Sometimes you need to get away without actually going away. Introducing: the staycation. Staycations are wonderful - they allow you to dive into a change of environment without the stresses of travel. Besides, when's the last time you played tourist in your own town?
Since the beau and I are planning an upcoming move (secret's out! more information coming soon I promise), we decided to enjoy Santa Barbara for all the reasons we landed here in the first place. We spent two nights at Hotel Milo, a boutique, beachfront hotel across from West Beach that we always gaze as while we wait for breakfast at Sambo's. Hotel Milo is a member of the Independent Collection, which we learned is a collection of boutique hotels across other vibrant communities in the country. They have an awesome travel perks program that connects your visits to other IC hotels with a personal travel profile to ensure you enjoy every accommodation "like a local." After such an amazing weekend in Santa Barbara, we can't wait to check out the other hotels on the list!
Another bonus about a staycation is that the packing is easy. If you forget something, you can always run home and grab it. But we did our best to truly get away: packed our things, drove down to the beach, and entered vacation mode the second we threw down our bags in the colorful, beach-styled room. We were also greeted with tons of delicious treats upon our arrival - local beer from Figueroa Mountain, wine from Santa Barbara Winery, snacks by Santa Barbara Popcorn and Pistachio Companies, and a stack of local magazines. If we weren't just 100 yards from the beach, we wouldn't have even left the room.
The weekend was quintessential. We danced all night at Soho to the California Honeydrops, read our magazines by the pool, rode Hotel Milo's beach cruisers to the Santa Barbara Zoo, devoured the best lasagna of our lives at Toma and woke up each morning to an ocean view. It was exactly the paradise we dreamed of and take for granted all too often. We're certainly going to miss places like Hotel Milo, places beaming of Spanish architecture and set among the palm and citrus trees. Lucky for us, I know exactly where we will stay when come back to visit.