Santa Barbara | Weekend Trip

Santa Barbara | Weekend Trip

We flew in on a three-day weekend getaway to explore the Santa Barbara. We got in Thursday night and were staying in Solvang


A while ago I had read an article about places in the US that feel like other parts of the world. Solvang was a town that was meant to feel like Danish as many of the people that initially migrated there were of that origin. We got in at night and the town really is stunning and beautiful with its Bavarian style architecture. Driving through the town is well worth the side trip if you are in the area.



Our Santa Barbara | Itinerary

The following is our experience and may not be representative of your experience.

Hopefully you have a better one!




  •  Breakfast
  •  Solvang
  •  Emu Feeding
  •  Chumash Casino
  •  Pastries



  • Hearst Castle
  • Beach



  • Butterfly Park
  • Brophy Bros



We woke up early and headed to breakfast. We had some Danish pancakes and sausage in addition to some morning pastries. We ate al fresco in order to enjoy the ambiance of the town and went for a morning walk around the town. Since we are lazy we immediately jumped on the horse drawn carriage and the town trolley. The town isn’t huge so two hours later we had been throughout the town.



We headed to nearby Nojoqui Falls park, which had a waterfall within a 30 minutes hike. The area around Solvang is very picturesque with rolling green hills and winding roads. California was in a drought at the time so the waterfall was more of a slip than a fall. Just outside of Solvang is an emu farm so we headed there next. You get to buy a bowl and get up close and personal with the emu. I really didn’t think this was going to be fun but it turned out to be really cool. The emu get really close, you get to see some of the babies and even an emu fight now and then.



The last thing we wanted to do in the area was visit the casino and see if we couldn’t have Solvang pay for the trip. Lucy went straight for the slots as she has a system. She puts money in and if she’s lucky she will get some of it back. I believe I know how to play blackjack so that’s my game of choice. I lost, I lost fast and I lost a lot. The dealer was actually making fun of me, mainly because he was flirting with Mrs. “I just turned 21” and all I got for my birthday was a brand new pair. I got a pair too, a pair of sixes and sevens the whole time I was playing. I could see Lucy and she hadn’t gone through our gambling budget and I wasn’t about to go over and get laughed at so I walked around the casino. I ended up at an empty roulette table and I had enough to play three hands. The dealer seems disinterested but she took my money for the first two hands. On the third roll I actually got my number to come up and she was shocked that I won. I was shocked too; the win paid about 30 to 1 so I turned my 5 dollars into 150 and more importantly covering my blackjack losses.


We returned to Solvang at night and walked the town again as it really feels like a quaint Christmas town with all the lighting at night. A very romantic spot if you’re into that whole love thing. We grabbed some pastries and called it a night. The only issue with Solvang is that because of nearby universities most of the restaurants are new American fusion and you do lose some of the charm but there are plenty of spots to get your fill of sausage and sweets.





Since we were in the area we drove up to Hearst Castle. Before heading to the castle we pulled over on a strip of beach that was covered with elephant walruses. Huge massive walruses as far as the eye could see, they didn’t do much but it really is something to see.


We then headed up to Hearst Castle which you take a bus from the welcome center to get to. We bought one of the tour packages that they recommend for first timers.

This place goes to show what you can do when you have a ton of money and an appetite for classical styling. You can really spend a three-day weekend here as it has wonderful views and just the sheer size and beauty of the grounds. We toured the inside of some of the rooms and it really is hard to grasp how much money and effort went into making this place. It really is hard to imagine how much more decadent a place could be. The place combined traditional classical architecture but also included the architecture of the region. I am not sure if it is the size of the place or if we went on a good weekend but the place never felt crowded. We hope to return one day and take the rest of the tours.



We didn’t have much time so we got up early and headed to a butterfly park in Santa Barbara. Unfortunately we missed the migration but the nice thing about this park is that you walk through lush green fields that lead to a cliff that oversees the Pacific Ocean. We found a trail that lead us down to the beach and took a nice relaxing barefoot walk along the beach. We then headed to our favorite restaurant in the area Brophy Bros that has the best seafood in the area and was also the place I learned I love clam chowder. We walked around the area looking at shops and things and ended a relaxing three-day weekend in Santa Barbara.



~   Happy Travels!   ~

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