How to plan a Wine Tasting trip from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara
When I think of Santa Barbara, the first thing that comes to mind are the beautiful beaches and scenery. It lies between the Santa Inez Mountains and Pacific Ocean with a climate often compared to that of the Mediterranean. My friends and I often talked about wanting to go to SB to taste wine, a vineyard sounded exciting but expensive. Well, they have the most charming wine bars that will make your Santa Barbara dreams come true. We’ve created 5 steps to plan the perfect wine tasting trip from Los Angeles for under $100.
Take the Train
1. Remember the Amtrak Train? It can your best friend when looking to travel between Northern and Southern California. The prices are reasonable and you can enjoy the scenery without the hassles of driving. An average ticket from LA to Santa Barbara can cost $50-$60 round trip, there are stops at Union Station & Van Nuys. You will want to spend about 4-5 hours in town, so the earlier time the better. The 2-hour ride has some amazing things to see, my favorite would be the Strawberry Fields.
Food or Wine?
2. Once you’ve arrived, you’ll have a couple of ideas, food or wine? I would suggest eating before you leaving LA or pick up something yummy for the train. There are a few restaurants within walking distance, but there isn’t food sold inside the Wine Bars. You can also cab or bus it 5 min to downtown or the boardwalk. Most likely, once you realize that the first two Wine Bars are about 10 feet away, you’ll never leave the area.
The Urban Wine Trail
3. The first Wine Tasting rooms are directly across from the train, Kalyra by the Sea and Oreana Winery. All tastings in the area range from $8-$10 for 8 glasses or so. 3-4 tastings should keep you under the $100 budget, travel included. Grab a Wine Map and follow the Urban Wine Trail which includes a list of over 15 Wineries. click Here for a Full Listing.
4. The key to wine tasting in Santa Barbara is, grab a glass and taste because it’s wine time! There will be delicious array of selections to choose from, sweet, dry, citrus, you can have whatever you like. Along with the wineries, you will find live music and an engaging atmosphere amongst really, really happy locals and visitors. The beach is in walking distance, yes there are tastings there too, so enjoy the view.
Santa Barbara Sunset
5. The best thing about taking the train, is the relaxing ride back. Make sure to pay attention to the time, the last train generally leaves around 6-7pm. Once you’ve boarded, enjoy your trip back to Los Angeles while watching the Santa Barbara sunset over the pacific ocean.