Central Coast Culinary Road Trip
PART THREE: Santa Barbara Region
A drive along the Pacific Coast Highway has been called the quintessential California experience and the way to discover one of the most scenic coastlines on the planet. Drink in the surroundings and taste your way along the following Central Coast wine trails which hold the promise of discovery—of beautiful countryside and coast, wines that tell you the stories of the land, and of the passionate winemakers.
California’s Central Coast is famous for its Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel, but that’s not all you’ll find in more than a dozen American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) stretching along the Central Coast.
SANTA BARBARA REGION is one of the most diverse wine-growing regions in the world and is home to more than 200 wineries and nine wine tasting routes, including the Urban Wine Trail in the Santa Barbara South Coast, estate wineries along the Santa Ynez Wine Trail, adjacent to Los Olivos, Solvang and Buellton wine trails. Taste Chardonnay and Pinot Noir on the Sta. Rita Hills Wine Trail or Lompoc Wine Trail. The Foxen Canyon Wine Trail offers a taste of the Santa Maria Valley, including the area’s famous tri-tip barbecue.
The Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail offers novices and aficionados alike the opportunity to learn about and taste wines of many different varietals and styles crafted from some of Santa Barbara County’s most renowned vineyards. The trail features more than 30 tasting rooms in the cities of Santa Barbara, Goleta, Summerland and Montecito, most conveniently located within walking distance of each other in downtown Santa Barbara, the Funk Zone and near the beach. Notable new wine-tasting rooms along the Urban Wine Trail include: Margerum Wine Co. in Santa Barbara, Folded Hills in Montecito, and Samsara Wine Co. in Goleta.
- NEW – ANNUAL EVENT – Santa Barbara Culinary Experience (March) – New in 2020, the three-day city-wide event is an epicurean celebration of Santa Barbara’s abundant culinary resources, from farms and ranches to vineyards and oceans, held in partnership with the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts. (The late TV celebrity and cookbook author Julia Child retired to Santa Barbara in her later years.) Programming includes local food and libations tastings; cooking classes; Q-and-As with local and nationally recognized chefs, winemakers and farmers; tours of area wineries; and more. Julia Child-inspired events, menus and hotel packages also will be offered.
- NEW – The prestigious Michelin program recognized 12 Santa Barbara restaurants in its inaugural 2019 Michelin Guide California. Ten received “Michelin Plate” designations, which highlight good food, and two were recognized as “Bib Gourmands” that provide value for less, representing a significant honor and acknowledgement of the evolution of Santa Barbara’s culinary scene. The guide also recognized Santa Barbara’s wine, the Funk Zone and area farmers markets, among other attractions.
- The Santa Maria Valley Taco Trail: Follow the Santa Maria Valley Taco Trail to indulge your love of authentic delicious tacos at taquerias and Mexican restaurants across the valley.
See Central Coast Culinary Road Trip: PART ONE – Monterey Bay Region
See Central Coast Culinary Road Trip: PART TWO – San Luis Obispo Region
See Central Coast Culinary Road Trip: PART FOUR – Ventura Region
Download or request a Central Coast Visitors Map here.
To further assist you in planning your Central Coast Road Trip, check out this helpful Itinerary here.
Discover all of California’s Central Coast Regions here.