Any one with a child that loves earth science will just love this. walking down to the big ice cave its 120outside and as you step down about halllf way down the steps you are instantly cold you feet begin and then the rest follows as you proceed down into the cave. the colors are simply amazing. What a great learning adventure.
we went to this spot last year and rented the cottage. there is only one like this all rooms that face the strand are reserved over a year in advance. took my mother in law over a year to reserve it. families that go here have been going for 10to 20years. we are about to go for our second year and plan on making it a tradition. there is a near by playground and the beach greets you at every view. . if you love people watching this is fabulous. plus bring your bikes, or skateboards, rideon the strand. super place for kids and adults
Santa Barbara boasts a wealth of accommodation options, but finding a property with a fantastic location, home-away-from-home feel, and a decent price tag can be a complicated endeavor.
Enter the Franciscan Inn, located a super-short 4 minute walk to the harbor and Stearns Wharf, the location couldn't be more ideal. Family owned since the 1920s when the property was actually a ranch, this hotel retains its history, charm, and personal service while adding with it many of the modern amenities that families have come to expect while traveling in the modern world.
We stayed in a standard suite on property (about half of the rooms on property are suite style), which offered a large sitting/living room with dining table and chairs, full size couch (that pulls out to a sofa bed), and kitchenette with sink, microwave, stove, mini-fridge, and burners. The kitchenette feature was showing its age a bit in terms of building materials and decor, but it was still fully functional. Families can choose to prepare a few meals onsite in their suite if they are looking to save a few pennies during travel.
The separate bedroom boasts a comfortable queen-sized bed, additional flat-screen TV, and wardrobe. The updated (albeit small) bathroom was comfortable, very clean, and stocked with luxury toiletries.
Additional perks of the room included complimentary WiFi, climate control, premium TV channels, iPod/iPhone docking station, coffee maker, and DVD player so kids can watch their own movies.
Although Santa Barbara offers a variety of activities and entertainment options, the hotel itself is a great place to unwind and spend an afternoon. Complimentary cookies and hot chocolate, tea, and coffee are offered each afternoon in the lobby, with fresh fruit and packaged pastries set out each morning for a light breakfast before you go. A large on-site pool with adjacent playground area was perfect for my daughter to swim in with her friend, while I was able to chat with other moms from the comfortable deck. We also enjoyed a nightly dunk in the hot tub where we chatted with visitors who have been coming to the Franciscan Inn for years.
Top reasons I recommend Franciscan Inn for families:
*Location- an easy walk to Santa Barbara restaurants & attractions
*Price-a great bargain for traveling families
*Warm atmosphere- the family-run hotel exudes friendly charm
*Complimentary perks- including parking, WiFi, snacks, and a breakfast bar
*Kitchenette- allows for families to make a quick bite in room without leaving the hotel.
I would heartily recommend the Franciscan Inn to traveling families.
Disclosure: I was offered a complimentary room at the Franciscan Inn for the purpose of this review. I was not required to state any particular view; all opinions are my own.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic weekend escape, a memorable family vacation or a comfortable home base for a productive business trip, the Franciscan Inn has the perfect accommodations for you. All guestrooms are well appointed and meticulously maintained, fusing Santa Barbara’s relaxed, beachy style with sophisticated, up-to-date amenities. Guestrooms and suites are tucked away in both one- and two-story Spanish-style buildings, surrounded with lush landscaping, towering palm trees and bubbling fountains. After a day of enjoying Santa Barbara’s many activities, the Franciscan Inn is the perfect spot to relax, take a dip in the pool and unwind. Upscale yet friendly, this small boutique hotel is a family-owned and operated respite in the heart of a quiet residential neighborhood just a block and a half from the sparkling Pacific.
Located on Cabrillo Boulevard overlooking the harbor, this Santa Barbara historical breakfast spot also happens to serve up some AMAZING food to start your day with.
Still owned by the same family who started the famed Sambos chain back in 1957, this last remaining--and original-- Sambos on the Beach Restaurant still serves up a tasty breakfast and lunch for locals and tourists alike. And with the motto, "Keep calm, eat pancakes," you can bet you are in for a treat.
Arrive early to snag an outside table, but prepare for a wait most mornings. We ate indoors, a lively environment filled with friendly wait staff, bright colors, and plenty of prints of the Sambos story-book that the restaurant has used as its theme. Although the story has changed over time, we were able to locate a used copy of this children's book from our library and my family was familiar with the story. Even those who aren't will fall in love with the tiger and boy tale.
The menu includes typical breakfast items, served all day long, such as omelets, biscuits and gravy, waffles, breakfast burritos and sandwiches, and of course... plenty of pancakes. After ordering, your kids will go crazy with the complimentary warm muffins served tableside with each order. My daughter dug through the "healthy" muffin options and went for the chocolate chip muffin, delicious enough to be a meal in and of itself instead of just a starter.
Although I didn't dine here for lunch, typical fare is also offered.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary breakfast at Sambos for the purpose of this review. I was not required to state any particular view; all opinions are my own.
We went swimming here with my family of 7 (kids ages 9 to 1-year-old) and had a great time. The water was cool enough to be refreshing in the summer heat but not cold. The lake set against the mountains provided a beautiful backdrop. The water stays shallow pretty far out so the kids had lots of room to play while still being able to touch. There is an area of the beach that is sandy so the kids can build sand castles. Some of the beach is just a stone slab, but that was actually nice to be able to sit on. Just up the slope from the beach is a picnic area. Most of the tables were under shade canopies. There is a big gazebo in the middle with multiple picnic tables under where you could host a party. It looked like their were steps or paths down to the beach near most of the tables, but I didn't check all around so I'm not positive. Up in the picnic area there were a few horse shoe courts and cactus-shaped showers and water spigots. There are bathrooms right there too. We saw a bunnies, lizards, and variety of water fowl. This lake has great day use amenities.