Summerland, California, is one of Santa Barbara County’s secret gems. This quaint location is a perfect spot for beachcombing, antiquing, shopping, dining and enjoying the scenery of the Pacific Coast.
Whether you are a Santa Barbara local, or you are vacationing or coming to look at Santa Barbara real estate, make sure to visit Summerland, a quintessential California beach town.
What to Do In Summerland
When you arrive in Summerland, find a spot to park on Lillie Avenue. Enjoy a walk on this picturesque street with cozy cafes, restaurants, locally-owned shops, interesting antique stores, and charming cottages. The town’s central beach is framed by Lookout Park (also a must-visit), where you can take in breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.
There are great vacation rentals within a short walking distance of shops and restaurants for your stay. This lovely two-bedroom guesthouse is located on a quiet dead-end street right next to scenic hiking trails. Or escape to this charming two-bedroom cottage that is just a short walk from Summerland Beach and Park. If you need a larger house, this Summerland vacation rental one is higher up the hill, but the views are SO worth the extra walking (and you get a great workout going up and down the hills!)
Another choice is to book a relaxing stay at the Inn on Summer Hill. You’ll love the attention to detail throughout this lovely bed and breakfast, and every room has an ocean or garden view.
Visiting Summerland – Day One
Begin your first full day in Summerland at Field and Fort, a unique blend of cozy cafe and bespoke home decor shop. While you wait for your order (they have great avocado toast, scones, or an English muffin breakfast sandwich) browse through their lovely retail section. You’re sure to find something extraordinary that perfectly reflects the Santa Barbara lifestyle (and will look great in the new vacation home you are now considering purchasing)!
After breakfast, head over to the Bikini Factory, a local institution since 1980 that is a local favorite. You’ll find hundreds of styles — including Brazilian brand bikinis, bikini separates, hats and coverups and one-piece bathing suits — to fit any taste or body type.
Now that you have new swimwear, it’s time for the beach! Enjoy a walk and picnic at Lookout Park. Right after you park, you will take in cliff-top views of the coastline.
After your time at the beach, head back to your cozy accommodations for a shower and a quick nap. Now, you’re rested and ready for your visit to the *best* sanctuary in SB — The Sacred Place. People from all over the world come to enjoy the serenity of this particular spot that features treasures that are historical, religious, or related to personal growth. There is nowhere else like it.
Next, take a relaxing walk back to your room to get ready for dinner at Summerland’s famous Nugget Bar and Grill. The Nugget is known for their drinks, burgers, steaks, seafood, and salads…and presidential visits (they have photos inside to prove it!) The service is friendly, and the portions are generous, drinks are strong.
After your meal, take a late evening stroll through Summerland’s downtown to window shop in preparation for your home decor and antiquing adventure tomorrow.
Visiting Summerland – Day Two
After a restful night, enjoy a hearty breakfast at the Summerland Beach Cafe, one of the best breakfast spots in Santa Barbara county, which offers the best bacon you’ve ever tasted. If you’re hungry, be sure to try the Two, Two and Two — two pieces of French toast, two slices of bacon, and two large eggs. And don’t miss the cafe’s fresh-squeezed orange juice; it’s incredible! SBC (what the locals call it) is also dog-friendy and has tons of outside seating.
Next stop – Botanik, where you’ll enjoy a lush and lovely collection of home decor. Dipped in moss and alive with greenery for your indoor plants, Botanik’s moss pots are a must-have. You’ll also want to purchase one of their reusable organic cotton produce bags for your next stop.
Get in the car for these next shop stops!
You won’t want to pass up a visit to the nearby Sweet Wheel Farms produce cart. You can choose from a selection of fresh fruit to snack on throughout the afternoon and to take home with you tomorrow. Everything at the stand — including the beautiful flowers and fresh bread — is organic and locally sourced. (Don’t forget to use your new produce bag!)
Porch, known for its slogan “where shelter and nature converge,” is your next destination. The people at Porch are design experts, and you will love their sophisticated selection of textiles, furniture, and art for indoor and outdoor living.
If you’re ready to make a statement with your home furnishings, you can’t miss a stop at Garde. You’ll discover distinctive rugs, lighting, accents, furniture, textiles, scents, and objects that you simply won’t find anywhere else.
Time to head back to Summerland for the evening!
After all that shopping, you deserve a rest and a glass of wine. And how about enjoying it along with a spectacular ocean view at Summerland Winery’s Tasting Room?! With its charming front porch and beach-inspired decor, this tasting room exudes a warm and inviting vibe that typifies the Summerland experience.
Visiting Summerland – Day Three
Kick off the last day of your Summerland visit at Red Kettle Coffee, which serves up locally roasted coffee and hand-blended teas along with a daily selection of fresh baked goods. This quaint shop also supports the local community by selling handmade merchandise from more than 20 local vendors.
Another Summerland must-do is a visit to The Summerland Antique Collective. There are so many treasures to find here among the collectors’ intriguing individual stalls! The Collective stocks lighting, fine art, furniture, architectural elements, rare books, statuary, and outdoor items.
And next on your antiquing list is Mary Suding Antiques & Design, where you can browse a collection of mid-century modern, county, folk art, and architectural antiques, as well as unique items for the garden. There truly is something here for every home decor style and taste.
Visiting Summerland – A Few Last Must-See Highlights:
The Well – Stylish patio and indoor wares
A fairly new addition to Summerland, but a gorgeous and unique collection of decor to brighten and create a relaxing environment for any home.
Field + Fort – Essentials for elevated living
Half (delicious) cafe. Half beautifully curated luxury home accessories, furniture and kitchen supplies.
Antiques. Vintage. Bespoke. Home+Garden+Cafe. And a not-to-be-missed avo toast
order online for cafe pick up
The Sacred Space
A blend of zen, relaxation and manifestation. A place to be still, surrounded by mystique and serenity. Not to be missed.
Botanik – Lifestyle boutique
Located in a charming cottage in Summerland, Botanik is a destination for those that appreciate beautifully curated goods for the garden & home.
If you are interested in buying a home in Summerland or in Santa Barbara County, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!