Shopping Santa Barbara Gift Guide 2022

Our Annual Rundown of Where and What to Buy During This Holiday Season

Shopping Santa Barbara Gift Guide 2022

Our Annual Rundown of Where and What
to Buy During This Holiday Season

By Gareth Kelly | December 1, 2022

Left: Over at Global Eye Shop & Studio, find quality handmade items curated with care. Center: It’s the perfect time to visit Chaucer’s Books in Loreto Plaza. Right: Small-batch craft beverages are what’s on offer at Apiary. | Credit: Courtesy


After a couple of years of enduring end-of-year oddness, 2022 is finally feeling somewhat closer to normal as we pop our heads back out into the world and interact with fellow humans just in time for the holidays. 

Although not quite fully behind us, the pesky pandemic appears to be waning, if only to be replaced by uncomfortable inflation and stubborn supply chain issues. But those challenges are perfect reminders that the best way to support our community is to shop local and reconnect with our favorite stores and their owners. 

The Santa Barbara Independent’s handy-dandy 2022 festive shopping guide will help you navigate stores you’ve loved for years, some surprising new ones, and everything in between around this slice of paradise we’re fortunate enough to call home.  

Go forth, shop, and this year, remember to be extra jolly! 

Left: Over at the Urban Flea Market, an assortment of mid-century, antique, and vintage art, clothes, décor, guitars, records, and even Western boots can be yours. Right: At Seaside Makers, find artisanal gifts, apothecary, and sunscreen along with gift boxes. | Credit: Courtesy


State Street

Ease into things with a trip to Cat Therapy | Credit: Courtesy

There’s no better place to start your festive shopping than along the reinvigorated State Street. Ease into things with a trip to Cat Therapy as you peruse their feline-themed wares such as tees, hoodies, and more while cats roam free around you. Check out the impressive window display at Anthropologie home to the always-sought-after festive Capri Blue Fir & Firewood Candle.

At Seaside Makers, find artisanal gifts, apothecary, and sunscreen along with gift boxes, hip flasks, and vintage Santa Barbara magnets. Meanwhile, over at the Urban Flea Market, an assortment of mid-century, antique, and vintage art, clothes, décor, guitars, records, and even Western boots can be yours.

No festive visit to State Street is complete without popping one’s head into World Market for tree ornaments, culinary treats from across the globe, or a pack of unusual beer for your favorite uncle. One-of-a-kind home furnishings are all the rage at Habitat Home & Garden, and finally, shop while doing good at Unity Shoppe for all your thrifty finds and holiday toys and gifts. 

Side Streets

Satisfy your gastronomic cravings at the Cheese Shop. | Credit: Courtesy

Firmly planted in the downtown shopping scene, Idyll Mercantile will help you find the perfect house plant, cool chic prints, and festive cards, often to the spinning beats of an in house DJ while you shop. Swing by the Organic Soup Kitchen for tasty soups while also helping those battling cancer, chronic illness, and financial hardship before taking a peek inside Lotus Boutique for men’s and women’s, clothing, jewelry, or perhaps some spiritual items such as tarot cards or crystals.

Satisfy your gastronomic cravings at the Cheese Shop, an absolute festive must for decadent gourmet offerings of cheese, party platters, and a selection of meats. All of that will need to be washed down with a visit to Renegade Wines to peep through their extensive wine list, or mosey on over to Meritage Wine Market for advice from their in-house sommeliers. Get your groove on at The Story, where vintage attire is curated by stylist Nina Q and collaborations occur with the iconic Hammies brand. 

Collections of California products, from gift boxes and soaps to books, nuts, and nibbles, are all lovingly created at the Santa Barbara Company. Make a final stop for wine and a panini at Olio Bottega while browsing their retail section of Italian goods. 

La Arcada Plaza

As the new kid down on the darling streets of La Arcada Plaza, Catherine Gee makes a splash with contemporary women’s clothing you’d find in Paris in the fall, St. Tropez in the summer, and everywhere else all seasons in between.

Lewis & Clark has the cutest tree ornaments. | Credit: Courtesy

The plaza is still home to our perennial favorite denim store Ace Rivington, which is the place to get winter flannels or something from their new Madewell x Ace Rivington Collection. Lewis & Clark has the cutest tree ornaments, whimsical trinkets, vintage puzzles, and a whole Christmas collection of goodies, while Lucky Puppy Optical clears things up with glasses for kids and petites, and as in-person parties return, visit BBJ La Tavola for specialty linens,  napkins, overlays, and runners. 


Books are a great gift any time of year, but they’re even better over the holidays, which makes now the perfect time to visit Chaucer’s Books in Loreto Plaza. Just a few doors down, the golf lover in your life will enjoy something from GolfMax (the former Golf Klub, now under new ownership). Skin Deep offers a range of spa services, and your pets can experience joy as well with a stop by Sensational Pets.  

El Paseo

Make this holiday period ever more memorable with a fine piece of jewelry from Bryant & Sons jewelers. Just around the corner at the Presidio, be sure to visit the Mujeres Makers Market on December 3 and 4, where women of color are the sole vendors. 

