The Complete Santa Barbara Bachelorette Party Guide

Enjoy a laid-back weekend full of wine and sun in this California paradise.
two young women walking down a street in santa barabara california
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allyson johnson the knot
Allyson Johnson
allyson johnson the knot
Allyson Johnson
Wedding Planning Contributor
  • Allyson writes articles for The Knot specializing in registries, wedding planning, and travel.
  • She’s written articles on such topics as best bachelorette and bachelor party destinations, top bridal shower games, and registry gifts.
  • Allyson has also written for WeddingWire,, Brit + Co., and Bustle.
Updated Nov 29, 2023
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If your bride loves a relaxing time, lots of sun, and plenty of wine, consider a Santa Barbara bachelorette party. On a three-day weekend here, you can take in the unique wine culture, set sail on the ocean, and enjoy plenty of pampering. What more could a bride ask for from a bachelorette destination?

Santa Barbara Bachelorette Party Planning in this Article:

Santa Barbara Bachelorette Party Ideas and Themes

A Santa Barbara bachelorette party is for the bride who wants to spend a relaxing weekend with her best friends. Whether she's looking for R&R at the spa, a chance to be by the water, or a tour of wine country without the Napa crowds, she'll be happy here. (Plus, The Knot Shop has plenty of gear to outfit your bride tribe in for the ultimate city photoshoot.)

For the Wine Lovers

Santa Barbara has its own wine culture, with equally delicious wines like you find at its California neighbors. But with a more casual and less-crowded scene, the more laid-back bride may be happier. Consider a private tour of wine country, or take in more than 20 tasting rooms in town on the Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail.

For the Beach Bum

There is plenty of fun in the sun to be had in Santa Barbara, and getting out on the water is easy, too. If the bride is more the adventurous type, consider a surfing lesson for the crew. If she'd rather relax with a drink in hand, charter a sailboat with a captain—plus a bar and snacks on board.

For Explorers

Santa Barbara offers plenty to see and do right in town. For starters, there's the eclectic art district known as the Funk Zone, where you can find multiple wine tasting rooms, cafes, and at exhibits. Don't miss a food tour here. There's also the Old Mission Santa Barbara (founded in 1786), historic Stearns Wharf (completed in 1872), the Santa Barbara Zoo (with more than 500 animals), and Lotusland, a botanical garden in Montecito with plenty of native species and lots of cacti.

Santa Barbara Bachelorette Itinerary and Activities

Santa Barbara Bachelorette Party itinerary - Explore the town
Gabriele Maltinti / Shutterstock

Take to the town on a weekend in Santa Barbara and be sure you get plenty of sun, wine, and fun in. Consider this three-day itinerary to really pack all the fun in on a Santa Barbara bachelorette weekend.

Day 1

Morning: Start the weekend with breakfast at Cajun Kitchen, where you'll find mimosas, breakfast burritos, and omelets and scrambles. Don't miss the French Quarter Omelet, a combo of avocado, hot sausage, mushrooms, and jack cheese.

Afternoon: Spend the afternoon getting to know Santa Barbara on a Social Cycle pedal tour. On this pedal-powered excursion, you'll ride by boardwalks, beaches, and the ocean while exploring some of Santa Barbara's best spots. Most of the ride will take you through the super fun Funk Zone, where you'll make stops at multiple wine tasting rooms, distilleries, and breweries.

Evening: For dinner, head to The Lark in the Funk Zone. (Explore some of the galleries you may have missed during the pedal tour first). Here you'll find a seasonal menu inspired by locally sourced ingredients. Menu options have included crispy Brussels sprouts, hand cut tagliatelle pasta, truffled polenta, southern fried chicken, and spiced apple pie. After dinner walk over to Test Pilot, a fantastic cocktail bar with creative options like the Juice Box (pisco, tropical fruit, lime, and sugar cane mix) and the Loose Cannon (scotch, Jamaican rum, vermouth, banana, and marshmallow). If you'd rather brews, nearby Topa Topa Brewing Co. is a great option for craft beer.

