Santa Barbara Hotel Specials: Spring Into St. Patrick’s Day With a Cheshire Cat Inn Getaway

Cheshire Cat Inn Getaway On St. Patrick’s Day 

If you’re a guest staying at Cheshire Cat Inn on St. Patrick’s Day, we’ve put together a handy list of things to do in Santa Barbara.

St. Patrick’s Day is a fun time to stroll around Santa Barbara and reminds us that a lush, green spring is just around the corner. The weather has been fabulous lately; feels like summer arrived early!

Below is a list of Santa Barbara activities you may wish to consider while staying at the inn this St. Patrick’s Day.

  • Urban Wine Trail: Taste some of the finest wines produced in Santa Barbara County, all within blocks of downtown and the beach. Created by a group of like-minded wineries, the Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail offers both novices and aficionados the opportunity to learn about and taste wines of many different varieties and styles crafted from Santa Barbara County’s best vineyards.
  • Waterhouse Gallery houses paintings from nationally known artists from the Western states and are members of the California Art Club and Oil Painters of America.
  • The Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara is where adults can learn from Santa Barbara artists during their ever popular living room conversations, panel discussions, and lecture series.
  • Fuzion describes itself as a “hybrid retail store” that focuses on glass art pipes, men’s underground fashion, and street art culture. The store’s glass collection is a particular source of pride as they focus mainly on American made pieces.
  • Sullivan Goss represents the works of American artists from the 19th century to today. They have spent the last 25 years curating a collection of over 3000 works featuring the best in paintings, sculptures, watercolors, drawings, prints from artists labeled as luminists, impressionists, expressionists, and modernists.
  • Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History has twelve exhibition halls that feature a life-size 72-foot Blue Whale Skeleton, birds, insects, mammals, marine life, paleontology, and the Chumash Indians. Guests experience the wonder of space exploration in the Gladwin Planetarium. The Museum also owns and operates the Ty Warner Sea Center located on historic Stearns Wharf.
  • Santa Barbara Zoo is always a great option, with plenty of fun family activities. With 30 acres and 500 animals, visitors need a map to be sure they seeCondor Country, the pair of realistic high-tech dinosaurs in the “Dino Doc” show, the two baby giraffes, and many more animals in naturalistic habitats.
  • Santa Barbara Land and Sea Tours is Santa Barbara’s original amphibious tour vehicle. Guests climb aboard the LAND SHARK for a personally narrated 90-minute land and sea tour adventure and enjoy exquisite views of the Santa Barbara coastline, the American Riviera, and the Santa Ynez Mountains as seen only from a boat at sea.
  • Susan Quinlan Doll & Teddy Bear Museum & Library is dedicated to the love of dolls, teddy bears, books and the support of doll and teddy bear artists.
  • Chase Palm Park Antique Carousel in Santa Barbara was made in North Tonawanda, New York, by the Allan Herschell Company in 1917. Herschell was the largest manufacturer of these flights of fancy during the Golden Age of carousels. Old-fashioned calliope music plays as the carousel turns.
Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the upcoming Santa Barbara Vintners Spring Weekend – April 10 – 13. This is a long weekend filled with special events held at wineries, vineyards, tasting rooms, and restaurants throughout Santa Barbara County. The Festival Grand Tasting held on Saturday, April 12 has wine tasting from all 100+ member wineries, an Art Walk, Farmers Market Pavilion, and the Connoisseur Club Pavilion.

The Cheshire Cat Bed and Breakfast Inn offers tempting breakfasts and cozy accommodations in The Main House, The Eberle House, The Coach House or Bramhall, Mobberly, Prestbury and Woodford Cottages, each with its own unique charms and revitalizing atmosphere. We have relied on our 30 years of hospitality to create a relaxed and inviting atmosphere so you can simply relax and revel in the small town warmth and charm of Old Santa Barbara. If you’re looking for a little more fun, Cheshire Cat Inn is also located close to Santa Barbara wine country, downtown and within minutes of fine dining, shopping, and beaches, with plenty of Santa Barbara activities close at hand.

