our santa barbara hotel blog - hotel indigo at the state house


Inviting ambiance; exquisite food; exceptional service; even better company. Santa Barbara is a haven for fabulous restaurants, but if you're looking for something extra special this Valentine's Day (or any time, really), there are a few that stand out as some of the most romantic this side of the Pacific.

Bouchon - 9 W. Victoria St.

Chef Greg Murphy works with only the best of the region, crafting his intriguing array of dishes from local and organic farm-fresh ingredients. Fusing French and Californian cuisines, bouchon's menu includes bourbon and maple glazed duck breast, a scallop trio with vanilla risotto, and coriander-crusted venison loin. The wine list is made up exclusively of Santa Barbara vintners, pairing nicely with fine cheeses and a to-die-for molten lava cake. Call 805-730-1160 for reservations. 


Ca'Dario - 37 E. Victoria St. 

You'd be forgiven for thinking you were in a trattoria in the Old Country. Ca'Dario's Chef and owner, Dario Furlati, was born in Italy and brings true authentic flavour to this popular eatery. Look for classic Northern Italian dishes like spinach ravioli with butter-safe sauce, baked chicken with porcini mushrooms, and grilled veal chop seasoned with rosemary and olive oil. If you're in the mood for something more casual, the neighbouring Ca'Dario Pizzeria offers some of the best pies in the city. For reservations, call 805-884-9419. 

The Lark - 131 Anacapa St. (E. Yanonali St.)

Sitting right in the trendy Funk Zone, the Lark is arguably one of Santa Barbara's best restaurants. Housed in the long gone 1920s Santa Barbara Fish Market, the Lark's charming decor is wood-lined and pays tribute to train travel with hints of rustic car parts. The menu is just as impressive, with appetizers such as spicy root vegetable chips and mains like herb-roasted diver scallops with grapefruit, manila clams, celery root, pickled Fresno chiles, and Thai basil. Call 805-284-0370 for reservations.

While you’re in town, be sure to book one of the beautiful and comfortable suites at Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara.  Each of our accommodations feature premium plush bedding and European collapsible wall showers, and we also have a variety of packages to choose from, including the Santa Barbara Lovin’—perfect for Valentine’s Day.

posted by: Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara on: October 16, 2014 2:28:42 PM
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We're so excited for our next MCASB-curated exhibition that is in the works! Until it opens enjoy some of our favorite highlights from past, thought-provoking exhibitions at the hotel.  Remember our current exhibition, The Vastness is Bearable, is still up for a few more months.  Come on by and take a look!

2013 - Limuw: an Ode to the Sea

Zoe Crosher, Transgressing the Pacific: Where Norman Maine Disappeared at Laguna Beach, 2010, Fujiflex archive print mounted on Dibond, 40 x 40 in. Edition of 6 + 2 AP, Courtesy the Artist and Perry Rubenstein Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Zoe Crosher, Transgressing the Pacific: Where Norman Maine Disappeared at Laguna Beach, 2010, Fujiflex archive print mounted on Dibond, 40 x 40 in. Edition of 6 + 2 AP, Courtesy the Artist and Perry Rubenstein Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Virginia McCracken, Off Leash, Boat House, Ship Leave, Skipping Rope in Crystal Waters, and Hector and Lionel Sitting on the Dock, 2012, Mixed media and paper mache, Dimensions variable, Courtesy the Artist

Virginia McCracken, Off Leash, Boat House, Ship Leave, Skipping Rope in Crystal Waters, and Hector and Lionel Sitting on the Dock, 2012, Mixed media and paper mache, Dimensions variable, Courtesy the Artist

Kimberly Hahn, Chromatic Variation 1, 2013, Fabric dye, dowel rods, muslin, monofiliament, pain, plywood, and salt, Commissioned by Museum of  Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, Dimensions variable, Courtesy the Artist