Day 2

Morning: Start your second day on the right foot with brunch at the Boathouse on Hendry's Beach. This waterfront spot has specialty cocktails—the "I Think I Lost My Headache" Michelada and a homemade Bloody Mary, for starters—along with breakfast favorites like corned beef hash, pork belly benedict, and organic granola bowls.

Afternoon: Spend the afternoon in wine country. On a private tour, you'll have luxury transportation to three to six vineyards (you pick the length), including small-scale operations and estates. Along the way your tour includes tastings and a picnic lunch.

Evening: Back in town—or on the beach—opt for a nontraditional happy hour. On a sunset cruise, you'll enjoy epic California views, a good drink, and the chance to spot whales, depending on the time of year. Back on dry land, head to dinner at the Lucky Penny, a fantastic spot for shareable plates like Italian prosciutto and burrata, paninis, and their famous wood fired pizzas in options like roasted Maitake mushroom and the Californian—made with basil pesto, lemon ricotta, marinated artichokes, and pine nuts. If you have it in you to keep the party going, make your way to Pearl Social, right next door, where you'll find an intimate cocktail lounge with live music and plenty of California flare.

Day 3

Morning: Start the day with Sunday brunch at Casa Blanca, serving everything from favorites like Belgian waffles to Mexican-inspired fare like huevos rancheros, breakfast enchiladas, and chilaquiles.

Afternoon: Today is all about the R&R. Choose between a yoga class in a Himalayan salt cave (spa treatments and cocktails can be made available to private parties) or a private spa day at the Float Luxury Spa where you can enjoy drinks as you lounge by the rooftop pool and outdoor fireplace in between treatments.

Evening: Finish the weekend with dinner at Finch and Fork, with menu options like marinated shrimp tacos, mushroom soup, and the hamburger made with bacon-onion jam, cheddar cheese, and secret sauce. Then stroll over to The Good Lion, a contemporary cocktail bar with crat drinks like the Pisco Resistance (pisco, blood orange, lemon, gin, and red wine) and the Coffee Negroni, made with gin, cold brew coffee, bitters, and vermouth.

Santa Barbara Bachelorette Scavenger Hunt

Make your activities even more memorable and turn your itinerary into a game with a Santa Barbara scavenger hunt. Distribute a list of activities with points awarded for each completed task and ask participants to provide proof with pictures. Download an editable template to customize the list and include local attractions and sights. Don't forget to give the winner a prize such as a souvenir or t-shirt.

Places to Stay in Santa Barbara for a Bachelorette Party

Santa Barbara can feel small if you stay centrally located, and many of the places you'll go will be in walking distance. Still, you may need to call Ubers or car services to get to wine country and the outskirts, so if you need larger accommodations outside of the city, you won't have trouble getting around.

Best Santa Barbara Bachelorette Hotels

The Kimpton Canary Santa Barbara: Ideal for those looking for a luxury stay in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara. Home to the Finch & Fork (one of your dinner spots) it also boasts the largest rooftop pool in the area.

La Playa Inn: An affordable spot that still offers Cali-vibes and lovely accommodations. Plus, a continental breakfast is included with your stay, which happens to be pretty close to the beach.

Riviera Beach House: A great option for mid-range budgets, and to be walking distance from the beach as well as the Funk Zone. Plus, the contemporary rooms add a certain fun appeal.

    Pro tip: The Knot has partnered with Hotel Planner to help you secure the best group hotel rate and get free hotel advice from an expert travel planner.

    Santa Barbara Bachelorette Party House Rentals

    VRBO Charming Historical Inn (Downtown Santa Barbara)

    There are plenty of housing options for a Santa Barbara bachelorette party, so check out Expedia, TripAdvisor, VRBO, Airbnb, Expedia, and Hopper Homes. Here are a few vacation rentals to consider booking for a group stay.

