Accessories designer, founder of her eponymous accessories line, and Rosewood PlaceMaker, Kendall Conrad defines understated elegance and California cool.
Born in San Francisco, handbag and accessories designer Kendall Conrad spent her early childhood summers at her family’s beach house in Rincon, just 15 miles south of Montecito, until the age of nine, when her family decided to move there permanently. Raised among the surf and sand, Conrad has always been a Californian at heart. After her modeling career took her to Paris, Milan and New York, she returned to SoCal and in 1997, moved to Montecito with her husband, raising two daughters in the years that followed. In 2010, she launched her eponymous line and then in 2021, moved to Santa Ynez, where she currently designs her label and spends time hiking, horseback riding, and enjoying the natural surrounds.
It’s hard to walk through these gardens and not think they’re one of the greatest ever. Madame Ganna Walska did us all such an incredible service when she purchased this 37-acre estate in 1941 and created a collection of 15 different kinds of gardens—everything from Japanese gardens to a cactus garden—with more than 3,400 different kinds of plants. It’s great to go during different times of year to see how they change with the seasons. They’re all spectacular, but I especially love the lotus garden in July when the lotuses are in bloom.
There is no shortage of fantastic hikes in the area, but here’s a handful of some of my favorite ones—Figueroa Moutain, Red Rock, Refugio Road and Lovers Loop—all of which are in the Santa Ynez hills and are on the moderate side. You can even do them in Birkenstocks.
Rosewood Miramar Beach is the only hotel in the area located directly on the beach, and I highly recommend taking advantage of that. South of the Miramar, at low tide, you can walk to Fernald Point, which is a great 10-minute stroll. Of course, I’m also partial to Rincon, where my mother still lives. You can walk on the beach there for miles.
I do love shopping at The Webster and James Perse at the Miramar (you can even find antique French ladders in there), as well as Diani on State Street (she really understands Santa Barbara’s laid-back style), but I also do a lot of my clothing shopping online.
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