cat was Superb. Thanks again for a great weekend

  3. This is a very helpful post. It's like a "Santa Barbara 101" - it gives you the basic and necessary information about the place and what to expect when you visit it. I think it would be so much better, though, if photos go with this blog post so that a viewer who doesn't have the luxury of time, doesn't have to keep on clicking links to check out more details. Just a suggestion...

  4. Trying your hand at painting under the personalized tutelage of experienced artists and then toasting your handiwork with like-minded friends at the Painted Cabinet seem like a swell way to spend your afternoon.

  5. This is an ample information about Santa Barbara. And the links are also very helpful. It makes traveling to the place easier for a visitor.

  6. This is so vital when planning on traveling and shopping in Santa Barbara. It can be really pricey if you don't do your research before hand! Especially when it comes to hotels! A lot of the time the hotels are so expensive and you really don't get that much bang for your buck! I love staying at the Sandman Inn ( It's great on my budget and the rooms are over sized and comfortable!

  7. This is great for foodie and travelers. Great post! Thank you

  8. I really appreciate Santa Barbara Cheshire Cat Inn’s intention to fully inform the public with its reliable resource on practical Christmas guide. This article even includes a link towards the official websites of famous tourist places/ spots in Santa Barbara. Thank you for this very useful and valuable resource.