Santa Barbara Lodging at Hotel Milo, Fine Dining Suggestions and Family Activities- May 2014


The historic Hotel Oceana in Santa Barbara has re-branded as Hotel Milo Santa Barbara. The Independent Collection (IC) hotel¹s new name honors the history of its location and the city of Santa Barbara itself, evoking a true beachside boutique experience. Shelley Stearns, the property¹s General Manager, helped the Collection re-launch and position Hotel Milo.

The 122-room Hotel Oceana is the tenth property in the Independent Collection and its first on the West Coast. The IC consists solely of design-conscious hotels in culturally-rich, niche neighborhoods of the iconic cities in which they are located. The hotel will officially become Hotel Milo Santa Barbara on May 1st, but a new website showcasing the name,, has already launched.


We really enjoyed out great room over-looking the ocean and right across the street from the beach. How convenient is that. Start your day off with their buffet breakfast, which comes with hard-boiled eggs, muffins, breads, cereals, fruits, yogurt, coffee and more. Enjoy your vacation in Santa Barbara at this beautiful location. They have 2 pools with towels, a fitness center, complimentary bikes and a nice big property to wander about. Head back to your room of nice décor to unwind while watching some tv on the flat screen or just relaxing and sleeping on the comfortable bed.


Hotel Milo is located in the heart of Santa Barbara’s beloved West Beach, a favorite hangout for local residents and visitors alike. On one side sits the iconic Stearns Wharf and on the other the harbor and pier, where local institution Brophy’s is serving up the best clam chowder you’ve ever had. Take a short ten-minute stroll towards State Street and the Funk Zone, Santa Barbara’s popular arts district, to discover new galleries, boutique shops, and restaurants—and don’t forget to make a few stops on the Urban Wine Trail to sample the new wines of the day. Head out on a short drive to Santa Ynez for a day of wine tasting, or stay local and explore the nearby Santa Barbara Mission or Zoo. When the weather is nice—and it almost always is—hit the mountain trails for a hike or bike ride, or get into your wetsuit and ride the waves, before catching that spectacular Pacific sunset you’ve waited all day to see.

Hotel Milo Santa Barbara announced recently that the historic Independent Collection (IC) hotel will be teaming up with Canadian lifestyle and activewear brand Lolë for a delightful oceanfront Summer in the Park Yoga series in Ambassador Park. The hour-long yoga sessions are complimentary for guests and locals alike. There is no charge.

 DATES: June 14th, July 12th, August 9th, September 13th

  • TIMES: 10:30 a.m. on the second Saturday each month from June ­ September 2014

  • LOCATION: Ambassador Park, on the grounds of Hotel Milo Santa Barbara



Olio e limone means oil and lemon in Italian but the Santa Barbara restaurant in we ate at is no lemon. We arrived and were seated by a very friendly hostess. Then we were greeted by the waiter who appeared to be an authentic Italian which makes you feel that you were transported to Italy making the experience even better. We ordered drinks and appetizers which were all excellent . Next the entrees arrived. We were very impressed by the presentation of the dishes and all the flavors of the fresh herbs used in the cooking came through. The waiter was attentive, keeping our wine and water glasses filled. The dessert menu was so complete and descriptive we wanted to order everything on it. We selected the gelato and tiramisu and both were incredible flavorful . We walked out of the restaurant completely satisfied. If you feel like spending a night eating dinner in Italy without traveling to Europe go to Olio e limone in Santa Barbara.


Menu suggestions that we tried included:

Start with one of their nice salads or antipastos including the eggplant souffle with goat cheese center fresh tomato-basil sauce and fresh-imported buffalo mozzarella cheese, vine-ripened tomatoes, basil. From there, move to some of their specialty dishes such as the risotto with shrimp, scallops, calamari in squid ink, New Zealand lamb chops, balsamic vinegar reduction and spaghetti, fresh dungeness crab meat, prawn, spicy tomato sauce. Their fresh fish was outstanding and all the other main courses sounded amazing. Enjoy one of their specialty cocktails or wines from their extensive list to accompany your fine dining meal. Finish off with a homemade dessert.   More info and menus at


Do yourself a favor and check out their sister casual pizzeria lunch or dinner spot down the street (Olio Pizzeria and Wine Bar) for some of the best and most unique pizza you will ever try.


A wide selection of salads, salamis, cheeses, paninis. Don’t miss the squid ink deep fried calamari to start.

We arrived at Moby Dick’s on Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara at which you actually have drive onto the wood planked pier. There was plenty of self parking or valet. The greeting at the front desk was very friendly and we were shown to our seats right in front of the window over looking the ocean where we watched the seagulls diving for fish. Luckily at this restaurant all seats have excellent views of the ocean. The waiter greeted us with a friendly hello while we ordered drinks and read the menu. The drinks came promptly and then we started with appetizers and their famous New England style clam chowder. The appetizers of steamed clams and grilled shrimp-crab cakes were a nice way to start along with the hot and tasty clam chowder soup.


Next we had a sampling of various entrée items including a perfectly cooked steak and the fish of the day. Both were moist and tender and we finished every last bite. The dessert menu was complete with various choices for ever type of sweet tooth imaginable. We ordered the bread pudding and multiple ice cream flavors which were both delectable The waiter and the host both gave us a friendly thank you and good night on our way out the restaurant and back to our cars as we drove home thoroughly enjoying our night at Moby Dick’s on Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara, CA.

The Fishouse in Santa Barbara had the best seafood I have had in a long time and our number one choice for fish. A great selection of appetizers from the fried calamari, steamed clams and best clam chowder. You cannot go wrong on the entree selections from any of their fish choices including the fresh halibut and skuna bay salmon from Vancouver as our top choices. Other great choices include salads, sandwiches, burgers, pasta and fish and chips. Located on Santa Barbara’s pristine waterfront, the Santa Barbara FisHouse offers some of the central coast’s finest fresh seafood. Situated on Cabrillo Blvd across from East Beach and Stearns Wharf, the Santa Barbara FisHouse is a perfect destination for ocean-side dining, offering patio seating by an open fire pit.

Local seafood is available seasonally and when marine and weather conditions permit. Seasonal specialties include local Spiny lobster, Dungeness crab, as well as an array of other delicacies. All items from the fryer are cooked in zero trans fat oil.

Family friendly attractions:

Wheel of Fun Bike Rentals as they have the most unique options of bikes to choose from to fit a group of up to about 6 people and other options for kids and even children. More at

The Sea Center and Natural History Museum were great places to visit and the kids loved them. The Sea Center is on the wharf in town while the Natural History Museum is about a 15 minute drive. There are great activities, hands on and plenty to view. More at

Lastly, a visit to the Santa Barbara Zoo is a must. Located right in town and easy to get to, the zoo provides giraffe feeding, a great little train ride around the zoo and plenty of exotic animals to check out. One of the best and most intimate zoos you will ever go to. Check their calender for upcoming fun attractions and exhibits.