After your 25-nautical-mile return to the coast, dock at Santa Barbara Harbor, a municipal marina with strong rock and concrete breakwaters (santabarbaraca.gov). After you tie up, stop by Brophy Bros. Clam Bar with great views of the harbor and the mountains (brophybros.com). A big bowl of their clam chowder, a half dozen little necks, along with an Arnold Palmer, makes a perfect lunch. Walk over to historic Stearns Wharf, home of the Ty Warner Sea Center (sbnature.org/twsc), where children and adults alike enjoy interactive exhibits and hands-on discoveries with sea creatures.
When you go ashore in Santa Barbara, also take the opportunity to ride the inexpensive electric shuttle bus that goes from the waterfront to downtown’s State Street. Along and branching off this main street you will find an excellent choice of restaurants, shops, museums, and galleries. If your weekend on the water made you hungry for a steak, then indulge yourself with dinner at Holdren’s (holdrens.com), a classic steakhouse that is perennially voted the best in Santa Barbara.
If you are not quite ready to depart, rent a car and venture into the coastal foothills of Santa Barbara wine country. The mountain vineyards grow classic grape varietals in an environment of cool ocean breezes and fog. This climate helps more than 100 wineries produce distinctive Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. Remember the movie “Sideways,” and you’ll have the idea.
While you are up in the mountains, stop in Solvang for breakfast. Solvang is a Danish-themed village with plenty of kitsch. It is a must—if only once in your life—to breakfast on æbleskivers: spherical Danish pancakes dipped in lingonberry jam and covered with powdered sugar.