We Love You, Santa Barbara


These days, lots of places in Southern California market themselves as “dog-friendly” but in fact what they really mean is, they would reluctantly allow dogs only in certain areas in their establishments if it would attract more customers. It’s misleading but also is disappointing if you go to a restaurant and find this out. Sometimes, dogs can’t even sit with their owners on the patio at a restaurant. They have to be on the street outside of the patio.

On the contrary, Santa Barbara was a truly dog friendly town and I loved exploring it with Xena. We got in town right before the busy lunch time as planned. Our first stop was Metropulos Fine Foods on E Yanonali St. I got us a cozy table in the corner away from the busy part of the outdoor patio of the restaurant. Here, you order inside and they bring the food out to you. Food was as good as the reviews and the patio had a laid-back, friendly atmosphere.

Xena displays an excellent ‘sit’ hoping she can get a piece of my turkey sandwich.

The next stop was Arroyo Burro beach. I read good reviews about this dog beach so I decided to check it out. We didn’t check the tide schedule before we went so what we saw was a small beach. It was fine by me because the beach wasn’t crowded. I liked the free parking but what’s up with all the washed up seaweed? They were everywhere! And they had hundreds of tiny flies (they didn’t bite but it was so gross). Xena didn’t seem to mind though. She inspected almost every single one of seaweed piles. But.. since I am the driver, no thank you.. Huntington dog beach will remain as our go-to beach.

Once we had our fill at the beach, we headed to Beach House Inn on W. Yanonali Street. The courtyard was quaint and welcoming. The owner welcomed both of us and gave us a key to the room (lucky number) #7. It seemed everyone who stayed there was travelling with a dog. $10 pet fee per pet per night is very reasonable and the location was great – two blocks from the beach. The room was very spacious and clean. Even with all the dogs staying at the place, it was quiet and peaceful at night. I could see why this place got 5 bones on BringFido.com.

beach house inn
(Photo: Beach House Inn website)

Within walking distance – in my book, that means less than 0.5 miles – I was able to find a lot of things to do. Gosh, what would I do without Yelp! Oh, how does wine tasting sound? Yep, definitely! I changed in to something cute and appropriate for wine tasting then we headed out. Municipal Winemaker was a truly dog-friendly place. Xena was allowed inside and off-leash. Paola at Municipal Winemaker was just awesome! She was attentive to both of us entire time we were there. She welcomed Xena with a dog biscuit and Xena showed her that she can do ‘shake’ (which earned her another biscuit!) I had so much fun chatting up with Paola and tasting their summer collection. She even poured me their Zinfandel and Syrah (not part of their summer collection) to taste. I ended up buying both bottles! $12 for 5 tasting. Well, in my case, 6 tasting. Everyone was friendly to Xena. Some customers even took some pictures of her wandering around the tasting room to show their friends. 🙂

Wine tasting made me hungry. We walked to a Thai restaurant to pick up my dinner and came back to Beach House Inn. West Beach neighborhood is quaint. I will definitely go back! Next day was reserved for hiking. I was looking forward to checking out a new trail. I will save the hiking experience at Jesusita Trail for another post. You know I have to have a separate post for hiking. 🙂

Even though I brought Xena’s bed on the trip, she wanted to be on the bed with me. I think she was a little bit anxious, being in a new place and all. Ok.. just this time.. (probably not true ;-)) We had a fun day, we went to bed happily. Xena started to snore softly before I felt asleep.

2 comments on “We Love You, Santa Barbara”

  1. Hi Jamie. I’m really enjoying reading your blog. It’s fun to see where you’re going and what you’re doing. As usual Xena looks so cute, you have a real knack for writing. keep it up!

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