The Fess Parker
633 East Cabrillo Blvd.
Santa Barbara, CA 93103
The Fess Parker is directly across the street from the beach
I had a magnificent summer vacation with my family at Fess Parkerís Doubletree Resort. Located in magical Santa Barbara, the Fess Parker Doubletree is a 24-acre resort situated with a stunning vista of one of its most sparkling turquoise beaches. Fess Parker, a longtime resident of Santa Barbara, was an American actor and icon who played Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone in the 1950ís and 1960ís. Parker jointly developed this resort with the Hilton Hotels in 1986, and I am glad that he did!
The Fess Parker Doubletree Resort contains a fabulous amount of activities including swimming, shuffle-boarding, tennis, bike rentals, and a cardio-room. An abundance of food and drink options are available within the resort including a Cafť, a daily breakfast buffet, as well as three restaurantsóThe Roundhouse, The Set, and Rodneyís Grill--so a visiting family does not need to search far for food or drink options! This variety of culinary options within the hotel is very convenient after a long drive or plane trip. Best of all, this resort is within walking distance to many popular Santa Barbara attractions including Stearns Wharf (a Santa Barbara fixture since 1872), the Santa Barbara Zoo, and State Street with its eclectic shops and bustling restaurants.
The Santa Ynez mountains form a dramatic backdrop.
Like much of Santa Barbara's architecture, The Fess Parker Resort was designed in the Spanish Mission style, with a red rooftop, and also incorporates into the structure a beautiful reimagining of the railroad roundhouse that previously occupied that spot.
This resort is very popular with graduates of UCSB and of my alma mater, Westmont College. When my family first entered the spacious room, we were greeted with cookies, a signature move for the Doubletree Resorts. We suddenly faced the roomís amazing, dead-on view of the ocean from our room. The balcony was also very spacious and inviting and, gazing outward from it, we were delighted by how close we were to the beach, with its walking path replete with happy bikers, skaters, and walkers, as well as Stearns Wharf. The view of the ocean was spectacular. This private patio, with its comfortable table and lounge furniture, was my favorite place to relax during our stay. I loved sitting on the lounge chair, watching the boats drift along the ocean-front. All rooms are non-smoking and contain only the best amenities, including, to my kidís delight, On-Demand movies. Our quiet room also contained a safe, a mini-bar refrigerator, a work desk with high-speed internet, and two comfortable Queen-sized beds.
The resortís freshwater pool and whirlpool were very large and inviting. My kids also enjoyed the shuffle board and putting green. The hotel also offers three lit tennis courts and a fitness room with Precor cardio equipment for its guests. My kids also spent considerable time in the gift shop and hung out in the spacious lobby. Right across the street from the resort is a large grassy field, where my kids kicked around their soccer ball and threw a Frisbee while overlooking the beautiful beach.
The resort is pet-friendly, and I noticed many well-behaved pooches enjoying the lobby with their owners. Some other pleasant resort features include a valet dry cleaning and laundry service. The resort also provides complimentary airport and Amtrack shuttle service from 5:00 am until 9:00 pm daily.
The Fess Parker also boasts a beautiful outdoor terrace area called Plaza-Del Sol. Weddings and special events are held here, and one could scarcely imagine a more idyllic setting. It is a beautiful place to breathe in the fresh ocean air and hear the birds chirping while gazing at the ocean on one side with the majestic Santa Ynez mountains as the backdrop.
My kids especially took advantage of the resortís ideal location--across the street from the beach. Biking, walking, skating, scootering and skateboarding opportunities abound for visitors and bike rentals are available at the resort. A few yards down the beach is a popular skate park for serious skateboarders. A bit further down the pathway Stearns Wharf which offers touristy shops, an ice cream store, restaurants, and a small Sea life museum. My kids loved walking down this pier and wanted to go there multiple times. See my list of family-friendly Santa Barbara activities.
Although Fess Parker passed away in 2010, his family continues to operate Fess Parkerís Wine Country Inn and Spa and the Fess Parker Winery in nearby Los Olivos. Certainly, the Fess Parker Doubletree is worth visiting and revisiting. Whether you plan a trip in the spring, summer, winter, or fall, all seasons are temperate and lovely in Santa Barbara and you will have a pleasant and unforgettable visit.