#PretaPostcards: Where to Eat, Shop and Sleep in Goleta

Courtesy of The Goodlands
The Goodlands Hotel

Just north of Santa Barbara, Goleta has all the food, wine and beautiful beaches the area is known for — but minus the crowds.

The Place: Just 10-15 minutes’ drive north of Santa Barbara, en route to the area’s vast wine country, Goleta is the perfect small town-style getaway by the sea. It has everything: amazing vino; local, organic, creative food; an ideal climate and beautiful beaches.

The Reason: The Goodland, a Kimpton boutique hotel, opened last fall and is the kind of place you’ll want to move into after your stay. A former Holiday Inn, the 10-month-old property now claims a great pool scene, “backyard” area for games of cornhole and nighttime movie screenings, a spa, locals’-favorite farm-to-table restaurant and The Goodbar, where craft cocktail lovers will find all manner of whiskeys and mezcals. The hotel’s opening has brought together the locals and area visitors, and created a compelling reason to venture — and stay — a bit north of Santa Barbara.

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The Transportation: Whereas getting to Santa Barbara from Los Angeles takes about an hour and a half, sans traffic, it’s just one hour 45 minutes to Goleta. Flying is also an option.

The Sleeping Arrangements: The Goodland’s 158 rooms and suites were designed, like the rest of the Palm Springs ‘50s-style hotel, by LA’s Studio Collective (also responsible for the Roosevelt, The Bungalow). Think lots of rustic wood, leather, amazing vintage-esque textiles, succulents and gallery walls of nostalgic surf-and-skate-centric artwork. Basically everything you wish you could find and curate into a space. The rooms are outfitted with record players, and vinyls for your stay — reflective of the vibe they’re going for, choices include Iggy Pop, Led Zeppelin, Sublime and Best Coast — can be found at the front desk.

The Bites and Booze: Don’t visit while on a diet. The food and innovative drinks on offer at The Goodland are addictive. From the Tuesday night margarita happy hour in Rita the Airstream (named for Rita Hayworth) to Sunday brunch and every snack and delightful dinner at Outpost — don’t miss the bao buns, kimchi fries, melt-in-your-mouth pork belly or Brussels sprouts and artichokes — everything is mouthwatering. The Goodbar, outfitted with one-of-a-kind surfboards on the ceiling, is the spot for craft cocktails. Meanwhile, offsite Goodland Kitchen & Market is a good bet for lunch and Mercury Lounge is the funky dive for drinks after-hours. The Goodland also provides all the stuff you’ll need to roast s’mores at the fire pits under the stars.

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The Souvenir: A quick trip to Santa Barbara's Funk Zone neighborhood includes tasting rooms styled in one case, with filing cabinets and adolescent sports trophies (Municipal Winemakers) and another, beautiful wood, light and fine Riedel stemware (Potek, opening this month). You can’t go wrong with a few bottles of wine from either. Better yet, a case — after all, you’re driving.