An artwork commissioned from artist Kimberly Hahn.
Kimberly Hahn, Chromatic Variation 1, 2013, Fabric dye, dowel rods, muslin, monofiliament, pain, plywood, and salt, Commissioned by Museum of  Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, Dimensions variable, Courtesy the Artist 

Graham Caldwell, Mansions of the Moon, 2013, Blown glass, shells, wood, shell, and found objects, Dimensions variable, Commissioned by Museum of Cotemporary Art Santa Barbara, Courtesy the Artist
An artwork commissioned from artist Graham Caldwell.
Graham Caldwell, Mansions of the Moon, 2013, Blown glass, shells, wood, shell, and found objects, Dimensions variable, Commissioned by Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, Courtesy the Artist

2012 - Open House exhibition

Alejandro Diaz, Does This Sign Make Me Look Fat? 2009.

Alejandro Diaz, Does This Sign Make Me Look Fat? 2009.

Kirsten Stoltmann, I AM SO HAPPY, 2011, Acrylic gemstones and crystals on foam core, 48 x 96 in., Courtesy the Artist; Stephanie Dotson, Drugrugs, 2012, Silkscreen on vellum, 48 ½ x 96 ½ in., Courtesy the Artist

Kirsten Stoltmann, I AM SO HAPPY, 2011, Acrylic gemstones and crystals on foam core, 48 x 96 in., Courtesy the Artist; Stephanie Dotson, Drugrugs, 2012, Silkscreen on vellum, 48 ½ x 96 ½ in., Courtesy the Artist

James Van Arsdale, Spinning Star, Spinning Mine, and Spinning Bomb, 2011.

James Van Arsdale, Spinning Star, Spinning Mine, and Spinning Bomb, 2011

Jennifer Nocon, Collective Noun, 2011

Jennifer Nocon, Collective Noun, 2011.

Nathan Hayden, you are like a dancing constellation (Detail), 2012.

Detail from a commissioned wall drawing by Nathan Hayden.
Nathan Hayden, you are like a dancing constellation (Detail), 2012.

Details of commissioned wall paintings by Saul Gray-Hildenbrand.
Saul Gray-Hildenbrand, Tryst (Detail), 2012.

Saul Gray-Hildenbrand, Tryst (Detail), 2012.

Saul Gray-Hildenbrand, Tryst (Detail), 2012.

Francesca Gabbiani, Gold Rush, 2008, Colored.

Francesca Gabbiani, Gold Rush, 2008, Colored.

posted by: Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara on: October 14, 2014 10:29:06 AM
Santa Barbara Food Tours

With its vibrant community, unique flavors, and ranking amongst having the most restaurants per-capita in the country, Santa Barbara is a haven for world-class cuisine. Savor Santa Barbara Food Tours is a guided culinary walking tour dedicated to immerse visitors and locals alike in the lush tastes and sights of the American Riviera.

The three and a half hour excursion combines commentary on Santa Barbara's history, architecture, and evolving food scene while experiencing some of the best eats in town. The stops have been carefully curated to showcase the area’s diversity, and range from family-owned and run Mexican restaurants to fresh local seafood to California's original and finest ice cream. Of course, as the region is coveted for its wine, there will be no shortage of vino to compliment your meal, along with a visit to the Santa Barbara Winery, Santa Barbara's oldest local winery.  

The edible and educational adventure is less than two miles long and includes at least two sit-downs, making it accessible for all ages and fitness levels to enjoy. Alert your guide if you have any dietary restrictions or allergies, and Savor Santa Barbara Food Tours will do their best to ensure that you are taken care of. Purchase your tickets now!

Here at Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara, we encourage you to relish in all that Santa Barbara has to offer. Our stylish and cozy suites offer sweeping views, plush bedding, and collapsible glass-wall showers to provide you with accommodation of the utmost comfort. Our warm and multi-lingual staff looks forward to welcoming you.
posted by: Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara on: July 25, 2014 9:38:27 AM
 Santa Barbara might be known as the American Riviera for its spectacular beaches and nightlife but its cultural scene feels more like London, Paris or Sydney.  The city possesses a vibrant history as an artists’ colony and is currently home to over sixty unique art galleries.  There’s so much to see you won’t be able to do it in one visit, so while you’re here, check out a few of these must see galleries. 

