How to Plan the Perfect California Road Trip—and Where to Stay

Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, a.k.a. the American Riviera, is a slice of paradise on the central California coast. Downtown is dotted with white stucco buildings that infuse a feel remnant of the region's past colonization by Spain.

Today, upscale shops sell handcrafted accessories and vintage wares. The burgeoning zone is filled with wineries. Hungry? Make a reservation at one of the many excellent restaurants.

If you want to be in the heart of the action, book a stay at Hotel Californian. Set just one block from the vibrant waterfront, this historic property—which was recently revamped—wows with its modern decor reminiscent of ancient North West Africans', soaring ceilings, and sumptuous king-size beds. There’s also a hammam-inspired spa along with a beautiful ballroom and event lawns.

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