Summer Fun in Santa Barbara


After graduating from UCLA, JIll traveled the world looking for unique destinations. She’s been writing about her travels for almost 30 years in various publications.

She writes a weekly restaurant review for the Beverly Press and Park LaBrea News. It’s inserted into the Los Angeles Times every Thursday and delivered to subscribers from Hancock Park to Beverly Hills, Hollywood Hills to the Wilshire Corridor.

Summer Fun in Santa Barbara



Driving up the coast to Santa Barbara, we reserved an overnight stay at the newest Kirkwood property Hideaway, located in an enhanced 1908 California Craftsman and carriage house.

The boutique nine-room bed and breakfast opened June, 2019 in the West Beach area blending “old world” charm with “new world” accoutrements. The transformation begins in the light and bright solarium featuring a striking artistic bird installation, among triple-height windows. This is where a daily European breakfast is served from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. It’s also an ideal work space during the day, and a relaxing lounge to rest with a glass of wine at sunset. A large skylight illuminates the slatted wood reception desk, fireplace and beach formal seating area. Nearby is a small kitchen where a personal chef prepares a different breakfast each day.


The decor of this boutique hotel by Michelle McClory, Kirkwood Collection’s design director, is filled with maritime artwork, among a coastal palette of white and sea foam green and blues. Six of the nine suites include a fireplace and separate seating area.


Walking up a flight of interior stairs to our guest room number 3, we noticed multiple windows, a high ceiling and open loft. The color palette of sand, cool white, grey and soft mint green is soothing to the senses. The air conditioned room has a large king size bed, 55” LED displays with Apple TV & DirecTV, JBL Bluetooth clock radio, writing desk with views of trees and the historic Queen Anne designed Fernald Mansion next door. In the closet is a dual-zone wine cooler mini-fridge.


We asked a Hideaway staff member for The Urban Wine Trail map to explore the nearby Funk Zone. It’s a five minute walk to a creative area filled with an eclectic mix of galleries, shops, restaurants, wineries, and breweries. Converted warehouses are decked out as wine tasting rooms for local wineries in the Santa Barbara County and Central California to display, sell and offer tastes to the public. Stopping inside the Pali Wine Co., we ordered two different tasting flights showcasing their two distinct labels. A five glass pour is $15 and they sell a gourmet cheese plate from the local C’est Cheese Santa Barbara. We sipped our first taste while enjoying slices of artisanal cheese, nuts, dried fruit and crackers.


This winery is one of the most informative in educating guests about what they are drinking. They offer colorful wine fan decks for guests to look at throughout their tasting. Similar to what painters use to select the right color for painting, the deck can be fanned out to show the dates of wine releases, names of the wines and tasting notes. They also state the alcohol percentage, vineyard, AVA, oak percentage, fermentation length, bottling date and how the wine pairs with food.


Pali Wines are named after different neighborhoods and popular spots in the beach town of Pacific Palisades. There is the Huntington, named after the celebrity enclave offering the best ocean views, and the Riveria, named after the upscale Riviera Country Club. These wines are blended and bottled nearby in Lompoc.


After our tasting, we took a stroll to the end of the Santa Barbara Stearns Wharf to take in the ocean and Channel Island views. Built in the late 1800s, it is one of the longest deep-water piers between San Francisco to Los Angeles. One side looks out towards East Beach and the other is filled with boats entering and leaving the harbor.

Walking back to Hideaway, we stopped to admire the eye-catching Fernald Mansion next door. This historic house is open to the public by appointment and staged with many of its original furnishings. It was saved in 1959 from demolition and moved to its present site by the Historical Museum.


Back in time for the evening social hour, we enjoyed a flute of Governor’s Cuvee Sanford California Champagne and a couple homemade cookies. Talking to the staff we learned that Kirkwood Collection has other properties in Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, and San Luis Obispo locations.


Next time we visit the American Riviera, we might take the two hour and fifteen minute Amtrak Surfliner train to Hideaway. The Santa Barbara train station is just two blocks away, and an ideal mode of transportation to skip freeway traffic and take in the views while riding along the stunning Pacific Coast.

For more information and reservations, go to or call (805) 965-2333. 420 W. Montecito Street, Santa Barbara.




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