We look forward to welcoming you on your next visit. Best of all we’ve got some greatCheshire Cat Inn Specials that include options for in-room luxurious massages or fine dining at some of Santa Barbara’s tastiest restaurants.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from all of us at Cheshire Cat Inn,

About The Cheshire Cat Inn – Located at 36 W. Valerio Street in Santa Barbara, theCheshire Cat Inn is known for its perfect combination of location, ambience and comfort. Winner of a 2013 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, the Inn’s spa treatmentsquaint Victorian charms, and special hotel deals make it perfect as Santa Barbara’s Great Escape. Visit the website and Facebook page or call 805- 569-1610 for more information.

America’s best spring drives

(CNN) — Remember when Dorothy dozes off among scarlet poppies in The Wizard of Oz? Well, those vivid flowers weren’t just a figment of Hollywood magic. Similar poppies set California’s Antelope Valley ablaze in spring, luring road-trippers from L.A. and beyond.

The arrival of spring inspires us to break out from winter’s hibernation and embrace the fresh outdoors. A road trip naturally satisfies that spontaneous travel urge, and we’ve mapped America’s best spring drives — routes that bring you up-close to nature’s finest floral displays, from a California poppy tour to Texas Hill Country’s bluebonnets.

Of course, flowers in bloom aren’t the only draw for these American road trips, many of which meander by woodlands, lakes, small quaint towns, even historic mansions and museums. No matter what route you travel and no matter how many detours you take, spring into action this season by road-tripping through America’s most awe-inspiring floral landscapes.

Texas Hill Country Bluebonnet Tour
The route: 87 miles

Lady Bird Johnson led a campaign to beautify American cities, and in her native Texas, vast gardens of bluebonnets were planted across Texas Hill Country. While there are countless nature trails, first-timers should start in Austin and take U.S. 290 west to Johnson City’s lovely Wildflower Loop. Then hightail it along U.S. 281 N to the town of Burnet, the official bluebonnet capital of Texas.

Where to stop: Tour the colorful grounds at Austin’s Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. A toll-free Texas wildflower hotline (800-452-9292) provides blooming reports, and tune in to KLBJ News Radio 590, which airs the “Wildflower Hour” featuring expert gardening tips from Mr. Smarty Plants at 8 a.m. on Saturdays.

Acadia All American Road, Maine
The route: 40 miles

Pack your binoculars for this coastal drive that skirts the woodlands of Acadia National Park, a prime spot for spying bald eagles and nesting peregrine. The 27-mile Park Loop Road segment follows the high ridges of Bar Harbor down to Sand Beach and Otter Cliff and loops inland along Jordan Pond. It’s the centerpiece of the drive, which starts in Trenton, takes Route 3 south, turns on the Loop Road, then rejoins Route 3.

Where to stop: Local small towns begin buzzing in late spring. For homemade ice cream and popovers, pull over at the historic Jordan Pond House (open for the season as of May). Then put that energy to work hiking Acadia’s Cadillac Mountain, whose 1,532-foot peak overlooks the Atlantic.

George Washington Memorial Parkway, Maryland and Virginia
The route: 25 miles

This green parkway reveals one floral show after another — 591 wildflower species, from large-flowered valerians to Virginia bluebells — as you drive from the Great Falls of the Potomac through D.C. and south to Mount Vernon. The most famous are the cherry trees that bloom around the Tidal Basin in D.C.

Where to stop: Hike the many trails that crisscross the 700-acre Turkey Run Park (just seven miles north of D.C.), which is carpeted in bluebells come late April.

Antelope Valley, California
The route: 70 miles

From Los Angeles, drive north to the town of Lancaster via Route 14, better known as the Antelope Valley Freeway. Golden poppies bloom throughout the Mojave Desert region in March, but the 17,600-acre Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve claims the finest concentration of California’s state flower — not to mention glorious showings of fiddlenecks, creamcups, goldfields and tidytips starting in late March.

Where to stop: Drive the seven-mile Antelope Loop Trail within the Poppy Reserve and continue on to Antelope Butte Vista Point, a high lookout (the valley reaches an elevation of nearly 3,000 feet) that offers the most sweeping desert panoramas.

Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway, South Carolina
The route: 120 miles

This National Scenic Byway sticks to an early Native American trail (the Cherokees called these foothills the Great Blue Hills of God) that weaves through the low Piedmont Hills past waterfalls, covered bridges and brooks. To catch peach orchards and trees in full bloom, time your drive to late spring or early summer.

