Beautiful Day at the Bacara

This past weekend/week I had the luxury of getting to stay at the Bacara Resort and Spa for my dads work. I was surprised late Tuesday afternoon and was told to drive there immediately after my lacrosse game! I was very excited!

The Bacara is a beautiful resort located right along the coast line up in Goleta! Isolated and full of beautiful scenery this is an amazing natural hotel! When we first got there we pulled our car up to the valet and had it parked for us while we checked in. Up front were all the super nice expensive cars so it was fun to take a look at while I waited for our room! The lobby is beautiful full of amazing natural center pieces, fresh fruit (free to take), and wonderful service I can guarantee that your stay here will start off strong!!!

After checking in we headed to our room, located right on the water we could literally see the waves crash from the balcony! Our room was very nice and spacious! With the help of two roll away’s and a blow up mattress we brought from home we managed to fit all five members of my family including our dog Beesely into the room.

After getting a lay of the land we headed off to the pool/spa!!!! Ahhh with 2 AP tests coming up this is a great place to relax and relive stress, whether your on a honeymoon or just a break from school!!! The pool is HUGE, there are actually 2 of them as well as 2 hot tubs located near there respective pools. With cabanas to purchase you could set up in your own private little area and just enjoy a nice hot day by the pool!!! That’s exactly what I planned to do:) As well as the pool though the beach is located only a few feet away!!! So you can even take a dip in both if you like, just beware of the tar!!!(There’s a lot)

As well as fun things to do like swim in the pool, there are also a number of great places to eat!!! At the Bacara everything is about atmosphere and when it comes to restaurants the Bacara knows its stuff!!!

Overall, this hotel is absolutely jaw dropping beautiful!!! I promise you that if you stay here you will enjoy yourself and company as well as the amazing landscape, pool and restaurants!!! Hands down if you want a great place to stay this is the one!

 

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Loving Life in Laguna

Like my trip to San Francisco sometimes you need a little bit of time away from home. So this blog post you will get a chance to learn about some awesome things to do in Laguna/Newport Beach!!! Only about two and a half hours away Laguna is the best place to have a weekend away! With so much to see and do I promise you, you will be moving a million miles an hour and will never run out of things to do!

      I have been around Newport Beach and Laguna my whole life, its where I was born and is where I spend a lot of my time during vacations, so needless to say I’m an expert. This weekend I was especially fun because I got to host my girlfriend while I was there and show her around!The first thing we did and what I would recommend would be to go to Fashion Island. If you want a fun place to shop and walk around or get a bite to eat this is one of the best places to do all of the above! Fashion Island is an outdoor mall so getting to walk around and enjoy the fresh air and sun while you shop is a bonus! With plenty of fountains, live music performers, and even a fish pond this extravagant mall is kid/dog friendly and is an awesome spot!Next up we have Balboa Island!!! This is probably my favorite place to go while I’m down south! The Island itself is right in between two channels where there are hundreds of boats parked and ready to get taken out to the open sea. As well there are tons of cute homes and little boutiques and shops! This is probably the cutest part of Newport and Laguna. Across the main big channel there’s a fun zone! accessible by ferry you can drive your car, bike or other vehicle across the channel or even just yourself. At the Fun Zone there is a lot to do! With a Ferris Wheel, about 5 arcades, and many other rides and gift shops the Fun Zone is well, FUN!!!!In Newport and Laguna there are also lots of amazing beaches! Some are private beaches to the residences of the specific gated community such as Emerald Bay or Irvine Cove, but there are many amazing beaches that are open to the public! One of my favorites is Crystal Cove beach, although it is a state park and you have to pay a small fee to get access it is THE place to be! White soft sand beaches, no dogs, and great waves and tide pools, this beach has it all! Another fun one that is free but more touristy is Main Beach in Laguna, with a few volleyball courts, basketball courts, a park and some of the better tide pools and centered in downtown Laguna this is where all the tourists come and the locals stay away from. If you want to go local though check out Divers Cove. There are even some famous beaches here, The Wedge and Victoria Beach are two extremely famous beaches for huge sets and great skim boarding!! Overall you cant really go wrong with any beach though!To wrap up some of the best places to go lets talk about food! There are so many awesome places and everything is great! My personal favorite taco place is Wahoo’s Fish Tacos, the original one is in Newport but now they are all over the coast. Anything on the menu is delicious but you have to try the taquitos!!! As for Asian food, Mandarin King is the best Chinese around and the owners are so nice, my grandparents have been eating there the whole time they’ve lived there! Then there’s the Teppanyaki place called Ichiburi this is the most fun place to eat! The chefs prepare the meal in front of you and are super funny and great people! If you go ask to have the guy pictured below though (he’s the best). You cant really go wrong with any restaurant in Newport or Laguna everything is really good and you can always cross reference online!

