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Santa Barbara/LA honeymoon?

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Santa Barbara/LA honeymoon?

My fiancé really wants to spend a portion of our honeymoon around Santa Barbara (we spent one night there in Feb and walked state street but that's it)

The only problem is finances. Hotels are a bit expensive. Even the $150 a night look mediocre. Unfortunately, $150 per night is about the top of our budget. I think we lucked out at Castillo in Feb for around $100 a night.

Any ideas for nicer hotels? It is our honeymoon after all.

I'm thinking we're better off staying somewhere NOT Santa Barbara and driving to the beach/wharf/whatever we want for that specific day. Any suggestions for a city/town that is drivable from Santa Barbara. On that note, any suggestions for stuff to do around the area? We'll probably make it north as far as Lompoc and we'll be driving out of CA to Phoenix so anything that direction is good too!

Lastly, we're looking for activities like waterfalls, trails/hiking, beaches, good food, nature, serenity! Bonus points for music and art ideas!

Thank you all very much for ideas!

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Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara
California
Castillo Inn at the Beach
Castillo Inn at the Beach
882 Reviews
Santa Barbara, CA
Lompoc
Lompoc
California
Phoenix
Phoenix
Central Arizona, AZ
Santa Barbara, CA
Destination Expert
for Santa Barbara, Channel Islands National Park
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1. Re: Santa Barbara/LA honeymoon?

You can probably find a less expensive hotel in Carpinteria and then come up for the day - only a 15 minute drive. You could also try Santa Ynez, but I am not sure you will find options that are less than $150. There are a few places in SB that would fit your budget on upper state street.

An alternative would be to camp at the Channel Islands. The camping sites are $10 if you use Reserve America to book it - or you can use an outfitter and they will book it for you, get your gear to the island, set up kayaking etc. More expensive, but includes a lot of fun stuff. My husbands company, Santa Barbara Adventure Co, can do this - here is info sbadventureco.com/adventures/…Kayak-and-Camp

Here is a list of places to visit in the area - sbadventureco.com/blog/… - some attractions, hiking areas, etc. For activites - what dates are you coming? Look at the Santa Barbara Bowl website and there might be a good show. It is a great venue for concerts!

Lompoc has some good wine tasting. I don't know the best wine tasting rooms - but maybe someone else can jump in a give information.

Have a great stay. Congrats!

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Carpinteria
Carpinteria
California
Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara
California
Santa Barbara Bowl
Santa Barbara Bowl
145 Reviews
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Lompoc
Lompoc
California
Manhattan Beach...
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4,691 posts
111 reviews
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2. Re: Santa Barbara/LA honeymoon?

Lompoc is a decidedly unromantic town but it does have a few things going for it. They have a fairly new "wine ghetto" where you can taste multiple wineries. The hotels are nothing special but they might be cheaper than those in the surrounding towns. The beach is fairly empty but picturesque. The drive into the town from the south goes through scenic farmland. I don't think that it would be a good base for visiting Santa Barbara, but it might work for visiting Solvang and the Santa Ynez Valley, but Solvang is probably a nicer location.

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Lompoc
Lompoc
California
Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara
California
Solvang
Solvang
California
Santa Ynez Valley
Santa Ynez Valley
113 Reviews
Santa Ynez, CA
Arizona
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for Scottsdale
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3. Re: Santa Barbara/LA honeymoon?

Congratulations on your upcoming marriage! It's an hour north of SB but either Pismo Beach or Avila Beach are small coastal towns with lower lodging costs and the things you are looking for but on a smaller scale than SB. Both towns have much charm and love tourists. If you do look at the Santa Ynez Valley, the town of Buellton will have the lower costs and it is right next to Solvang and Los Olivos.

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Pismo Beach
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San Luis Obispo County, CA
Avila Beach
Avila Beach
San Luis Obispo County, CA
Santa Ynez Valley
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Buellton
Buellton
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Solvang
Solvang
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Puget Sound...
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4. Re: Santa Barbara/LA honeymoon?

There is a Ramada Inn just north of town toward Goleta. We've stayed there before and it's older but decent, with beautiful landscaping and free breakfast. It's well within your budget so you might want to take a look. I think it's as close as you're going to get to downtown Santa Barbara on that budget.

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Goleta
Goleta
California
Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara
California
Santa Barbara...
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5. Re: Santa Barbara/LA honeymoon?

Between $150 and around $200, consider hotels like the Avania on Castillo Street or the Casa del Mar in SB's West Beach neighborhood. Castillo Street is a busy street which makes for lower prices, but it is a well located neighborhood for tourists - near the Harbor, Stearns Wharf, and State Street.

On the East Beach side there is Cabrillo Inn, the Motel 6 #1, East Beach Inn or the Pacific Crest.

Otherwise, look on upper State Street at places like the Pepper Tree, Lemon Tree, La Quinta, Oasis, or Agave - more the daily living area, too far to walk to the beach, but very close by car or bus to downtown SB and the beach. Encina Inn by Cottage Hospital is acceptable.

Or out by the Calle Real Shopping Center at the South Coast Inn or the Good Land in Goleta - another daily living area, and easy to drive into SB. The Ramada by Turnpike Ave was mentioned, would be a good choice,but nothing to walk to except for the In n Out.

Carpinteria is a pleasant little town that is a 15-20 minute drive (w/o traffic) from SB. Ventura is a 30-35 minute drive and should be easier to find less expensive, better value at the low end hotels, but traffic can be messed up in between. Watch which neighborhood if you look in the Ventura area.

Lompoc and Buellton at 30 minutes drive away are a stretch, if your intent is to visit SB. There isn't much to do in those two towns, although nice country drives to get there. Lompoc isn't good for tourists.

Avila and Pismo are in a nice area on their own, picturesque, but too far away (2 hours) from SB, if SB is your priority. This part of the Central Coast would make for a pleasant mellow holiday and gets you close to the southern end of the classic Big Sur, Hearst Castle, Piedras Blancas sites.

Santa Barbara is a great place for the outdoors. The list is long - Anacapa Island, Santa Cruz Island, Santa Ynez Mountains, Paradise Road and the Santa Ynez River (rain needed), Camino Cielo Road, SB Botanic Garden, Lotusland, Nojoqui Falls (pray for rain), La Cumbre Peak, Knapp Castle, Painted Cave, Lizard's Mouth, Inspiration Point, Figueroa Mountain Road, Harbor kayaking...

http://santabarbarahikes.com/

http://islandpackers.com/

http://santabarbara.com/

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6. Re: Santa Barbara/LA honeymoon?

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