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Fun for the Whole Family

By: Kristyn Huang / 26 Mar 2018
Fun for the whole family

A 3 night Family Friendly Itinerary

Vacation isn't just for the kids. Reset in Santa Barbara and enjoy quality time during a mid season getaway.

Deemed, the American Riviera, from the mountains to the sea there are plenty of activities for the whole family. Follow our three night family itinerary, and start by booking your stay at the Best Western Plus Encina Inn and Suites.

Day 1: Arrive in Santa Barbara

Upon arrival in Santa Barbara, check in to your hotel, the Best Western Plus Encina Inn and Suites. Located in a quiet neighborhood,  blocks away from downtown Santa Barbara, the Encina Inn and Suites offers a wide variety of room types, perfect for a family traveling together and in need of a little extra space. From standard rooms to one and two bedroom suites, and apartments, there is sure to be a room to fit your exact needs.

Man dipping his feet in the pool

Ease in to your vacation with an afternoon at the pool. Pro tip: Bring floaties or pool toys to help the kids stay entertained for hours. Don't forget to bring the sunscreen, Santa Barbara's year round sunshine makes it an ideal winter and spring escape. After playing in the sun all afternoon, you will have quite the appetite to enjoy a delicious dinner at Live Oak Cafe, the restaurant located on property. Featuring healthy and seasonal Californian Cuisine with local beer and wine, you won't want to miss this restaurant.

Happy hour food and drink at Live Oak Cafe

Day 2: Moxie & Beach Day

The kids will be so excited to start their first full day in Santa Barbara. Good thing, we have some incredible activities planned. First on the itinerary is a morning at MOXI: Museum of Innovation and Exploration. Newly opened,  this museum is a wonderland for the kids, and we hear parents love it too! Explore three stories of exhibits, deepen your curiosity, expand your mind, and explore science with hands-on exhibits.

After a morning of discovery, explore more of Santa Barbara with your stomach. The Santa Barbara taco trail is a great way to literally eat your way through the city and enjoy the authentic Mexican cuisine Santa Barbara is known for. After lunch, make your way to East beach, where you can simply relax, build sand castles or go for a dip in the salty ocean water.

A beach scene with mountains in the distance
photo credit: Jessylynn Perkins

For dinner, we recommend a visit to  Lucky Penny. Located in the Funk Zone, a lively neighborhood full of street art, and the best eateries, wineries, and breweries. The wood fired pizzas at Lucky Penny are widely beloved and often referred to as the best local pizza.

Day 3: The Santa Barbara Zoo

In Santa Barbara you won't have to go far to see wildlife of all kinds. The Santa Barbara Zoo is well known and loved by locals and guests alike. Explore the 30 acres of exhibits and learn about the 500 animals that call the zoo home, including giraffes, elephants, and lions. See if you can feed the giraffes or join in one of the many activities that the zoo hosts every day.

After a day well spent at the zoo, head to the Santa Barbara Public Market for dinner. The Public Market is a contemporary urban eatery with a diverse array of food vendors. From a delicious bowl of noodles, to delicious street style tacos, and authentic Italian pizza, you'll be sure to find something for everyone. Don't forget dessert, Rori's Ice Cream and Enjoy Cupcakes are also local favorites.

End your trip with a family movie night and select a movie from our large DVD library located in our front office.

Day 4: Depart from Santa Barbara

Leave Santa Barbara with beautiful family memories and get ready to plan your return visit.

Couple walking under the porte-cochère