A winter escape to the American Riviera? Yes, please!

If you’d had enough of the snow, the icicles, and the deep freeze—or if you just generally want to replenish yourself along one of the most beautiful coastlines anywhere—steal away to Santa Barbara, and call Mar Monte Hotel your home-away-from-home for the occasion!

Our boutique Hyatt Unbound Collection hotel on Cabrillo Boulevard, a stone’s throw from spectacular Pacific sand and surf and offering both ocean and mountain views, delivers the perfect accommodations for savoring the season on California’s Central Coast.

Here are some ideas for your wintertime itinerary out of Mar Monte Hotel!

Get in the Holiday Spirit

Of course, we’re still in the peak stretch of the holiday season, and while some of the area’s signature seasonal events—from Old Mission Santa Barbara’s Holiday Sip & Stroll to the Parade of Lights in Santa Barbara Harbor—are in the rear-view mirror, there are still many festivities and special activities to enjoy.

Head for MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation, for example, to enjoy a unique climate-friendly alternative to ice skating with Seaside Sock Skating! Here on a rooftop “rink” of tiles, you can skate away in your socks for a one-of-a-kind festive-season experience.

Over at the Granada Theatre, meanwhile, there’s plenty of holiday programming yet on tap. On December 16th and 17th, the State Street Ballet performs its production of The Nutcracker, backed up by the Opera San Luis Obispo Grand Orchestra. On December 22nd, the famed Irish Tenors present their A Family Christmas program, featuring beloved tunes ranging from “Danny Boy” to The Pogues’ “Fairytale of New York.”

And on December 31st, enjoy New Year’s Eve With the Santa Barbara Symphony to welcome in 2024!

Marvel at the Monarchs

A goodly proportion of the population of monarch butterflies west of the Rocky Mountains migrates yearly to the Central Coast of California to spend the winter among its coastal groves. Santa Barbara County lays claim to some of the largest and best-known overwintering sites, and a daytrip to visit them during your stay at Mar Monte Hotel is just about guaranteed to be a highlight of your trip.

The Ellwood Mesa area, which includes the Coronado Butterfly Preserve and the Ellwood Main Monarch Grove, is a fabulous destination for wintertime monarch-viewing, possible between about November and February and generally peaking in December and January. More than 15,000 monarchs have already been recorded on the Ellwood Mesa this season!

Go Whalewatching

Another stunning natural spectacle goes down this time of year off Santa Barbara’s coast: the annual migration of North Pacific gray whales, which shuttle through on southbound and northbound trips between summer range off Alaska and winter calving grounds in Baja California lagoons.

The Santa Barbara Channel Whale Heritage Area provides prime viewing, whether you’re joining one of numerous whale-watching cruises or scouting from onshore vantages.

Mar Monte Hotel: Ideal Boutique Accommodations for a Winter Santa Barbara Trip

Choose our boutique hotel, part of Hyatt’s Unbound Collection, for your well-appointed winter headquarters on the American Riviera! Book your Mar Monte Hotel guest room or suite today.

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