For our fourth wedding anniversary we decided to drive up the coast and spend a few nights in Santa Barbara before we joined up with Bryan’s family in Paso Robles. We looked at so many different hotels online and ultimately ended up picking Hotel Milo for our two nights in Santa Barbara. The location was perfect and we were able to walk to so many places. The hotel was quaint and charming, the rooms were big and easily fit our portable crib. The only time we got in the car was to drive to the Four Seasons for brunch and to go to the beach. Other than that we were able to walk to so many different restaurants, shops, wineries and breweries, the water and the pier.
Tips for road tripping with a toddler:
- Include their nap in the drive.
- Pack plenty of snacks and water that are readily accessible in the car.
- Buy some new toys that you don’t open or show your little one until you are actually in the car driving. We bought this and this for Grace and she played with them in the car and during the whole trip, in the hotel room and at dinner. Best pre-purchases of our trip.
- Download a favorite movie or show beforehand onto your Ipad and let them have at it.
Our favorite Santa Barbara places:
- Plum Goods – my favorite little home and gift shop on State St.
- McConnell’s Ice Cream – delicious ice cream spot we talked to on State St.
- The Lark – where we had dinner our second night, located in the funk zone, delicious! Thanks to my friend Lisa for the recommendation!
- Les Merchands – the wine bar that is right next to the Lark where he had a glass of wine before dinner.
- The Waterline – probably our favorite spot of the trip.
- Santo Mezcal – where we had dinner our first night, also delicious! super quick walk from hotel milo.
Other places that came highly recommended but we didn’t have time for:
The Four Seasons and the Beach
Bryan’s family visits wine country RV resort every summer to celebrate Uncle Nick’s birthday. The resort has adorable one or two bedroom cottages you can rent and is located walking distance to a waterpark that we take our neices, and now Grace to every year. It’s also centrally located to a lot of really good wineries and breweries in the area.
It’s the perfect place to get that camping feel without actually… camping. Bryan’s family has a beautiful RV and we spend the evenings playing corn hole, catching up, drinking wine, laughing and listening to good music.
Favorite Paso places:
- Halter Ranch Winery
- Justin Winery
- Ravine Waterpark
- Barrelhouse Brewing Co
- Thomas Hill Organics
- Paso Robles or Templeton Farmer’s Market
We had the best time! Santa Barbara was the perfect place for a little getaway.. so much charm. And Paso Robles was perfect for catching up with family. I absolutely love seeing Grace play with her cousins and am so thankful she has two amazing girls in our family to look up to. Time with my little family without the distractions of work or household responsibilities is something my heart always craves and something I am so incredibly grateful for.