The Best Vacation Rentals to Book in Santa Barbara, California

When it comes to vacation rentals, Santa Barbara knows exactly how to please
When it comes to vacation rentals, Santa Barbara knows exactly how to please | Courtesy of Mira Vista Retreat /
Abigail Blasi

A short drive northwest of LA, Santa Barbara is a breezy, sun-blessed town in California, squeezed between the Pacific and the verdant Santa Ynez Mountains. The location, cuisine and local wines are top-notch – and so are the luxurious vacation rentals. With fireplaces, outdoor dining and lush gardens, they’re as good for families as for groups of friends. In easy reach of soft sand beaches and the local surf scene, here are the very best vacation rentals Santa Barbara can offer, bookable on Culture Trip.

1. Beach Breakaway, for a family vacation by the beach


Double bed and wooden headboard in a Beach Breakaway room
Courtesy of Beach Breakaway /

A spacious beachside Santa Barbara vacation rental, this property has three bedrooms, neutral furnishings, an open fireplace and plenty of space in the communal areas. Outside, there’s a hot tub and a garden terrace dining area. It’s all in a great location, a short walk from white-sand Hendry’s Beach, and overlooked by a bluff. Los Padres National Forest is also an easy day trip.

2. Mira Visa Retreat, for mountain views and an outdoor hot tub


Long sofa, soft chairs, table and chairs overlooking patio doors and mountains from a Mira Vista Retreat living area
Courtesy of Mira Vista Retreat /

With pitched wooden ceilings and large plate glass windows overlooking snow-dappled mountains, this is a fabulous Santa Barbara vacation rental. Inside, there are exposed flagstone walls and long sofas with cushions the color of Delft china. Outside, there are large armchairs, a hot tub, a long dining table and a barbecue, all overlooking manicured lawns. You’re also within an easy drive of the beach and the mountains.

3. Big Ocean View Retreat, for lofty ocean views


Single bed in a Big Ocean View Retreat room, facing a TV and open doors to an ocean-view terrace
Courtesy of Big Ocean View Retreat /

Decked out in neutral shades, this spacious one-bedroom apartment lives up to its name, with expansive views of the Atlantic from its lofty, palm-fringed vantage point. The glass bedroom doors open onto the terrace, so you can gaze at the water from the comfort of your queen bed. The large terrace is equipped with a table and chairs, so you can enjoy your meals al fresco with a side of ocean panoramas. There are polished wood floors, a wood-lined kitchen and an arched ceiling, adding a little drama to the airy space.

4. Majestic Montecito, for a vacation home with mature gardens and a fire pit


Double bed and leather chair in Majestic Montecito room
Courtesy of Majestic Montecito /

A great Santa Barbara vacation rental, this sumptuous pad has indoor and outdoor fireplaces, mature gardens with cascading bougainvilleas, a twinkling pergola, nattily striped sunshades, a mosaic wall fountain and a fire pit. There’s lots of comfortable outdoor seating, while inside, the large sofas make an ideal spot for late-night conversations. The four bedrooms are neutrally styled, with plush beds and armchairs. Hammonds Beach – good for long walks – and Butterfly Beach – good for swimming – are within walking distance.

5. Modern Serenity, for proximity to a sheltered beach


Large bed and overhead fan in a Modern Serenity room; there are doors to a garden with shaded seating
Courtesy of Modern Serenity /

Large sliding doors open onto lush green lawns at this well-appointed vacation home with three bedrooms and two baths, blond-wood floors and a subtle color palette. The kitchen has stone worktops that extend into a breakfast bar beneath brass lanterns. Outdoors, there’s a dining table big enough for your entire family, plus shaded seating on the terrace for long, lazy summer days. Here in Montecito, a tranquil neighborhood just to the east of downtown Santa Barbara, you’re a five-minute walk from the sheltered Butterfly Beach and a longer stroll away from East Beach.

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