By Waleed Rashidi
Why You Should Go: The Old Yacht Club Inn, located in the East Beach portion of the city, is perfectly situated for those seeking a relaxing getaway that’s steps away from the shoreline and minutes from the downtown area via the MTD electric bus lines that provide rides for a quarter (plus free transfers—such a deal!). The Inn itself is a gorgeously appointed, expertly managed Craftsman-style home and was the first bed and breakfast in the city, originally opening doors nearly 30 years ago on a quiet street just off the main shoreline route, Cabrillo Boulevard. The rooms—comfy enough to make you want to take up permanent residence—are understatedly elegant, with charming touches to make a supreme stay well worth the nominal charge. Oh, and the breakfast is eons better than any Denny’s Grand Slam. Getting to Santa Barbara without a car involves both the Metrolink (to get out of the Inland Empire) and Amtrak train lines (which will put you right in Santa Barbara proper)—just be cognizant about matching your schedules between the two services.
Where To Eat: There are countless reasonably priced lunch spots in downtown along State Street, though Rusty’s Pizza on Cabrillo makes for an easy dining spot with a smashing ocean view. Living a dreamy Santa Barbara weekend can definitely be had for a lot less than one may realize, making it real hard to come home after it’s all over.
What Else To Check Out: Getting around the Santa Barbara area without your wheels is a total cinch: Travel via the aforementioned bus, rent bikes (the Inn provides them free of charge to its guests), hitch a taxi or just walk to your destination; everything you’ll need is within a few miles radius. Our suggestions? The Santa Barbara Zoo, situated walking distance from the Inn is inexpensive ($11 for adults, $9 for kids), clean, well organized and makes for the perfect daylong outing. Renting surreys, a popular item along the East Beach shore (starting at $25 for two hours via Wheel Fun Rentals), allows you to take in the entire length of the beach at your own pace.
Old Yacht Club Inn, 431 Corona Del Mar Drive, Santa Barbara, (805) 962-1277, www.oldyachtclubinn.com; Rooms from $99 per night.