Malibu Coast, CA July 2021

Page 21

ARTICLE AND PHOTOGRAPHY MELISSA CURTIN

AFTER MORE THAN TWO YEARS APART DUE TO THE

get my mom interested in the sea urchin, but she sure

PANDEMIC, I FOUND MYSELF REUNITING WITH MY

loved the fresh mussels, clam chowder and crab cakes!

EAST COAST MOTHER IN SANTA BARBARA. Known

Afterwards we only had to cross the pier to board

as the American Riviera, Santa Barbara boasts tempera-

a 70-foot vessel with Celebration Cruises’ Azure

tures in the 70s year-round and has about 80 cloudy

Seas for an hour and a half sunset sail. We huddled to

days a year. Even though we arrived during May gray,

keep warm, captivated by the Santa Barbara coastline,

that wasn’t going to stop me from showing my mom

where the Santa Ynez mountains meet the sea.

the beauty of Santa Barbara, including its red-tile roofs,

The next day we walked a few minutes from our

classic Spanish Revival architecture, culinary delights

hotel to the Funk Zone, an exciting area with 13

and coastal beauty. Recently included on Conde Nast

blocks bustling with eateries, wine tasting rooms,

Traveler’s “Hot List” for travel destinations in 2021, Santa

street murals, artist studios, art galleries, craft brew-

Barbara was the only California locale mentioned.

eries and boutique shops. Once a manufacturing hub

We checked in to The Eagle Inn, located a block

in the 19th century, this area is home to the city’s

from the beach. The quaint Spanish Mission-style

urban wine trail, a self-guided tour of over 20 tasting

B&B features private balconies and patios and in-room

rooms representing Santa Barbara County wines. Sip

fireplaces and spa tubs. Each morning complimentary

a sparkling wine tasting flight at Riverbench, craft

made to order breakfast arrived at our door. From this

brews from Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co., or arti-

West Beach neighborhood my mom admired the sur-

sanal spirits from Cutler’s Artisan Spirits, the city’s

rounding homes as we walked a short distance to the

first distillery since Prohibition.

historic Stearns Wharf pier above the sprawling beach.

Stroll over to Lucky Penny for lunch where actual pen-

Completed in 1872, it became the longest and deepest

nies cover the restaurant exterior. Place your sandwich,

water wharf between San Pedro and San Francisco,

salad or pizza order and dine outside on a muffaletta or

serving passenger and freight shipping needs for over a

wood-fired pizza, like The Salty Surfer with prosciutto

quarter of a century. Our mission was to dine at the end

and pineapple. Don’t miss the FROSE or Italian sodas

of the pier at one of Julia Child’s favorite lunch spots—

in flavors like pistachio honey and blood orange. For a

the Santa Barbara Shellfish Co. where local uni arrived

fancier dinner in the Funk Zone, try Spanish tapas and

plated over raw sea scallops and sliced limes. I couldn’t

craft cocktails at Loquita.

CONTINUED >

CityLifestyle.com/MalibuCoast

21