Where and What to Buy During This Holiday Seasonby GARETH KELLY Designed by AVA TALEHAKIMI
After a couple of years of enduring end-of-year odd ness, 2022 is finally feeling somewhat closer to normal as we pop our heads back out into the world and interact with fellow humans just in time for the holidays.
Although not quite fully behind us, the pesky pandemic appears to be waning, if only to be replaced by uncomfort able inflation and stubborn supply chain issues. But those challenges are perfect reminders that the best way to support our community is to shop local and reconnect with our favorite stores and their owners.
The SantaBarbaraIndependent’s handy-dandy 2022 festive shopping guide will help you navigate stores you’ve loved for years, some surprising new ones, and everything in-between around this slice of paradise we’re fortunate enough to call home.
Go forth, shop, and this year, remember to be extra jolly!
There’s no better place to start your festive shopping than along the reinvigorated State Street. Ease into things with a trip to Cat Therapy (cattherapysb.com) as you peruse their feline-themed wares such as tees, hoodies, and more while cats roam free around you. Check out the impressive window display at Anthropologie (anthropologie.com), home to the always-sought-after festive Capri Blue Fir & Firewood Jar Candle
At Seaside Makers (thegrapeseedcompany.com/seaside-makers-shop), find artisanal gifts, apothecary, and sunscreen along with gift boxes, hip flasks, and vintage Santa Barbara magnets. Meanwhile, over at the Urban Flea Market (santa-barbara-urban-flea-market.business.site), an assortment of mid-century, antique, and vintage art, clothes, décor, guitars, records, and even Western boots can be yours.
No festive visit to State Street is complete without popping one’s head into World Market (worldmarket.com) for tree ornaments, culinary treats from across the globe, or a pack of unusual beer for your favorite uncle. One-of-a-kind home furnishings are all the rage at Habitat Home & Garden (habitathomeandgarden.com), and finally, shop while doing good at Unity Shoppe (unityshoppe.org) for all your thrifty finds and holiday toys and gifts.
SEASON OF GIVING
Visit the Santa Barbara Museum of Art Store this holiday season. Shop a broad range of uniquely artful gifts, including elegantly crafted jewelry, books, toys, and home décor from international and local designers. Also, find SBMA signature items, annual holiday ornaments, and notecards. Support the Museum and shop local. Shop online now at www.sbmastore.net.
MUSEUM STORE HOURS
Tuesday – Saturday 10:30 am – 6 pm Thursday 10:30 am – 8 pm Sunday 10 am – 5 pm 1130 State Street • Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Firmly planted in the downtown shopping scene, Idyll Mercantile (idyllmercantile.com) will help you find the perfect house plant, cool chic prints, and festive cards, often to the spinning beats of an in-house deejay while you shop. Swing by the Organic Soup Kitchen (organicsoupkitchen.org) for tasty soups while also helping those battling cancer, chronic illness, and financial hardship.
Take a peek inside Lotus Boutique (thelotusboutique.com) for men’s and women’s clothing, jewelry, or perhaps some spiritual items such as tarot cards or crystals. Satisfy your gastronomic cravings at the Cheese Shop (cheeseshopsb.com), an absolute festive must for decadent gourmet offerings of cheese, party platters, and a selection of meats.
All of that will need to be washed down, so visit Renegade Wines (renegadewines.com) to peep through their extensive wine list, or mosey on over to Meritage Wine Market (santabarbara.meritagewinemarket .com) for advice from their in-house sommeliers. Get your groove on at The Story (ninaqstyle.com/the-story), where vintage attire is curated by stylist Nina Q ( instagram.com/ninaqstyle ) and collab orations occur with the iconic Hammies (hammies.com) brand.
Collections of California products, from gift boxes and soaps to books, nuts, and nibbles, are all lovingly created at the Santa Barbara Company ( santabarbara company.com). Make a final stop for wine and a panini at Olio Bottega (oliobottega .com) while browsing their retail section of Italian goods.
Make this holiday period ever more memorable with a fine piece of jewelry from Bryant & Sons jewelers (bryantandsons.com). Just around the cor ner at the Presidio, be sure to visit the Mujeres Makers Market (mujeres makersmarket.com/events) on December 3 and 4, where women of color are the sole vendors.
La Arcada Plaza
As the new kid down on the darling streets of La Arcada Plaza (laarcadasantabarbara .com), Catherine Gee (catherinegee.com) makes a splash with contemporary women’s clothing you’d find in Paris in the fall, St. Tropez in the summer, and everywhere else all seasons in between. The plaza is still home to our perennial favorite denim store Ace Rivington (acerivington.com), which is the place to get winter flannels or something from their new Madewell x Ace Rivington Collection.
Lewis & Clark (lewis-clark-ltd.myshopify.com) has the cutest tree ornaments, whimsical trin kets, vintage puzzles, and a whole Christmas collection of goodies, while Lucky Puppy Optical (luckypupoptical.com) clears things up with glasses for kids and petites, and as in-person parties return, visit BBJ La Tavola bbjlatavola.com) for specialty linens, napkins, overlays, and runners.
Santa Barbara Zoo.
Books are a great gift any time of year, but they’re even better over the hol idays, which makes now the perfect time to visit Chaucer’s Books (chaucers books.com) in Loreto Plaza. Just a few doors down, the golf lover in your life will enjoy something from GolfMax (the former Golf Klub, now under new ownership).
Skin Deep (skindeepsalon.com) offers a range of spa services, and your pets can experience joy as well with a stop by Sensational Pets (instagram.com/ sensational.pets).
Pandemic parklets persist in the Funk Zone, and Mony’s Mexican food (monyssb.com) is using theirs to expand into dinner hours while serv ing beer and wine. Swing by for a bite and a gift card. Cutlers Artisan Spirits (cutlersartisan.com) is a firm favorite with a range of impressive hand-crafted spirits and everything you need to drink them.