Where to stop: Hundreds of roadside stands that begin filling with fruit in early June. The famous Peachoid water tower, painted to look like a colossal peach, is in the town of Gaffney, where mountain laurels begin to blossom in late May.

Historic Columbia River Highway, Oregon
The route: 70 miles

The Columbia River area has long been Oregon’s premier scenic attraction. Explore by driving from Portland through the Columbia River Gorge and on to volcanic Mount Hood, Oregon’s highest peak at over 11,000 feet. Multnomah Falls, one of the tallest yearlong waterfalls in the U.S., is another showstopper. Beginning in late March, look for wildflowers like purple Columbia kittentails on the shaded banks of waterfalls.

Where to stop: 3 Rivers Grill (541-386-8883), in a Victorian house overlooking Hood River, for lunch. Detour over to the Washington side for the Maryhill Museum of Art and enjoy unparalleled views of the gorge.

Louisiana Great River Road
The route: 70 miles

Let the Mississippi River be your guide on this winding route from Baton Rouge through Creole Country to New Orleans. Look out for former sugar plantations and majestic antebellum plantation houses — until the Civil War this area was one of the richest in America. Giant moss-draped oak trees nearly obscure the Creole cottages, surrounded by patches of budding wildflowers.

Where to stop: Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie. This Greek Revival mansion was built in 1839 and stands at the end of a long avenue lined with oak trees. In New Orleans, check into the buzzy Saint Hotel, in the former Audubon Building in the French Quarter.

Hana Highway, Hawaii
The route: 52 miles

Tropical flowers bloom each spring along the Road to Hana, which paves its way through bamboo fields, rainforests and waterfalls like 80-foot Wailua Falls, which appeared in the credits of TV show “Fantasy Island.” Start in Kahului, and head down Maui’s northeastern coast. Just don’t be fooled by the 52-mile count — this is an intense drive that can take up to four hours as you navigate over 600 hairpin turns and more than 50 one-lane bridges. The payoff comes from the spectacular views and bragging rights.

Where to stop: Fuel up with pancakes soaked in coconut syrup at Anthony’s Coffee Co. in the funky small town of Paia. Just beyond mile marker 32 awaits Waianapanapa State Park, with black-sand beaches and trails leading to sea caves and lava cliffs.

San Juan Skyway, Colorado
The route: 232 miles

The skyway’s biggest thrills come along the stretch between the Victorian-era towns of Ouray and Silverton that’s known as the Million Dollar Highway. While that name could easily describe the views, it actually refers to the massive amounts of silver and gold once carted through these passes. Four-wheelers can also attempt to traverse the rugged 65-mile Alpine Loop Back Country Byway past the 19th-century ghost towns of Howardsville, Eureka and Animas Forks.

Where to stop: Mesa Verde National Park, famous for Anasazi Indian cliff dwellings that were abandoned 200 years before Columbus arrived in America. And at Dunton Hot Springs Resort, in a restored ghost town, soak in waters ranging from 85°F to 106°F and rich in calcium bicarbonate, iron and manganese.

Santa Fe/Taos Loop, New Mexico
The route: 191 miles

Follow the (literal) High Road from Santa Fe north on Route 285 through high-elevation deserts and orchards. It leads to the cottonwood-dotted valley of Ojo Caliente and its pueblo communities; the Taos Pueblo compound, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was built before 1400 and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in America. Loop back from Taos on the Low Road, State Route 68, which runs along the Rio Grande past wineries.

Where to stop: More than 10 galleries display Native American jewelry, textiles and pottery at the Millicent Rogers Museum, named after Taos’ famed art-enthusiast and socialite.

Source: Edition.cnn.com/2014/03/26/travel/best-spring-drives-america

Santa Barbara Bed and Breakfast – Cheshire Cat Named in Top 10 Romantic Inns List

SANTA BARBARA, CA – Historic Cheshire Cat Inn of Santa Barbara recently made the 2014 list of Top 10 Most Romantic Inns nationwide featured on Iloveinns.com.  This marking comes as no surprise as this award winning Santa Barbara Bed and Breakfast has been a long favored getaway destination. 
 
