One of our Travel Advisors, Sasha, took a restful trip to Santa Barbara and the San Diego area for two-night stays at both Rancho Valencia and Belmond El Encanto. Learn more about Sasha's favorite moment and meal and overall impressions from a vacation to these two Southern California classics.
Insider’s Tip: Stays are quieter during the week.
Overall impressions: Both properties evoke a sense of space. While both are very Southern California, they are very different. Rancho Valencia is chilled elegance, and Belmond El Encanto is relaxed serenity.
Favorite moment: Lunch poolside at Rancho Valencia while soaking in the warm sun.
Favorite meal: The breakfast at Belmond El Encanto was wonderful, and is included with Andrew Harper benefits.
What to eat: There are great seafood and Mexican restaurants in both locations.
Neighborhood to explore: Santa Barbara is small and quaint! Very easy to park and then walk about. Nice little shops and restaurants are dotted along State Street.
Daytrip suggestion: A drive down to the beach or pier in the afternoon.
What to pack: Depending on the time of year, pack layers. California casual is always in fashion. Also, a good book for relaxing afternoons on your private patio.
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