The Blue Door (thebluedoorsb.com) is still blue and still has three floors filled with treasures for your home of a modern or vintage persuasion, while The Shop Keepers (shopkeeperssb.com) is the place for curious goods for curious people such as Waxing Poetic Jewelry (shopkeeperssb.com/ collections/waxing-poetic), lavender chamomile bath soaks, or a Inouitoosh Fouta towel.
La Cumbre Plaza
Featuring wine, appetizers, and fun while you shop, a visit to A Crimson Holiday (acrimson holiday.com) in La Cumbre Plaza is a hometown tradition, open through December 31.
You’ll find unique gifts such as Lady Lazzarona Aprons (etsy.com/shop/LadyLazzarona) by Nicole Horstin, whimsical fused glass art by Karen Varela, micro-batch organic vegan choc olates from Menchaca Chocolates (menchacachocolates.com), hand-knit children’s items from Royanna Robertson (etsy.com/people/royanna robertson), and hand-blown glass by Chris Boroquez.
Sneak into Bristol Farms ( bristolfarms .com) for one of their delicious fresh-baked cookies, food items from around the world, or cheese and meats from their deli.
Saunter through Montecito to find the perfect gift for your prince or princess at Upstairs at Pierre Lafond (shopupstairs.com) with luxurious home décor, opulent bedding, art from Tilly Treuren (shopupstairs.com/tilly-treuren), and everything Wendy Foster (wendyfoster .com), plus a regal selection of wine and cheese downstairs in the deli.
At the Rosewood Miramar Beach (tinyurl.com/shop-miramar), rub shoulders with the nouveau riche while checking out The Webster’s (thewebster.us) ready-to-wear clothing from the likes of Alexander Wang and Givenchy. Complete your trip by gazing at meticulously crafted bangles, earrings, and brooches from storied Los Angeles jeweler Laykin et Cie (laykin.com) in the Manor House.
This year, Goleta businesses are making festive shopping easier with their Holiday Train ( Good LandGoodShopping.com), which is a digital gift card marketplace. Support the town’s only distillery, Goleta Red Distilling Company (goletared.com), help maintain the beautiful Stow House with a gift card for the Goleta Valley Historical Society (goletahistory.org), or embrace the winter spirit with a gift card for Ice in Paradise ice-skating rink (iceinparadise.org).
Whatever you’re after, you may find it here with new businesses being added all the time. Hitting the physical streets is also an option, so swing in to Terra Sol (terrasolgardencenter .com) for all things garden, grab a new e-bike from Bicycle Bob's ( bicycle bobs-sb.com), or find something out of the ordinary at Old Town Antiques ( oldtownantiques805.wixsite.com/ oldtownantiquessb).
CARPINTERIA & SUMMERLAND
Run into Robitailles (robitaillescandies.com), which is the county’s largest retail candy store, for unique handmade candies, sugar-free candies, and the famous presidential inauguration mints before strolling it all off with a wander through Seaside Gardens (seaside-gardens.com). The three-acre botanical wonderland is the perfect place to get soils, nutrients, gardening tools, and fountain supplies, or to simply meander through the grounds.
Small-batch craft beverages are what’s on offer at Apiary (drinkapiary.com), whose quaint taproom offers mead, cider, and jun, which is known as the champagne of kombucha.
Flow through Santa Barbara Hives ( santa barbarahives.com) where the honey from more than 700 beehives countywide is used to make raw honey, beeswax, candles, and soap. Or watch the bees in action in their unusual retail store in Carpinteria filled with working Flow Hives!
A store filled with home décor from the sophisticated to the casual, Porch Summerland (instagram.com/porch_summer land) will help you make your house a home with a sump tuous selection of lamps, tables, art, and even picnic gear.
No sojourn to Summerland is complete without a moment of zen by visiting Sacred Space (the sacredspace.shop/copy-of-home) for all your crys tals, word stones, and exotic furnishings, or simply to enjoy a cup of relaxing hot tea.
Take a probiotic journey and grab yourself artisan vinegars, shrubs, and pickling products from Broken Clock Vinegar Works (brokenclockvinegarworks.com) or stop by First Street Leather (firststreetleather.com) for globally sourced artisanal leather accessories and garments.
Over at Global Eye Shop & Studio ( global eyeartcollective.squarespace.com), find quality handmade items curated with care, including hand-thrown vases, tableware, and lights. Those gifts would be great to show off organically grown, hand-harvested extra-virgin olive oils from Global Gardens (globalgardensonline.com).
Get into the true festive spirit with a visit to the first Cowboy Christmas (syvcowboy christmas.com) presented by SYV Horseback Rides (syvhorsebackrides.com), where the North Pole comes to Santa Ynez. Hay rides, Santa’s petting zoo, village shops, Christmas pony decorating, the North Pole Café, Santa’s Speakeasy, and much more promise to make this event a holiday fave. Open on select days through December 23.
MUSEUMS & THE LIKE
Stop by the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum (sbnature.org) from December 2-4 for the annual Folk and Tribal Arts Pop-up, which gives 30 percent back to the museum. Get to know artificial intelligent life every Saturday at the MOXI (moxi.org/calendar/ anandala) before visiting their gift shop for all your STEM toys and gifts.
Six years since legalization, the green economy is blossoming. Downtown connoisseurs frequent Coastal ( coastalcalifornia.com ) for their wide selection of flower, pre-rolls, and beverages while farther up town, regulars saunter into The Farmacy (farmacyshop.com) for their renowned tinctures or topicals.
Students and locals alike have made One Plant (oneplant.life) in Goleta the place to go for all their green needs.