Upham House

Bed & Breakfast/Inn

The Upham

1404 De la Vina St.; 962-0058; uphamhotel.com

Built by banker Amasa Lincoln (a relative of Abraham Lincoln) in 1871, the New England–style Upham Hotel was purchased by Cyrus Upham in 1898 and has remained in continuous operation all of these years. The Upham’s Victorian main building and cottages occupy an acre of gardens and grounds. Also available is the Upham’s century-old Tiffany Country House, a restored Victorian manor that holds eight traditional rooms. For a special romantic retreat, stay in the Penthouse, which occupies the entire third floor and has a living room, fireplace, spa tub, waterfall shower, and private terrace with mountain views.
Runner-Up: Simpson House Inn

Stationery Store

Paper Source

1125 State St.; 845-0114; papersource.com

This crafty hub is the answer to thoughtful gifts, unique wrapping paper, personalized stationery and labels, and quirky calendars. Whether you’re looking to scrapbook about your latest trip, create and send handmade invitations for your next big soiree, or personalize your stationery to pen actual letters to friends, Paper Source has got you covered. The shop also offers creative crafting workshops on the lost art of hand lettering, washi tape card making, creative journals, and more.
Runner-Up: Letter Perfect Stationery


Pure Joy Catering

111 E. Haley St.; 963-5766; purejoycatering.com

Providing culinary expertise for special events such as weddings is indeed a joy for Pure Joy Catering, our readers’ top pick for catering. A favorite part of the job is “helping to create special moments and memories around food,” said Business Manager Lynee Bennett. “Sharing meals in times of celebration has been a tradition in human history for as long as we can remember. And being able to provide the first delicious meal for a newly married couple and their entire line of family and friends is such an honor. This award is a priceless honor that fills us with love and shows all of our future clients that we really are Pure Joy.”
Runner-Up: Events by Rincon


Riley’s Flowers

1106 Chapala St.; 965-1187; rileysflowers.com

It’s hard to resist digging into the beautiful buckets of flowers at this area floral institution, which began as a street flower stand in the 1970s. Now, Riley’s Flowers is our readers’ pick for the fourth year in a row, with no sign of slowing down its daily deliveries to stop and smell the roses. “Our favorite part of the job is working with the public and hearing how our creations bring joy to the ones they give them to, be it a loved one, a random act, or themselves,” said Rachel, the shop second. “Thank you for recognizing our dedication and beautiful product.”
Runner-Up: ella & louie


Kacie Jean Photography

705-6264; kaciejeanphotography.com

“What I love most about being a wedding and portrait photographer is that I get to be surrounded by so much love every day while documenting some of the best moments in people’s lives,” said Kacie Jean Fowle, owner of Kacie Jean Photography. “Whether it be on their wedding day, welcoming their first baby, or chasing after their whole big family, I get to be right there along with them. How can you not constantly be smiling every day getting to be a part of something so special?” She added, “This was such an honor and special year to finally win the BEST photographer because it is my 15th year of being in business!”
Runner-Up: Ashleigh Taylor Portrait

Wedding Planner

Jill & Co. Events

110 W. Mission St.; 455-0722; jillandcoevents.com

“Santa Barbara is an amazing place for a wedding celebration because it has the beaches, the mountains, and the most beautiful weather for such a long part of the year for outdoor celebrations,” said Jill & Co. Events owner Jill Remy. “My favorite part of my job is getting to work with so many different clients on so many different events and seeing the vision come to fruition for all of my clients! I love that the community has been impacted by our work through some sort of event, whether that be one of our wedding clients’ celebrations, one of our nonprofit clients’ galas, or the Santa Barbara International Film Festival events.”
Runner-Up: Wild Heart Events

Wedding Venue

San Ysidro Ranch

900 San Ysidro Ln.; 565-1700; sanysidroranch.com

“From the elegant dining areas to the lush gardens filled with fragrant French lavender, magnolias, and roses, the property’s historical characteristics and spirit foster a magical and romantic ambiance, perfect for weddings,” said San Ysidro Ranch resort manager Maxine Rutledge. Tucked away in the hills of Montecito, San Ysidro Ranch has a long history of storied romance ​— ​the resort has hosted the likes of John and Jacqueline Kennedy and Vivien Leigh and Sir Laurence Olivier for honeymoon getaways. Rutledge added, “It is such a special honor to receive this recognition, especially following last year’s devastation of the property from the mudslides and all of the team’s hard work to restore everything back to the same look and feel that guests have loved over the years ​— ​the magic is still here.”
Runner-Up: Santa Barbara Historical Museum

