The Four Hour Rule: Santa Barbara

A trip to Santa Barbara with Outerknown’s co-founder

By Reuben Brody

Cruise Santa Barbara With Outerknown’s Lead Designer
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27 June 2016

Stipulated: the perfect travel time for a three-day weekend getaway is four hours. More, and you waste your vacation. Less, and you’re still near home. Hence our series, The 4hr. Rule, dedicated to revealing the best destinations that are far away, yet still close to home.

Ask any creative in this city how they stay inspired and they’ll tell you two things:

First, keep working: inspiration is 99% perspiration. And second, take a break once in a while to smell the roses — preferably in some other city.

So we asked John Moore, creative director and co-founder of Kelly Slater’s apparel company, Outerknown, where he plans on getting away from it all this summer. His answer: Santa Barbara.

“The fashion calendar is maddening, and our daily lives get so mechanical with crazy schedules and deadlines,” Moore says. “So traveling is a way for me to break this formula and get out to experience new things, fill my mind with fresh ideas and discover something I didn’t even know I was looking for.”

“There’s something very therapeutic about leaving the city behind and driving a couple hours north,” says Moore. “It’s comfortable. It’s casual. It’s coastal.  And everything moves a little slower, which is exactly what I’m looking for.”

Stay at the Four Seasons Santa Barbara

The Santa Barbara Four Seasons is the definition of a classic. “The Coral Casino was built in 1937, still has diving boards and is steps from the sand.” You’re on the beach but still within reach of the city’s more urban offerings.

Get in the Water

You can’t go to Santa Barbara and not surf Rincon Beach, which Moore calls “the Queen of the Coast,” considered one of the country’s best surf spots for big waves and long rides. Leave your car at the Rincón Beach Park and walk down to the sand.

Hiking in Los Padres

Just north of Santa Barbara lies Los Padres National Forest. It’s home to a bounty of trails, but we suggest the Sespe Creek Trail, because it’s a river hike, and you’re gonna want to cool your dogs at some point. All in it’s about nine miles, which’ll take you about 3-4 hours. There’s also the option to make it an overnighter.

Walk and Reflect in Lotus Land

You don’t need to be a gardener (or Odysseus) to dig the lush landscaping at Lotus Land. The place is packed with an eclectic mix of succulents, palms and all manner of flora contrasted with volcanic scoria, green grass diamonds and abalone shells.

Meal Time

Moore hits the Summerland Beach Café for breakfast. If you’re more of a brunching type, hit the Santa Barbara Public Market, where you can choose from 11 gourmet vendors or mix and match.

Lunch is a no-brainer: La Super-Rica Taqueria. It was made famous by Julia Child, who claimed that the stand is her favorite restaurant in America. The menu is massive and changes frequently. Totally worth the wait. And you will wait.

And no trip is complete without a bowl of Brophy Brothers clam chowder for dinner.

Retail Therapy

Moore drives up to Ojai to check out Bart’s Books, and he visits Jalama on the way back for a burger. The Mate Gallery in Montecito Country Mart is another stop for “vintage coastal objects.” Then on the drive home, the Moores stop in Ventura “to shop the dollar thrift shops.”

And in His Bag ...

Moore brings three or four colors of Outerknown’s Sojourn pocket tees. “I wear a different one each day and this summer I’ve been wearing our Playa pants everywhere.” He also packs a Noche sweater, noting that it’s “a good layer you can dress up if need be,” and at least one Blanket shirt — “It doesn’t matter how many corners it gets stuffed in, it always comes out looking good.”

The Specifics

Outerknown

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