For our mom’s birthday, we decided to surprise her with tickets to see Foreigner and Styx at the Santa Barbara Bowl. Boy did she love it! I must say, it was one of the best concerts I’ve been to too (sorry N*SYNC) – the bands were great and super energetic! Plus, the SB Bowl is such a beautiful setting, tucked away in the hills with ocean views from the top of the amphitheater — PS next time you’re there, make sure to walk up to the top for some beautiful photos of the sunset.
We were surprised at how well priced the food and drinks were at the bowl – the hot dogs were $4 and beers were $5- super cheap for a venue, especially compared to $20 beers at the Dodgers Stadium and the Staples Center ! 😉 Luke and I actually splurged and got the most expensive item on the menu, which was an $8 burrito catered from a local Mexican restaurant — totally worth it.
The concert was on a Sunday evening, so as we were planning it out, we thought it’d be nice to stay the night in SB after the concert. We also thought it’d be fun to take the Pacific Surfliner train– I mean, why not!? No traffic or parking PLUS beautiful coastal views while relaxing – I’m in!
We picked La Quinta Inn hotel in downtown near State Street which ended up working out perfectly. The hotel was so close to everything- you could walk to State Street and easily cab to the Bowl – or even walk if you have time, it’s only 2 miles! You can also easily cab to the Funk Zone, which we highly recommend.
The Funk Zone is a fun(ky) neighborhood made up of wineries, micro-breweries, boutiques, hip local eateries and even a craft distillery (must try the apple bourbon)! So of course, before the concert we went to the Funk Zone for some drinks and apps and then casually made our way over to the Santa Barbara Bowl.
I booked our train tickets online, which was super easy. We decided to leave from Camarillo mid-day on Sunday and to return on Monday morning. Brought back memories too because my sisters and I used to take the train all the time when we were kids — we’d go visit our aunt up north past Santa Barbara. Such fun memories. In fact, one time the train took off with my mom and grandma still on it with us so they had to get off at the next stop!
Since this was a special occasion, we also decided to “splurge” and get Business Class tickets for $10 more a pop. And let me tell you- it was worth it. Not only are the seats much bigger and comfier (duh), but you also get a goody package that puts airlines to shame. The goody bag was full of kettle chips, trail mix, yummy cookies and more. We were pretty stoked. Plus, on top of that you get complimentary (aka FREE) beverages which includes wine of your choice. Look at the amount wine my dad has below. Yup, all for free. 🙂
My parents also brought cards to play which was fun. So basically we got to play, visit, drink wine and enjoy the ocean coastal views all while missing out on the 101 traffic. Again, so worth it in my opinion.
To be honest, we were actually bummed when we got to Santa Barbara because it went by so quickly! Next time, we’ll have to take the train further and really get our money’s worth 😉 FYI, the Pacific Surfliner runs from San Diego all the way up to San Louis Obispo. So next time you’re planning a quick getaway, check out the train tickets and make a vacay of it!
What’s your favorite spots in SB or local getaway? Let us know if we’re missing any tips or secrets! #spreadthelove #LL805