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art is one of the nation’s top ten regional art museums featuring painting and photography from Europe, Asia and the United States.  From now until August 31, the museum is showing Living in the Timeless: Drawings by Beatrice Wood.  Though Wood was mostly known for her pottery, this exhibition focuses on her lesser-known stunning series of drawings completed in provocative New York Dada style.  For connoisseurs of Wood’s work and the curious alike, this is a must see exhibition.

Only a few steps from the Santa Barbara Museum of Art is the Artamo Gallery, a modern progressive contemporary gallery showcasing dynamic and thought provoking works by national and international artists.  This happening gallery also publishes local poetry through its press, which is available for sale at the gallery.

Finally, for a truly local art experience check out Gallery 113, which exhibits the works of the 500 member Santa Barbara Art Association.  Here you’ll get a glimpse of the vibrant local arts scene by taking in paintings, drawings, collages, etchings, sculptures, ceramics and jewelry.  Gallery 113 is open seven days a week, excluding major holidays. 

The Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara is Santa Barbara’s number one destination for art lovers.  We are located one mile from the SBMA and the Artamo, two of the city’s most important galleries.  Far from just observing all the excitement, we actively participate in the city’s art scene by hosting an MCASB Satellite Art Space in our hotel!  Art lovers, book your room with us today.

Each Spring, the Santa Barbara artist community gathers together to bring vibrant chalk drawings to the Old Mission Santa Barbara grounds for the i Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival. 

This year, we were proud to sponsor a square in which to create chalk magic for local contemporary artist Christopher Ulivo. Ulivo drew thoroughout the festival weekend to create an amusing piece showing an interior of a famous monster's house. In the drawing, the Wolfman creeps towards the telescore he helped his father install at the family estate, while meteors streak across the sky. Meanwhile, his father, an aristocrat, absconds with a Ming vase out the window, leaving the house in disarray and to the whims of his troubled son. 

Christopher Ulivo is known for his egg tempera paintings and has shown in numerous exhibitions both locally and internationally, including at the MCASB; he currently teaches painting ab SBCC and takes part in an amateur enthusiasts telescope club. To see more of his often humorous and provocative work, visit christopherulivo.com/

The i Madonnari chalk drawings will remain indefinitely in front of Mission Santa Barbara, weather permitting. Stop by and take a look! While you are there, tour the grounds, museum and rose gardens. 

The romantic i Madonnari festival stems from a sister festival in Grazie de Curtatone, Italy and is the first of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. This family-friendly even benefits the nonprofit arts education program, Children's Creative Project. 
posted by: Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara on: May 12, 2014 12:08:47 PM
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The word “festival” comes from the Latin word for “feast”. And while not every festival centers around the consumption of food, they are indeed feasts: feasts for the eyes, feasts for the ears, feasts for the senses.

Typical of any costal Californian city, summer in Santa Barbara is filled with the sights and sounds of celebration. But more than most, Santa Barbara is host to a diverse and exciting variety of large-scale festivals every summer. Here’s a list of some of the annual events happening in Santa Barbara over the next few months:

Italian Street Painting Festival | May 24 – 26

Watch as the pavement of Santa Barbara streets is transformed into pastel masterpieces by Madonnari, or “street painters”. More than 150 large scale works will be created over the course of the weekend, with the goal of benefitting the Children’s Creative Project in support of performing arts education at local schools.

Paddleboard Race & Ocean Festival | June 7
Presented by Tommy Bahama, this sun-soaked event attracts thousands of spectators to the Santa Monica Pier for a high-speed paddleboard race, live entertainment, beer gardens, fun activities and much more.

