After a long and windy cruise down Highway 101 we arrived at our first destination, cheeks flushed from having the convertible top down the entire 5 hour drive from San Diego. My mom had told me that Helena Avenue Bakery was a MUST-DO brunch spot for our weekend getaway in Goleta California. Backing up a little bit I was tasked with planning a surprise weekend for Mustafa after loosing an Apple Watch workout challenge. But I wan't even the slightest bit upset, planning this weekend was something I was really looking forward to.
Since COVID took over our lives this would be our first time out of town and one of our very first vacations together. I packed up a bag full of GWAPA and was thrilled to set forth on our next adventure! Tapping into my OCD side I wanted everything to be perfect so I researched for hours and HOURS and finally landed on the dreamy itinerary below. I'm sharing it here with you in hopes some of the stops along our journey inspire your next cruise into the sleepy streets of Goleta, Santa Barbra + adding a few of my thoughts from my most favorites spots.
This was by far the cutest little hotel right outside of Santa Barbra. I loved that it was far enough away to get some much needed peace and quiet but still a quick 10 minute Uber ride from all the action. The whole place was a throwback to the lazy surfer days of the 70's and while we didn't get to dine at the restaurant or bar, we loved dipping in the heated pool after dinner and the local complimentary beer they treated us to at check-in. Also good to note that while the rooms are clean, they are much smaller in person than they appear on the website.
Wear something flowey and feminine because the vibes are very European hole in the wall but the food is TO DIE FOR. I rocked a pastel floral mini dress with the Gwapa Shop's Fuzzy Wuzzy Was a Handbag in Tangerine and the I'd Pick You Floral Facecovering. A perfect match for the setting. Their menu changes seasonally but if you're there in the Summer, order the Heirloom & Tomato Salad and the Whipped Honey and Ricotta on Sourdough Toast with an ice cold lemonade. And if you're being extra, order a small tub of the Ricotta to go. Trust me, you won't regret it.
Ok hands down one of the best dinners I've ever had in my entire life and I think Mustafa's eyes almost rolled into the back of his head when he bit into the Pan Con Tomate. More pricey than our other stops but 100% worth every bite. Oooh! Also don't forget to order a big pitcher or Sangria (or two!). SUPER boozy and delicious and gets you just buzzed enough to stroll through the rest of the Funk Zone and bar hop + people watch to your hearts content.
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