IMG_3147Overall awesome trip and place to visit!

Fun: 10/10

Interactive: 10/10

Unique: 10/10

Overall: 10/10 Great place to visit and check out!!!!

Wandering Around the Wharf

This weekend I checked out East Beach and the Santa Barbara pier. This is a super popular spot in Santa Barbara and is interesting part of Santa Barbara’s landscape. At 2740 feet completed for the first time in 1872 it was the longest pier between LA and San Francisco. It is home to many restaurants and fun things to do!

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On the wharf there is a fun interactive museum called the Sea Center! With plenty of small tide pools aquariums and touch tanks this is a great place to learn about the oceans around SB and the animals that live there! This is a great place for kids and is related to the natural history museum also here in SB. Whats cool is that if your a member at one of the two your also a member for the other one so feel free to visit whenever you want!

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This is a super popular place to fish as well! Out at the end of the pier lots of people bring there tackle boxes and bait and head down to cast a few into the water! I’m not a big fan of fishing but if you are this would be THE place to go!

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Out on the wharf there are also a handful of restaurants and places to shop. It is a great place to go and you’ll find a combination of both tourists and locals here. I haven’t had the chance to eat at any of the restaurants but I’ve heard from a number of friends that they are delicious! Plus with the added value of free valet parking it makes getting there even easier. Whats also cool about the wharf is that there is a place to wine taste for the adults and while doing that you can send your kids to the ice cream store right down stairs! They even make there own cones!!!

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The wharf also puts on a variety of fun events including the annual Christmas parade!!! I have had the pleasure of attending the boat parade for the last two years! The first year with my family and this last year with my girlfriend, it was a blast! the night starts off with a parade of about 20-30 boats all decked out in Christmas lights and decorations, the boats travel around both sides of the pier and when they’re done there is a firework show!!! This is a great spot to check out if your in town over the holidays! I know its one of my favorite things to do to help get into the seasons!

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The pier is relatively centrally located and is pretty darn hard to miss so getting there definitely isn’t a problem. Its about a 20-25 minute bike ride from my house and during the summer time its somewhere I hang out with friends often. East beach right next door is also a super popular beach in Santa Barbara especially to tourists! So if you want a calm mellow beach to just hangout I wouldn’t suggest here! However with a variety of things to do and the ability to rent paddle boards, sea kayaks, surfboards and tons of other beach gear if you want to do something unique this is the place to go!

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I love the Sterns Wharf and East Beach both these places are awesome spots to check out! Whats great is that there’s always something to do doesn’t matter what season!

Fun: 9/10

Interactive: 9/10

Unique: 7/10

Overall: 8/10 Another awesome spot to check out!!!!

 

Butterfly Beach, and Breaking into the Biltmore Pool

This last weekend I had the pleasure of getting to visit one of the most beautiful beaches as well as one of the most beautiful hotels in Santa Barbara! Friday was my birthday and I hosted a party down at the beach on Saturday afternoon with all my friends. It wasn’t too crowded despite being one of Santa Barbara’s most popular beaches. As well, it was low tide and a perfect day to have some fun in the sun!

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Butterfly is a long open beach with lots of places to run and play perfect for a spikeball tournament, or a nice walk. Butterfly is a dog friendly beach however so if dealing with dogs off leash isn’t your thing maybe this isn’t the best spot for you.

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I ended up going back again on Sunday to hang out at the Biltmore (the hotel overlooking Butterfly Beach) At the Biltmore their is tons of stuff to do! From anywhere to a putting green, croquet and a pool to tennis, a fancy dinner, or a comfy bed.

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This is a very popular beautiful resort with a great natural atmosphere and is very relaxing. In the center of this jungle like paradise there is a lush putting green where I was able to play a round of mini golf. We created our own course and were able to use the putters, balls, and course free of charge making this a great start to my afternoon.

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Later that afternoon after throwing on a swimsuit and heading back over to the hotel we were pleasantly surprised to find the pool gate unlocked! With nice umbrellas and towels, two large hot tubs, a 85 degree pool, and complementary watermelon cucumber water I found this to be one of the most relaxing Sunday afternoons I had had in a long time.

img_2563The Biltmore Hotel and Butterfly beach are two of my most favorite and convenient spots in Santa Barbara! If you ever have the opportunity to check out these to spots located right next to each other, I highly recommend it and know you’ll have a great time!

Fun: 10/10

Interactive: 8/10

Unique: 8/10

Overall: 8/10