This West Coast Train Route Has Been Enchanting Riders Since the ’70s


It’s easy to see why Santa Barbara is nicknamed the ‘American Riviera’—this coastal enclave is replete with natural splendor, yes, but with the added bonus of world-class accommodations, cuisine, and wellness amenities. The city’s cohesive style nods toward Mediterranean and Spanish-revival design influences that complement the golden Santa Ynez Mountains and deep blue Pacific Ocean. Thankfully, everything is more or less a 10-minute drive away, so jump right in with a spa booking at El Encanto, A Belmond Hotel, Santa Barbara (the Body Regeneration Treatment is handcrafted by celebrity facialist Linda Ross and ideal for a head-to-toe glow). Afterwards, stroll the grounds of the nearby Old Mission, which was founded in 1786. It’s often referred to as the ‘Queen of the Missions’ due to its distinct beauty, and highlights include the double bell towers, original adobe wall, Chumash-made altar, and grand Moreton Bay Fig Tree.

The Santa Barbara Mission.Photo: Getty Images

For a lunch with unparalleled views, book a table at one of the city’s most iconic and historic hideaways: San Ysidro Ranch. The property was named by Franciscan monks who occupied the land in the late 1700s and the hotel has been hosting guests since 1893 (Audrey Hepburn, Winston Churchill, and Jacqueline Kennedy have all stayed here).

San Luis Obispo

Photo: Getty Images



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