To the west of State Street is the area known as West Beach. To the east of State Street is East Beach.
The greater number of hotels is found in the West Beach area, both along Cabrillo Boulevard and on the side streets behind Cabrillo. But two of the largest are found in East Beach: Fess Parker's DoubleTree and the Hyatt Santa Barbara (known for decades and up until recently as the Hotel Mar Monte).
East Beach Grill
Here are links to two Google Maps I created that plot the locations of most of the hotels and motels:
Now reasonable prices are a relative thing in Santa Barbara. Even the Motel 6 on a summer weekend can set you back $200 per night. But weekday nights (Sunday-Thursday) are nearly always less expensive than Friday and Saturday nights, and the non-summer months will be lower priced than peak season.
What many people forget, even Californians, is that the weather on the coast is at its best in autumn, yet prices can drop sharply after Labor Day. If you want to keep costs in check yet enjoy lovely weather, you should think about a midweek visit in September or October.
For visitors coming to Santa Barbara by train, the West Beach area is walking distance close to the Amtrak station. If you have just one wheely-type suitcase per person, you can easily walk from the depot to any of the West Beach hotels in 5 minutes, 10 at most. (To East Beach hotels you'll need to take a taxi.)
|Train 777 leaving Santa Barbara headed north|
There aren't a lot of restaurants in the immediate area but the lower part of State Street (on the other side of 101) has plenty, or if you have a car you can drive a short distance up to the residential Mesa area for a good selection of non-tourist eats. And two blocks staggering distance from the Franciscan Inn is the Brewhouse Santa Barbara with a large selection of its own brews and pub food. (I enjoyed a tasty IPA during their happy hour.)
Santa Barbara is justly renowned for its high-end hotels. And in fact, my next post will be about one of those that is soon to reopen after years of closure. But if you pick your dates and hotel wisely, you can visit this most beautiful of California destinations without spending a fortune.
What follows is a selection of photos of some of the West and East Beach hotels.
Casa del Mar Inn (West Beach)
Hotel Oceana (West Beach)
Blue Sands Motel (East Beach)
Santa Barbara Inn (East Beach)
The East Beach Cottages (vrbo.com property # 79543)
Harbor House (West Beach)