    Charming Historical Inn (Downtown Santa Barbara): Discover this exquisite historic home, ideal for a lavish bachelorette getaway of 16. With eight private suites each with their own bathroom, it's perfect for group gatherings. Just blocks away you'll find downtown Santa Barbara, the vibrant State Street and the beach. It costs an average of $1,800 per night.

    Retreat House (Summerland): Boasting stunning ocean views, chic interiors and easy beach access, this Summerland retreat is fab for bachelorette parties of up to eight guests. It has an open kitchen for entertaining, ample parking and is close to trendy shops, eateries and the scenic Santa Barbara Mountains. With four bedrooms and five bathrooms, it costs an average of $875 a night on VRBO.

    Private Home Minutes From the Beach (Carpinteria): Revel in this lush, three-bedroom, two-bathroom oasis which has a pool, hot tub and plenty of lounging areas to kick back in. With indoor and outdoor activities, spacious dining spots and a tranquil ambiance, it's a great setting for a bachelorette party of up to 10 guests. On average, this stay is $1,250 per night.

    Vacation Home With Ocean, Island & City Views (Eastside): If you're looking for a nurturing retreat to host a small bachelorette getaway, this VRBO stay is for you. With a private pool, hot tub, gorgeous views and nearby beach access, it's all you'll need for an unforgettable Santa Barbara girls' trip. It can accommodate up to four guests at an average of $345 per night.

    Pro tip: If you're looking to supplement your vacation rental stay with some hotel amenities such as a swimming pool or a fitness facility, you can secure Santa Barbara hotel day passes on ResortPass.

      Santa Barbara Bachelorette Party Nightlife

      Santa Barbara Bachelorette Party Restaurant - Lucky Penny
      Lucky Penny; Photo by Steve Cukrov / Shutterstock

      When planning your bachelorette party in Santa Barbara, you won't want to miss some of the hottest restaurants and bars in town. Here are our suggestions to get you started.

      Best Santa Barbara Bachelorette Restaurants

      Loquita Santa Barbara: Loquita is the perfect place to enjoy dinner with your bachelorette group. Pass around some Spanish tapas while sipping on craft cocktails or a glass of wine.

      Brophy Bros.: If you're looking for raw bar goodies, stop into Brophy Bros. They have a wide variety of clams and oysters with their cucumber lime relish, in addition to some cooked dishes like sea bass or swordfish, with one of their famous Bloody Mary's.

      Barbareño: Barbareño is known for their sizable wine list used to wash down their homemade desserts. If you're looking for coastal California cuisine, this is your spot, run by Executive Chef Julian Martinez and Chef de Cuisine Preston Knox.

      Best Santa Barbara Bachelorette Party Bars

      Shaker Mill: For local cuisine and bright, flavorful cocktails in a vibrant environment, check out Shaker Mill. They offer a variety of traditional cocktails like a Manhattan or an Espresso Martini, in addition to their spiked punches and sours, like the Porto Guava with rum, ruby port, guava, local citrus and cachaça.

      Test Pilot: For craft cocktails with an exotic, tropical influence, check out the tiki bar, Test Pilot. With fun drinks like the Jungle Bird with rum, pineapple, lime, and cacao-infused campari or the Spicy Mary with golden beet, blanco tequila, lemon, honey, ginger, pineapple, and citrus bitter, they have a long list to choose from.

      The Red Piano: For a different kind of vibe, explore the Red Piano. The local piano bar is a relaxed environment, serving wine, beer, and cocktails while the venue fills with beautiful live music, seven nights a week.

      Expert Santa Barbara Travel Tips

      When flying to Santa Barbara from NYC, American and United are good airlines to go with. There are some quick, 50 minute nonstop options to Santa Barbara from LA on United, as well, if you're coming from the West Coast. March until May, and again in the late fall from September to November are good months to visit Santa Barbara for generally good weather and modest crowds. Walking is the best way to get around Santa Barbara. The majority of the entertainment, shopping, and restaurants are within a few miles in the downtown area.

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