Limo Service

A and J Limousine

683-7772; aandjlimousine.com

Everyone is treated like a superstar when they ride in a limo from A and J Limousine’s fancy fleet. “We get to drive the best and most interesting people on a daily basis,” said Andrea Plackett, owner of our readers’ favorite limo service for the second year in a row. “Being named the best for us means we are being recognized for our consistent quality service. It also means that the wonderful people of S.B. recognize our place in the community. We are really grateful that we have been able to build a successful business here.”
Runner-Up: EOS Transportation

Event DJ

DJ Darla Bea

895-3400; djdarlabea.com

“Santa Barbarans love a little Latin flair in their dance mix ​— ​‘Despacito’ (no Bieber), ‘Suavemente,’ and any Pitbull,” said Darla Bea, our beloved DJ for the fourth year running. Her favorite part of the job: “Making people get up and boogie! Having dudes Shazam the deep-cut song selections I’m playing. Watching kids do the ‘Floss’ dance. High fives, fist bumps, encores and singalongs at the end of the night to Queen, Journey, Toto, LCD Soundsystem, etc.” Her funniest work story: “At a private Halloween party, Kenny Loggins, in full pirate costume, walked up to me and requested ‘Footloose.’ You can bet your Sunday shoes that I played it and the Caddyshack theme later!”
Runner-Up: DJ Hecktik

Wedding Cake Shop

Lilac Pâtisserie

1017 State St.; 845-7400; lilacpatisserie.com

“We love getting to know our customers and being a part of a community. It is so fun to be a part of people’s celebrations throughout their lives, whether it is birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers, kids’ birthdays, or even just celebrating an ordinary day,” said Gillian and Alam Muralles, proprietors of Lilac Pâtisserie, our readers’ choice for best wedding cake shop. “We love what we do and are so grateful to receive such an honor and a compliment that our community recognizes the work we do through this award. Santa Barbara is such an amazing community. People genuinely care about putting their dollars to work locally to support small businesses during interesting times in the retail space.”
Runner-Up: Crushcakes & Café

Mission Tux

Event Rentals

The Tent Merchant

436 E. Gutierrez St.; 963-6064; thetentmerchant.com

John and Sherine Leenhouwers, who own The Tent Merchant, say their favorite part of the job is “sharing the beautiful and memorable moments of each event. It is such a tremendous honor which we are forever amazed by.” Getting this award means a lot to the Tent Merchant team, including that “all of our hard work, attention to detail, planning, and quality of work is appreciated by our community.” In addition to event specialists, a foreman, and a kitchen team, the Leenhouwers’ dog, Hercule, is an important crew member. The handsome corgi greets guests in the showroom and is often requested as a rental for events.
Runner-Up: Town & Country

Restaurant with a View

[See Drinking: Bloody Mary]


Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara

1260 Channel Dr.; 969-2261; fourseasons.com/santabarbara

“Being the best means consistently providing our guests with exceptional service and extraordinary experiences. We know that there are a myriad of wonderful places to stay and visit in Santa Barbara. Our team has had the unique opportunity to master its craft over the past 90-plus years ​— ​to be called the best by our local community is an honor and proof that our hard work is paying off,” said GM Karen Earp. She shared some little-known history: “During World War II, the Biltmore became an Army-Air Corps redistribution station for reassignment of overseas returnees. The soldiers temporarily stationed at the resort and paid an average of $2.41 per day, including room, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and laundry. This story is a great example of what makes the resort so special ​— ​it’s a place that welcomes guests of all kinds and hopes to provide the best experience for them while they’re with us.”
Runner-Up: San Ysidro Ranch

Tuxedo Rental

Mission Tuxedos

135 W. Mission St.; 569-3334; missiontuxedos.com

Being a destination wedding city and home to lots of black-tie events throughout the year makes Santa Barbara a good place to be in the tuxedo rental business, according to John Murray, owner of Mission Tuxedos, Indy readers’ favorite spot for tuxedo rentals. “Our favorite part of the job is being part of our community’s celebrations and special events. Being named the best confirms our commitment to quality products and first-class service,” he said. “We really appreciate our customers’ opinions and feedback, and our gratitude to all our happy clients is endless!”
Runner-Up: Men’s Wearhouse