Funk Zone

Pandemic parklets persist in the Funk Zone, and Mony’s Mexican food is using theirs to expand into dinner hours while serving beer and wine. Swing by for a bite and a gift card. Cutlers Artisan Spirits is a firm favorite with a range of impressive hand-crafted spirits and everything you need to drink them. The Blue Door is still blue and still has three floors filled with treasures for your home of a modern or vintage persuasion while The Shop Keepers is the place for curious goods for curious people such as Waxing Poetic Jewelry, lavender chamomile bath soaks, or a Inouitoosh Fouta towel. Flying Embers will quench your thirst with hard kombucha, seltzer, or a michelada flight, while Dylan Star clothing boutique will cover your festive party threads for both men and women and even a gift basket to show up with. Jules by the Sea sells handcrafted jewelry on Santa Barbara Street, right next door to Jess Conti Leather Goods and Lancaster Wood Prints in the Zone Studioz space. 

Left: Flying Embers will quench your thirst. Center: Check out Lancaster Wood Prints. Right: A Crimson Holiday in La Cumbre Plaza is a hometown tradition. | Credit: Courtesy

La Cumbre Plaza

Featuring wine, appetizers, and fun while you shop, a visit to A Crimson Holiday in La Cumbre Plaza is a hometown tradition, open through December 31. You’ll find unique gifts such as Lady Lazzarona Aprons by Nicole Horstin, whimsical fused glass art by Karen Varela, micro-batch organic vegan chocolates from Menchaca Chocolates, hand- knit children items from Royanna Robertson, and hand-blown glass by Chris Boroquez. Sneak into Bristol Farms for one of their delicious fresh-baked cookies, food items from around the world, or cheese and meats from their deli. 

Find the perfect gift for your prince or princess at Upstairs at Pierre Lafond| Credit: Courtesy


Saunter through Montecito to find the perfect gift for your prince or princess at Upstairs at Pierre Lafond with luxurious home décor, opulent bedding, art from Tilly Treuren, and everything Wendy Foster plus a regal selection of wine and cheese downstairs in the deli. At the Rosewood Miramar Beach, rub shoulders with the nouveau riche while checking out  The Webster’s ready-to-wear clothing from the likes of Alexander Wang and Givenchy. Complete your trip by gazing at meticulously crafted bangles, earrings, and brooches from storied Los Angeles jeweler Laykin et Cie in the Manor House. 


This year, Goleta businesses are making festive shopping easier with their Holiday Train, which is a digital gift card marketplace.

Support the town’s only distillery, Goleta Red Distilling Company, help maintain the beautiful Stow House with a gift card for the Goleta Valley Historical Society, or embrace the winter spirit with a gift card for Ice in Paradise ice-skating rink.

Whatever you’re after, you may find it here with new businesses being added all the time. Hitting the physical streets is also an option, so swing in to Terra Sol for all things garden, grab a new e-bike from Bicycle Bob’s, or find something out of the ordinary at Old Town Antiques.


A store filled with home décor from the sophisticated to the casual, Porch Summerland will help you make your house a home | Credit: Courtesy

Run into Robitailles, which is the county’s largest retail candy store, for unique handmade candies, sugar-free candies, and the famous presidential inauguration mints before strolling it all off with a wander through Seaside Gardens. The three-acre botanical wonderland is the perfect place to get soils, nutrients, gardening tools, and fountain supplies, or to simply meander through the grounds. Small-batch craft beverages are what’s on offer at Apiary, whose quaint taproom offers mead, cider, and jun, which is known as the champagne of kombucha. 

Flow through Santa Barbara Hives where the honey from over 700 beehives countywide is used to make raw honey, beeswax, candles, and soap. Or watch the bees in action in their unusual retail store in Carpinteria filled with working Flow Hives!  

A store filled with home décor from the sophisticated to the casual, Porch Summerland will help you make your house a home with a sumptuous selection of lamps, tables, art, and even picnic gear. No sojourn to Summerland is complete without a moment of zen by visiting Sacred Place for all your crystals, word stones, and exotic furnishings, or simply to enjoy a cup of relaxing hot tea.


Stop by the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum | Credit: Courtesy

Take a probiotic journey and grab yourself artisan vinegars, shrubs, and pickling products from Broken Clock Vinegar Works or stop by First Street Leather for globally sourced artisanal leather accessories and garments. Over at Global Eye Shop & Studio, find quality handmade items curated with care, including hand thrown vases, tableware, and lights. Those gifts would be great to show off organically grown, hand-harvested extra-virgin olive oils from Global Gardens. Get into the true festive spirit with a visit to the first Cowboy Christmas presented by SYV Horseback Rides, where the North Pole comes to Santa Ynez. Hay rides, Santa’s petting zoo, village shops, Christmas pony decorating, the North Pole café, Santa’s Speakeasy, and much more promise to make this event a holiday fave; open on select days through December 23. 


Go native at Santa Barbara Botanic Garden with a new wide selection of California native plants you can now buy online. Experience the first ever ZooLights through January 15, an immersive holiday experience featuring thousands of silk lanterns and more than 50,000 LED bulbs! Stop by the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum from December 2-4 for the annual Folk and Tribal Arts Pop-up, which gives 30 percent back to the museum. Get to know artificial intelligent life every Saturday at the MOXI before visiting their gift shop for all your STEM toys and gifts. Remember that art matters at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, where you can grab jewelry, books, toys, and custom products all while benefiting a good cause.


Six years since legalization, the green economy is blossoming. Downtown connoisseurs frequent Coastal for their wide selection of flower, pre rolls, and beverages while farther up town, regulars saunter into The Farmacy for their renowned tinctures or topicals. Students and locals alike have made One Plant in Goleta the place to go for all their green needs. 

Left: Check out Broken Clock Vinegar Works. Center: Stop by First Street Leather. Right: Flow through Santa Barbara Hives | Credit: Courtesy


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.