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santa monica or santa barbara

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Hi everyone -

My husband and I are planning a romantic long weekend getaway in southern CA. I am debating between Santa Barbara and Santa Monica. We are from Boston and have been to neither.

We are looking for sun, beach, relaxation, nice hotel & pool, good meals, some walking around shopping, etc. We are not planning to rent a car (but could, if need be) as we will only be there 3 to 4 nites and really just want to relax, not sightsee.

After quite a bit of research, I was all set to book the Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica as it seemed like that area met all of our requirements. Also, it would be easy to get a flight from BOS to LAX ( I'm using miles )

Then someone mentioned santa barbara to me and that looks just as nice... I haven't done a ton of research on Santa Barbara yet, but was wondering if I should just stick to the original plan?

Does anyone have any advice on how to decide? We are planning to spend about 350-400/nite on hotel and we are going at the end of June.

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