French Festival | July 12 – 13
Celebrate Bastille Day by immersing yourself in French culture at this vibrant festival featuring food & wine, live music, dancing, arts & crafts, and even a poodle parade! Admission is free (the crepes and escargot are not).

Old Spanish Days | July 30 – August 3
Now in its 90th year, the Old Spanish Days Fiesta is a beloved local tradition commemorating Santa Barbara’s rich Spanish heritage. Immerse yourself in authentic food, music, art and dance at parades, marketplaces, concerts and much more.  

If you’re planning to visit Santa Barbara for these or other festivals this summer, stay on historic State Street at the Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara, just steps from the beach, the pier and best of Santa Barbara.
posted by: Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara on: March 31, 2014 9:56:46 AM
Do you dig car free travel? Our hotel is located steps from stunning beaches, historic Stearns Wharf, the trendy funk zone, and bustling downtown shopping district making it a perfect car free get-away. A eco-friendly vacation begins when you travel via Amtrak California and stay at our green hotel, which is conveniently located right next to the Amtrak Train Station.

Now going green to Santa Barbara is a little greener and even more affordable! Thru May 17, Amtrak California is offering 30% off fares* and we offer a complimentary cocktail at Blue Tavern! Book direct through Amtrak online
www.AmtrakCalifornia.com/VIP30/ and to receive your car free stay discount with the hotel mention you traveled car free at the front desk when checking in or when calling to book your room.

Santa Barbara is a great place to explore on foot and is bike friendly as well! We offer two complimentary bikes that are available on a first come basis for those looking to explore the city at a faster pace. Nearby bike paths along the bird refuge, beachfront, and up State Street begin right outside our door.

Before heading out on a long walk or bike ride, take advantage of our self-serve water bottle refilling station, which provides complimentary filtered water.
Picturesque, car free, self-guided tours, such as the Red Tile Walking Tour, Harbor/Shoreline Walking Tour and Stearns Wharf, are viewable on Santa Barbara Car Free travel maps. http://www.santabarbaracarfree.org/map.html

Did you know that Santa Barbara is the birthplace of Earth Day? In honor of the city’s legacy and commitment to the environment, Santa Barbara features one of the largest Earth Day celebrations. These festivities are a great place to boost your knowledge about ecology and sustainability. Book Saturday, April 26 (11am-7pm) - Sunday, April 27 (11am-6pm) to catch Earth Day this year. A stroll up State Street to gorgeous Alameda Park is all you need to find yourself at the informative and fun Earth Day Festival.

Fill your next stay in Santa Barbara with positive and intimate experiences when you explore our lush and beautiful landscape car free. We hope you’ll join us soon!
*This offer is valid until May 17, three-day advance reservations required, and some blackout dates. Offer good Monday thru Thursday and Saturday. For complete terms visit www.AmtrakCalifornia.com/VIP30/.

Staying with us during the 29th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival from January 30 – February 9? We have an exciting challenge for you! Bring out your inner actor or actress, have some fun, and win a SBIFF movie pass 4-pack with our SBIFF Star Struck Celebrity Tribute Tribute contest!

Take a selfie, or gather some friends and family and pretend to be your favorite celebrity honored this year at SBIFF receiving an award. So far Cate Blanchett, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert Redford, Martin Scorsese, Emma Thompson, and Oprah Winfrey will all receive awards for their contributions to film this year. Get creative and celebrate these shining stars!

Your choice of one of the following 3 places to post:

Like or follow our FacebookTwitter or Instagram account based on where you post the photo.  

On Twitter or Instagram:

Post the photo with the hashtags #SBIFFStarStruck & #CelebrityTributeTribute and tag @IndigoSB on Twitter or @hotelindigosantabarbara on Instagram.

