CASH-SAVER GETAWAY, HOSTEL-STYLE: Santa Barbara can be portrayed as the toniest of the tony, and that's a rep that holds some water. It is, after all, called "The American Riviera," which means that some of the luxury-nice destinations of the area can out-luxury other luxurious spots elsewhere.
But there are bargain getaways to be found throughout the beach-blissful city. After all, Motel 6 has its early company roots in Santa Barbara, and a number of quirky properties keep the prices from getting too dear. The latest has an on-the-road twist in that it isn't a motel, nor a hotel, nor even a B&B: It's a hostel, and it has landed plunk in the middle of the wine-trail-happy, bohemian-rhapsodic Funk Zone.
THE WAYFARER... is the hostel's handle, and it is a bit different from the hostels of your college-backpacking youth. For one? There are private accomos, in addition to shared rooms, which isn't necessarily a feature at every hostel you ever landed at, back in the day. As for the rooms? Style is key, which makes sense, given the visual district it calls home (and the stylish city that houses the visual Funk Zone). "(I)ndustrial cool" is the name of the game, as is free Wi-fi, a tricked-out, full equipment kitchen, a colorful, hang-out communal area, a library, and complimentary breakfast. Another twist to the tale? A hotel company is behind the contemporary-design hostel, Pacifica, to be exact, which worked with Funk Zone's own Central Coast Real Estate to develop The Wayfarer.
TO LEARN MORE... about the hostel-style living sitch -- the communal rooms are split into female quarters and male quarters -- don your backpack and trekkers and make for the Funk Zone, now.