Skip to main content

Getaway Guide: Summerland

Getaway Guide: Summerland

A breathtaking landscape, unending adventures lurking at every corner, and people so magnetic you’ll want to make the whole city your BFF.


4 min read

September 23, 2021

Tiny, quaint, and oh so charming, Summerland will make you contemplate the big move. Don’t believe us? Go on a short getaway and test it out for yourself—‘pleasantly surprised’ doesn’t even begin to cover it. A breathtaking landscape, unending adventures lurking at every corner, and people so magnetic you’ll want to make the whole city your best friend. 

If you're looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, settle in for a relaxing stay in the seaside haven of Summerland.

Day 1


Driving from L.A. to this Santa Barbara enclave is going to take you about an hour and a half—and you’re in for quite a show too. Calling the scenery ‘alluring’ would be an understatement; high cliffs peer over townhouses, leaving them secluded, adding a touch of mystique. Soon, you’ll find yourself on Ortega Road, driving under the waving palms as you pass quirky pop-up shops.

Recomended businesses

Show me
Recommended Businesses near

Discover the best of California. Our recommended businesses are top-quality and are committed to their communities.

But before you jump to window shopping, we recommend leaving your luggage behind… Perhaps at the lovely Inn on Summer Hill? Offering a seaside atmosphere with the amenities of a boutique bed and breakfast, this Summerland hotel is nothing short of dreamy.

Get your surf culture and beach town fix featuring ocean waves, outdoor exploration, and local eateries.


You’ll quickly learn that life here is all about the beach. The city’s namesake, Summerland Beach, is directly accessible from Lookout Park—a delightful surprise perched atop the city’s cliffs. Trust us when we say that you won’t be able to grasp the park’s full potential until you actually enter it; from the outside, it actually looks quite unassuming. But, once you’re inside, you’ll find this grassy paradise features benches, picnic tables, BBQs, a children’s playground, and a volleyball court within its pristine premises. Another thing the park has going for it is the allure of Summerland Beach, waiting for you a little downhill and ready to reward your anticipation.

Santa Barbara’s Summerland Beach has dazzling waters that invite you in when wandering its wide sandy shores. The beach is actually one of the most popular local and tourist hotspots in Summerland, so expect to share the space with a few other beach bums.

But if you’re dead-set on having the ocean all to yourself, Loon Point is just a stone’s throw away. Offering near-isolation, this beach never stops feeling like you’re in on a secret; it’s a beautiful hidden gem filled with tide pools and surfers riding the waves in the distance.

Summerland is the only community on Santa Barbara's South Coast that offers romantic beach horseback rides. We think this chance is too rare to pass up. Los Padres Outfitters, which offers wilderness adventures, may arrange a sunset ride with a professional wrangler. Equestrian joy is the ultimate California experience. 

Hop from shop to shop; you’re sure to find a treasure or two after indulging in delicious meals at the many local restaurants.


Hungry yet? Summerland's eating scene is laid-back, as the name implies. Consider the Nugget Bar & Grill. A local staple, this eatery has been serving a juicy selection of burgers, salads, steaks, and seafood for generations. Eating here will really make you feel like a local surrounded by flavors that really make Summerland what it is; a magnetic destination that never fails to feel like home.

Of course, shopping is the next item on your schedule, and Summerland offers an excellent assortment. You begin at Lillie Avenue and Ortega Hill Road and continue until you come across a variety of antique sellers. Highlights include the nearly kaleidoscopic assortment of furniture at Mary Suding Antiques, the Bikini Factory for beach lovers, and Botanik for plant aficionados. Summerland Antique Collective provides a rich collection of antiques acquired from different sellers. Garde is a favorite among interior designers because to its exquisite collection of fabrics, paintings, and furniture.

If there’s one thing Santa Barbara County is known for, it’s getting outside and taking full advantage of nearly year-round sunshine.

Day 2 


Start your morning right with a cup of joe from Red Kettle Coffee—the spot for all-things artisanal; the coffee is made from locally roasted beans. If you’re the type of person that needs a bit of a sugar kick to wake up, the freshly baked goods are definitely up to the task.

And now that you’re full of energy, where better to get the lay of the (Summer)land than from Los Padres National Forest? Oh yes, the Romero Canyon Loop provides you with just the right amount of challenge without sacrificing any of nature’s bounty. The six-mile trail remains one of the most rewarding Summerland hikes. The climb starts off sunny and the descent is all about cooling off in the shade—just the way we like our hikes.


With all the things you’ve yet to discover in Santa Barbara’s Summerland, a light and casual lunch will be looking like your best option. For this, we recommend none other than Summerland Beach Cafe. This dog-friendly breakfast and lunch spot has both indoor and outdoor seating, boasting a few of the most mouth-watering items in the Greater Santa Barbara area. Their lunch menu is especially diverse, with juicy burgers, sandwiches, salads, and barbequed chicken tacos served in a style that’s aptly described by staff and clients as ‘the good kind of messy’. But if you’re a vegetarian or simply a fan of all things low-cholesterol, there’s plenty on the menu for you as well alongside traditional gluten-free options.

Next, get a respite from the SoCal sun by retreating to the Sacred Space, a den of Zen. This spiritual oasis is the kind of place you can spend hours admiring. It’s not your average boutique; you’ll find essential oils, books, and various treasures from all over the world. Relax in the lush gardens or enjoy tea service under the shade of a little hut sitting over a lily pond.

Meander down Lillie Avenue that's dotted with antique stores, cozy cafes, and locally owned shops punctuated by charming cottages.


The best way to bid Summerland a farewell—or perhaps more like a ‘see you later’—is at Feast at Field + Fort, by doing exactly what the name suggests. Set in a residential-style cottage on the east end of Lillie Avenue, the hybrid home interior shop and cafe offers an all-day menu full of breakfast boards, toasts, salads, and sandwiches. While you wait for your food to be ready, browse through the goods curated by interior designer Kyle Irwin, whose design studio is one floor up.

Need help with a home improvement project? Get a free quote today!

Enter Your Zip Code

Enter Your Zip Code

RELATED Articles

Discover More

fueled by the power of California love
We're committed to helping you discover the places, people and businesses that make our state Golden. Our online publication, updated daily, brings you all the content you need to live your California dreams. And that's just the beginning…
Purpose section
Purpose section