Among the finest accommodations in Santa Barbara, each room follows along the same whimsical inspiration as the inns name, bearing titles like the Dormouse’s Room, the Mad Hatter’s Room, the Duchess’s Room, and the White Rabbit Balcony Room.  Guests can expect to find the same kind of storybook charm and romance throughout the inn couched in such amenities as gourmet breakfast, afternoon wine & hors d’oeuvres, and in-room Jacuzzis. Cheshire Cat Inn has also partnered with Santa Barbara fine dining restaurants Louie’s and Downey’s to offer an unparalleled vacation package to impress even the most discriminating tastes.
 
Travelers looking for the perfect place to honeymoon or rekindle passions will certainly find it here nestled in Santa Barbara’s Mediterranean climate, sidewalk cafes & boutiques, and waterfront adventures.  In fact, many of the town’s best offerings are right within walking distance to the inn.  Guests can even book an in room massage as part of their ideal romantic getaway
 
About: Cheshire Cat Inn is made up of three Queen Anne Victorians, a Coach House and three cottages, originally constructed in 1894.  Fountains, gazebos, and lush flower gardens abound.  Many of the rooms have fireplaces, refrigerators, and private balconies, and all are decorated with English antiques, and the coziest, most romantic of linens and accessories. Rates range from $194 – $429. For more information or to inquire about specific dates, visit their website, see their Facebook page, or call (805) 569-1610.

World’s most expensive city is …

Singapore has dethroned the Japanese capital to become the world’s most expensive city in 2014, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s latest Worldwide Cost of Living survey.

The bi-annual report, which ranks 131 global cities, credits currency appreciation, solid price inflation and high costs of living for Singapore’s dubious new distinction.

“Car costs have very high related certificate of entitlement fees attached to them, which makes Singapore significantly more expensive than any other location when it comes to running a car,” says the report.

“As a result, transport costs in Singapore are almost three times higher than in New York. In addition, as a city-state with very few natural resources to speak of, Singapore is reliant on other countries for energy and water supplies, making it the third most expensive destination for utility costs.”

Singapore is also the priciest place in the world to buy clothes.

Last year’s title holder Tokyo, dropped from the top spot to sixth — tied with Melbourne, Geneva and Caracas.

Tokyo’s decline is due to the weaker yen, says the EIU.

MORE: Inside the world’s most expensive hotel rooms

World’s 10 most expensive cities to live in 2014

1. Singapore

2. Paris

3. Oslo, Norway

4. Zurich, Switzerland

5. Sydney

6. Caracas, Venezuela

6. Geneva, Switzerland

6. Melbourne

6. Tokyo

7. Copenhagen, Denmark

Asia also has the world’s cheapest city on the list.

Down at the other end of the 131-city survey, the EIU lists Mumbai as the world’s least expensive city to live in. The Indian capital, New Delhi, is third cheapest.

“Although India has been tipped for future growth, much of this is driven by its large population and the untapped potential within the economy,” says the EIU.

“Income inequality means that low wages proliferate, driving down household spending and creating many tiers of pricing that keep per capita spending low.

“This, combined with a cheap and plentiful supply of goods into cities, as well as government subsidies on some products, has kept prices down, especially by Western standards.”

MORE: The world’s best city is …

World’s 10 least expensive cities to live in 2014

122. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

123. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

124. Panama City, Panama

124. Bucharest, Romania

126. Algiers, Algeria

127. Damascus, Syria

127. Kathmandu, Nepal

129. New Delhi

130. Karachi, Pakistan

131. Mumbai, India

The Worldwide Cost of Living survey is released twice a year by the EIU.

It compares more than 400 individual prices across 160 products and services in 131 cities, including food, drink, clothing, household supplies and personal care items, home rents, transport, utility bills, private schools, domestic help and recreational costs.

In total, more than 50,000 individual prices are collected in each survey.

“The cost-of-living index uses an identical set of weights that is internationally based and not geared toward the spending pattern of any specific nationality,” says the EIU. “Items are individually weighted across a range of categories and a comparative index is produced using the relative difference by weighted item.”

Source: Edition.cnn.com/2014/03/04/travel/most-expensive-cities