How to Have the Perfect Wellness Weekend in Santa Barbara

The Spanish Garden Inn is just one of many options for those looking for a rejuvenating wellness weekend in Santa Barbara.
The Spanish Garden Inn is just one of many options for those looking for a rejuvenating wellness weekend in Santa Barbara. Photo courtesy of Spanish Garden Inn
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Natural scenery, fresh food at every corner, and calming California vibes make Santa Barbara the ideal location for a rejuvenating wellness weekend. Treating yourself to two or three days focused on nutrition, fitness, outdoor time, and therapeutic healing in scenic Santa Barbara could be just what your mind and body need to reboot.

Rest Well

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Finding a relaxing spot to start the day and unwind in the evening is the first step to planning the perfect wellness weekend in Santa Barbara. A true wellness getaway merits staying in a tranquil setting where you can get the rest you need to recharge and settle into a healthy mindset. Try the luxurious Spanish Garden Inn in downtown Santa Barbara for a cozy accommodation with all the amenities needed for relaxation. With private gardens, in-room spa treatments, a heated pool, and inviting rooms complete with bathtubs, robes, and fireplaces, it’s hard not to fall on the bed and breathe a sigh of pure serenity.

The Kimpton Canary Hotel offers another option for peace and quiet in the heart of downtown. With an impressive list of amenities like rooftop yoga classes (yoga mats come standard with each room), complimentary bike rentals, a rooftop pool lounge, and access to a full-service gym and spa, this hotel is ideal for a wellness retreat.

For those who prefer to venture away from the bustle of downtown, try the elegant San Ysidro Ranch nestled in the Montecito Foothills. Guests can book a room, suite, or private cottage and stroll through the lavender gardens, dine at the resort’s two upscale restaurants, and take advantage of their full line of spa treatments.

Get Active

One of the cornerstones of wellness is an active lifestyle. A weekend getaway to Santa Barbara comes with the opportunity for rejuvenating workouts like beachside yoga, stand-up paddleboarding, biking around town, or hiking in the nearby mountains.

You can choose from more than a dozen yoga studios in Santa Barbara. The bright and colorful Yoga Soup studio downtown offers classes for yogis of all levels, including a mid-day reset session where you can use the studio space for your own self-guided practice ($5). For a hot or warm yoga session with an ocean view, drop into the Evolation Yoga studio in Summerland (10 minutes south of Santa Barbara).

Stand-up paddleboarding provides another great way to get a workout and spend some time out on the water at one of Santa Barbara’s beaches. The calm swells at Santa Barbara Harbor, Goleta Beach, and Summerland Beach make for excellent paddling waters in the area.

With convenient locations in Santa Barbara Harbor and Goleta Beach, Paddle Sports Center is a one-stop shop for renting SUPs, paddles, floatation devices, and sit-on-top kayaks. For a more hands-on experience with SUP lessons or a guided tour, check out Stand Up Paddle Board Sports near East Beach.

Hikes in the area range from beachside strolls to full-day adventures in the surrounding Santa Ynez Mountains, while biking in Santa Barbara offers opportunities to cruise around town or take on steep, technical mountain bike trails.

Eat Well

After breaking a sweat, refuel your body with nourishing foods in true California style. Californians are well-known for seeking out wholesome, organic eats, and Santa Barbara’s cuisine is no exception.

Dive headfirst into conscious eating at Green Table in downtown Santa Barbara. Featuring a fully vegetarian, organic, and gluten-free menu, this restaurant takes a healthy twist on classic foods while also boasting the largest selection of matcha blends in California and an irresistible juice cleanse menu.

Find your way to Mesa Verde for a sophisticated dinner, lunch, or weekend brunch with vegetarian and vegan fare. Well-portioned meals, natural smoothies, cold-pressed juices, and elegant desserts make this healthy eatery feel more like an indulgence than a sacrifice.

For an afternoon pick-me-up, swing by downtown’s Kotuku Elixir Bar for a superfood smoothie, cold-pressed juice, loose leaf tea, a tonic elixir, or cold-pressed coffee. The menu is full of interesting combinations and herbal remedies, so ask the staff to point you in the right direction for your wellness goals.

Pamper Yourself

No wellness weekend would be complete without setting aside time for the mental and physical relaxation of a spa treatment. Downtown Santa Barbara’s Float Luxury Spa offers a full array of spa treatments and packages for treating yourself after a day well spent swimming, paddling, or hiking. With nine different massage varieties and several options for facials, full-body wraps, acupuncture, and exfoliating body scrubs, you can tailor your treatment for optimum health benefits.

For a unique spa experience, venture into the Santa Barbara Salt Cave located downtown. These two underground caves feature walls and ceilings made of Himalayan salt blocks with a soft backlit glow and crushed sea salt blanketing the floors. Join a 45-minute meditation session in the salt caves—where the rejuvenating atmosphere and simply breathing in the salt particles in the air are said to impart therapeutic benefits. For deeper relaxation, try a massage, salt scrub, or yoga session in the cave.

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