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3 Days of Fun in Santa Barbara
Where to Stay
Fess Parker Doubletree by Hilton Resort is a mission-style hotel sitting on 24-acres across the street from the Pacific Ocean. There are 360 spacious mountain, garden, and oceanfront rooms with a patio or balcony, a large pool with hot tub, spa and three restaurants. High speed internet access is available.
This resort is located within walking distance to the Santa Barbara Pier, Urban Wine Trail, State Street, Chase Park and The Funk Zone.
633 East Cabrillo Boulevard Santa Barbara, CA 93103 (800)879-2929.
Room 727 - Room With A View
11 Facts About Fess Parker Resort
1. Free warm chocolate chip cookies daily.
2. There are 360 rooms with 77 that offer ocean views. All rooms have an outdoor patio or balcony with deck.
3. The Set offers a great outdoor patio with fire pits to sit next to while sipping cocktails and nibbling on flatbread pizza and burgers. Great views of the sunset and Pacific Ocean. Inside is a photo gallery of the Parker family.
4. Rodney's is a fine steak and fish house serving dinner on Tuesday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
5. The Spa is a boutique facility with multiple rooms and one couple's room. The Manager, Julie is very accommodating with the hotel's clients.
6.The Director of Sales and Business Development, Beth Olson, has worked at the property for over 25 years after graduating from UCSB.
7. There are three tennis courts and a pro that will offer lessons and clinics for guests.
8. Very family friendly. Close to the Santa Barbara Zoo, Stearns Wharf, State Street, paved bike paths, outdoor skate park, and Chase Park with playground and Merry-Go-Round.
9. Complimentary shuttle from the Santa Barbara airport and Amtrak Train Station.
10. Pet friendly resort with a $30 a day pet fee.
11. In 2014 the resort hosted 72 weddings.
Fess Parker Santa Barbara
Activity - Stearns Wharf
Explore Stearns Wharf - Day One
This pier is over 130 years old and home to shops, restaurants, aquarium/museum, bait shops and a few pelicans.
Visit the Ty Warner Sea Center to enjoy a fun and interactive marine facility operated by the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.
Longboards Restaurant on the second floor offers a great outdoor dining patio for viewing the harbor and sunsets. They offer a barrel of peanuts for snacking on with your beer or cocktail. Just throw the shells on the floor. It's customary.
Various Meat Skewers are a Good Start
Dinner Day One
Dine at Blue Tavern
Located on State Street is a California-Peruvian menu by Chef Ricardo Zarate. Appetizers include Hangar Steak, Tiger Prawns, Halibut, Chicken Breast and Heirloom Cherry Tomato skewers marinated in Peruvian spices.
Small Plates include salads, calamari, and Diver scallop salad.
From the Sea is sea urchin, scallop and shrimp toast, tuna crostini and sea bass ceviche.
There are pastas, grains and rice that include pumpkin stew, homemade pappardelle and seafood risotto.
From the Grill is pan fried Branzino, grilled Mary's half chicken and grilled Rib Eye steak.
The restaurant has a wood burning pizza oven to bake six different pizza pies. Save room for desserts. The Tres Leche cake is phenomenal.
Fun Places for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner
Joe's Cafe at Santa Barbara
Metropulos-Art of Eating
127 Anacapa St.
536 State Street
216 East Yanonali Street,
Day Two - Rent bikes and ride along the paved pathways
Santa Barbara Bike Rentals offers bikes for two to 12 passenger on surreys bikes, road bikes, electric scooters, electric bikes, boogie boards, beach chairs and umbrella rentals, and beach gear. Rent by the hour, half day or full day.
Ride to the Santa Barbara Zoo to explore 16 acres with 600 animals representing more than 180 species. Ride the opposite way to the harbor.
Sun and Swim at Fess Parker - a Doubletree
Day Two Activity
After exploring the city by surrey bike, come back to the resort for a swim in the pool, warm up in the outdoor hot spa tub and get your free cookie of the day, before getting dressed and ready for another culinary dining experience in Santa Barbara.
Exquisite Fish, Steak and Pasta at Bouchon
Dinner Day Two - Bouchon
Don't expect Thomas Keller to be cooking in this kitchen. This is not one of his Bouchon restaurants. Instead, Executive Chef Greg Murphy prepares award winning wine-country cuisine served with an ample wine list of local wines.
Imagine venison with caramelized onion and farro barley, wilted dandelion greens, curried butternut squash purée and green garlic pesto. Another favorite dish is wild skin-on salmon with smoky Beluga lentils, heirloom baby beets, wilted baby frisée, and mustard cream.
Day Three - Metropolus -The Art of Eating
For a great breakfast walk from the Fess Parker over to this creative market and cafe located in the Funk Zone. It's served from 8.30-11 a.m. on M-F and 10-11 a.m. on Saturday.
We tried the following: The Basic Wrap filled with Morning potatoes, scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, salsa, in a warm flour tortilla. The Amore Wrap has Morning potatoes, scrambled eggs, Monterey jack cheese, crispy bacon, avocados, salsa in a warm flour tortilla. The Breakfast Quesadilla has 2 eggs, over firm, cheddar cheese, bacon, avocado, in a flattened flour tortilla, cut into quarters. 216 East Yanonali Street (805) 899-2300.
Day Three Activity - State Street
Walk from the Hotel, past the Chase Park on Cabrillo to State Street. Stroll up two-miles of paved sidewalks admiring stores, cafes, and museums. The Public Market is a communal artisan food stop for fresh squeezed juice, fresh bread, pastries, sandwiches and gifts. Belcampo Meat Co. offers delicious breakfast burritos and sandwiches after 11 a.m. Crazy Good Bread Co. sells a chocolate and orange bread that is phenomenal. Also the trio loaf with walnut, lemon and lavender.
Santa Barbara offers open-air electric trolley rides up and down State Street and Cabrillo for those who choose not to walk a great distance.
Walk Along Hendry's Beach at Sunset
Walk down the public steps near Mesa and Edgewater Drive, off of Cliff Drive. The public beach is dramatic with cliffs, exceptional tide pools, and a sandy beach that is popular with beach combers and dogs at sunset.
Grab a seat along the coastal bluff and watch the sun sizzle into the Pacific Ocean. The prestigious community of Hope Ranch is about one mile to the west. Surfers also frequent the beach's waters.
Lobster Dinner at Boathouse
Day Three Dinner - Boathouse at Hendry's Beach
Walk down to the Boathouse restaurant for lunch, brunch, Happy Hour specials and dinner. Sit outside overlooking the Pacific Ocean or inside in a booth.
On Monday and Tuesday evenings they serve 1 1/4 lb. Maine Lobster served with soup or salad for $25.95.
My favorite dish is Panko encrusted Alaskan Halibut with a coconut curry sauce, pineapple ginger salsa, seasonal vegetables and island rice. They offer a variety of fresh fish and surf and turf.
Dessert is Homemade Macadamia Nut Mudd Pie made from McConnell's ice cream over chocolate cookie crust with chopped macadamia nuts, real whipped cream and melted chocolate. DELISH!