Our family travel series continues with Valley-based boy mom and lifestyle contributor Nadine Bubeck (aka Mama B.). This month, we’re venturing to Santa Barbara, California, where you’ll truly escape at an ocean-front resort.
Where to stay:
The Ritz Carlton Bacara is an overly impressive property 15 minutes north of downtown Santa Barbara. The resort flaunts everything you could possibly desire: pools, restaurants, a kid’s club, and most of all… a picturesque view.
Reserve a room that overlooks the ocean. Our one-bedroom partial ocean view suite was perfect to accommodate our family of five- the kids literally had their own room (aka- their “playroom”), in addition to plush amenities like a fireplace, oversized tub, and big balcony. The ambiance captures the vibrancy of Santa Barbara and the elegance of the Mediterranean.
Where to play
The best part about staying at Bacara is you don’t have to leave. There’s plenty to do…
First, the pools. They’re stunning and overlook the Pacific. Lined with cabanas and poolside service, your kiddos will splash all day long. (Mine prefer sitting on the hot tub steps as well.)
Next, the beach. Depending on tide, there is plenty of sand for playing (and sunbathing). The exclusive setup is literally against the property, making things very convenient for families. You might just see a whale or dolphins! (We did!!)
To savor some adult time, drop your kids off(!!!) at the Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment program (AKA, the amazingly educational and fun kid’s club). Children 5-12 can partake in numerous activities and adventures, including art projects, hikes, beach exploration, and more. Why I love this program: the counselors instill in your kids a love and curiosity for the ocean and environment!
The property also has numerous grassy areas equipped with outdoor games like Cornhole. This, in addition to the resort’s paved trails and walking paths.
Finally, the spa. Ditch the kiddos for some personal QT. Indulge in a rose massage (ask for Erin!) topped with hot stone and a foot massage. The spa amenities include a eucalyptus steam room (my personal fave).
Note: The resort is very spacious so you can utilize the complimentary golf cart service.
Where to feast:
While you can always opt for room service, I highly recommend leaving the kids at the night program for a parent’s night out.
Bacara’s fine dining experience, Angel Oak, pushes the limits of the traditional steakhouse. Food is paired with vino, and all seats come with an ocean view. Must-gets include: The Blue Crab Cake, Smoked Mushrooms, and locally caught Abalone.
What to bring:
Santa Barbara flaunts mild to warm sunny weather year-round, so pack sparingly, with an added light layer for evening. Bring sandals for the pool, and workout gear for the 24-hour fitness center, tennis courts, yoga/Pilates classes, and more.
Shop offers! There are many packages that include room, parking, hotel/spa credits, breakfast, wine tastings and more.
Written by: Nadine Bubeck
Nadine Bubeck is a TV Personality, author, lifestyle blogger, and fashion designer, having founded Mama B. Designs: boutique apparel that benefits March of Dimes. The Valley-based parenting contributor is a blessed boy mom times three. (nadinebubeck.com)