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Getaway Guide: Goleta
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Getaway Guide: Goleta

Gather your crew and don your best swimsuits, a fun trip to Goleta is all you need to bid the summer farewell in style.

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5 min read

August 17, 2021

Goleta was incorporated as a city in 2002, after a long period as the largest unincorporated populated area in the county.

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The 1,500-foot pier in Goleta Beach County Park provides boaters, fishermen, and families out for a stroll fantastic views of the Pacific.
Located on the Calle Real strip in Goleta, Outpost celebrates the diversity of SoCal in an approachable atmosphere. Photo courtesy of Outpost.

Evening

At this point, your stomach must be rumbling already. The small town of Goleta packs a big punch when it comes to dining, so stay on theme and head to Outpost to enjoy Southern California-inspired cuisine. The restaurant at The Goodland hotel serves a laid-back beach fiesta in your mouth in a modern and stylish setting. Think bao buns, fish tacos, ocean-to-plate entrees, and ceviches, accompanied by delicious drinks—yum!

Returning back to the hotel after dinner, watch as the sun sets over the ocean and gives the charming town of Goleta a romantic glow. The beach, sun, and tasty eats of the day will definitely have you feeling worn out at this point, so nothing will feel as satisfying as sinking into a bed of fluffy pillows, listening to the sounds of the crashing waves in the distance.

The area of present-day Goleta was populated for thousands of years by the native Chumash people.

Day 2

Morning

Both of the Goleta hotels we mentioned offer wonderful breakfast options you definitely won’t be able to resist. But, if you’d rather sleep in and have breakfast later, Cajun Kitchen Cafe is your friend. This comforting cafe boasts a great selection of breakfast plates, as well as family meals that’ll satisfy more than a few stomachs.

With full energy and a good night’s sleep, you’re fully ready to tackle a scenic hiking trail. From mountainous treks to charming town paths, Goleta has something to offer for hikers of all levels. To walk through open spaces filled with beautiful wildflowers, make your way to Ellwood Bluffs. You’ll find miles of recreational trails for hiking and biking and enjoy gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean. For a lakeside adventure, head to the beautiful Lake Los Carneros which features an easy one-mile walk all around the lake.

But, if you’re more of a biker than a hiker, you’ll love the Goleta Obern Trail. The route starts and ends at Goleta Beach, providing easy parking and all the amenities you need such as water fountains and restrooms before riding off. The flat trail in its entirety is 21 miles. As you advance further, you’ll see lemon groves, old Chumash villages, and views of the ocean before ending back at Goleta Beach where you started.

Goleta occupies the coastal plain between the Santa Ynez Mountains, the principal mountain range of southern Santa Barbara County, and the Pacific.

Afternoon

You’re now ready for another deliciously organic meal. Jane at the Marketplace is a popular local spot that serves American bistro fare with European influences. Everything on the menu is delicious, and the salad bowls and sandwiches are especially delicious for lunch.

Next up on the itinerary of things to do in Goleta is experiencing its roots. While this coastal town wasn’t actually incorporated until 2002, it does have a vivacious and rich history you’d want to learn about. Of all the museums in Goleta, the most popular is perhaps the South Coast Railroad Museum. This museum will send you on a train trip to the past and show you all you need to know about the history, technology, and adventure of railroading in California.

Goleta is a safe and active community that prides itself on the high quality of life available to its residents.

Evening

Any trip is a good trip for a spa day in California, but Goleta is an especially awesome place to unwind and bask in the serenity of your surroundings. The Spa at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara is as luxurious as can be. Set above the calming blue waters of the Pacific, this spa offers every treatment imaginable such as a redwood sauna, eucalyptus steam room, fireside lounge areas, adults-only pool, jacuzzi, and a rooftop terrace.

After your day of exploration and relaxation comes to an end, it’s time to spend one last night in beautiful Goleta. You’ll feel like the weekend passed all too quickly, and daydreaming of more trips to this coastal town will be all too common. But we don’t think this is goodbye; it’s definitely a “see you soon!” 

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