On Facebook:

Post the photo on our wall with the hashtags #SBIFFStarStruck & #CelebrityTributeTribute

The staff will begin selecting 10 winners on January 28th and notify winners. Movie passes will be given out at check in.  Should any remaining tickets exist they will be distributed after January 28 to additional selected award winners.  Winners agree to allow their name and submitted photo/likeness to be used on the indigosantabarbara.com website, and facebook/twitter/instagram.

Celebrate the talent and keep it classy folks! No inappropriate, slanderous, libelous, etc. images will be considered. We reserve the right to reject from consideration and delete inappropriate imagery at our discretion. Winner must be 21+ and a guest staying at the hotel during the 2014 film fest.

Looking forward to seeing you celebrate these bright stars’ accomplishments! Let’s hear it for the stars!

Photo credit to SBIFF

The 2014 Santa Barbara International Film Festival runs from January 30 through February 9 and we are offering a swanky Sideways Film Feast Package to our valued guests. SBIFF is a world-class, star-studded event that screens top films, including film premieres, and recognizes actors and directors from around the world. 

Select actors will be honored throughout the film festival and this year’s awards list includes: Cate Blanchett as The Outstanding Performer of the Year on Saturday, February 1; Oprah Winfrey for the 2014 Montecito Award on Wednesday, February 5; and Emma Thompson for the Modern Master Award on Saturday, February 8.

SBIFF is Santa Barbara's hottest wintertime ticket with attendees flocking to town and hotels filling up early. Remember to reserve a room in advance with our Sideways Film Feast Package featuring Avelina Wine Company. This Package includes a stylish, contemporary King bed room, wine tasting for two at Avelina Wine Tasting room—steps from the Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara on the hip Urban Wine Trail—and your choice of a bottle of Sands Point by Avelina Wine Co. Pinot Noir, Cabernet or Chardonnay in your room.

Reserve this exclusive package available from January 30  February 9, 2014 today. This package carries a 48-hour cancellation policy.

Please call Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara directly at 
1-805-966-6586 or emailsales@IndigoSantaBarbara.com to reserve your Sideways Film Feast Package stay with us.

Unlike, say, scotch, tequila is liquor not commonly associated with connoisseurship. In most cases, our experience tells us it’s not something to be sipped and savored from a snifter, but rather, a drink best enjoyed when propelled down the throat with a healthy helping of salt and lime to soften the burn.

But, as with most alcoholic beverages, tequila has its own culture of aficionados and artisan distillers who seek to challenge popular notions of this notorious Mexican liquor. They would balk at the thought of masking its flavor with chasers or not taking the time to fully appreciate the subtlety and richness that superior tequilas possess.

At the 4th Annual Santa Barbara Tequila Harvest Festival, taking place on August 31st in Elings Park, those who live for tequila will showcase some of its finest examples in an event that includes tastings, gourmet food and live entertainment. For those of us who have only ever tasted it during a round of late-night bar shots or diluted in the syrupy soup of a margarita, the Festival offers a chance to expose yourself to tequilas that are worth spending quality time with.

More than 50 premium tequilas and mezcals will be yours to imbibe, along with a sizeable spread of food designed to complement the bold flavors of these ancient liquors. If you’re wondering what mezcal is, Wikipedia will tell you all you need to know; in short, it’s a form of tequila that’s sweeter, smokier and known for having a worm in the bottom of the bottle (actually the larvae of the agave snout weevil, but you’d probably rather forget about the pickled creature at the bottom of your drink).

General admission to the festival is $45 per person, which includes all tequila, mezcal and food samples. Designated drivers will get a discount, paying just $30, and those who want access to additional private tastings and the convenience of shorter entrance line-up can get a VIP ticket for $80.

Ellings Park is located at 1298 Las Positas Road in Santa Barbara, a 10-minute drive from the Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara. If you’re planning to enjoy the tequila and mezcal, however, we suggest using transit. It’s around a 30 minutes from the Hotel Indigo to Ellings Park by bus—you can catch the #5 bus a few blocks away at De La Vina St. and Guiterrez St., which will take you directly to Ellings Park. Stay safe and have fun!