Good luck trying to say goodbye to Santa Barbara once you've arrived. This jewel of a city prides itself on its historic sites, seductive scenery, and laid-back attitude. Eclectic West Coast cool—which pulls from influences including surfing culture and the seductive romance of Spanish Colonial Revival–style architecture—continues to evolve here.
State Street has been the town's main drag, but the pulse of the spruced-up Funk Zone, located in the former industrial strip between the train tracks and the 101 highway, keeps getting stronger thanks to a growing number of buzzy spots to eat and drink.
Where to Shop
136 State Street
The beloved showroom stocks the fine Belgian linen and other European textiles that have distinguished this Santa Barbara–based company since 1981. (It's been here since well before the Funk Zone was a bona fide thing.) Meanwhile, furnishings and accessories by founder Sally McQuillan incorporate traditional influences that are tailored to the way Californians live today; raoultextiles.com.
The Blue Door
4 East Yanonali Street
This multivendor vintage marketplace located next to Raoul packs multiple centuries worth of carefully selected items under one roof; thebluedoorsb.com.
1324 State Street, Suite B
In the midst of historic downtown, the boutique space is stocked with fresh and tailored casual looks from fashion's hottest names, but always with an eye toward timeless appeal. DIANI Shoes nearby provides plenty more temptation, and DIANI Living translates owner Caroline Diani's internationally honed aesthetic to the home space; dianiboutique.com.
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833 State Street
From high-end jersey tees to jeans, Foster's shop (with multiple locations) helped define breezy yet elegant Santa Barbara style, and she has championed SoCal designers for decades. Currently in rotation: Janessa Leone coveted hats and Clare V. bags; wendyfoster.com.
Where to Eat
In the Funk Zone, stop by Helena Avenue Bakery for coffee and top-notch baked goods (helenaavenuebakery.com) and sample stellar local vintages at The Valley Project (thevalleyprojectwines.com). The patio at Loquita, complete with roaring fireplace, is the perfect alfresco setting for feasting on paella and Spanish tapas; loquitasb.com.
Where to Stay
The Hotel Californian stands on State Street mere steps from the Funk Zone (and the Pacific Ocean), and honors the original 1925 hotel with an infusion of celebrity designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard's modern Spain- and Morocco-influenced glamour; thehotelcalifornian.com.
Photos: Courtesy of The Blue Door, Loquita.