Admit it: If you haven’t been to downtown Santa Barbara in a while, you miss it. The shopping, the restaurants, the arts, the people-watching — it’s all here and more. It’s an area of tradition and dynamic change, where the new complements the old with authentic charm. Let’s take a look at some of the treasures that make downtown an unparalleled place to visit.

Lovebird Boutique

You might say Jennifer Scarbrough went double-down on downtown. The owner of two Lovebird Boutiques in the historic neighborhood — 7 E. De la Guerra St. behind Starbucks and 535 State St. next to the Hotel Santa Barbara — she offers a range of affordable women’s apparel, shoes, jewelry and more. Scarbrough, a jewelry designer, opened the first Lovebird on De la Guerra in 2008. The State Street shop opened its doors a year later. Scarbrough and her staff pride themselves on their friendly, personal service. Stop by the State Street location and enter the drawing for a $250 gift certificate to mark the store’s first anniversary.

OffLeash — where pets meet style

Folks on the South Coast love their pets, and there might be no better place to spoil your best friend than OffLeash. The boutique at 1103 State St. offers a stunning selection of dog collars, leashes, treats, spa products and designer clothing for your stylish companions. Co-owners Audrey and Randy Glantz, who took over last summer, participate in 1st Thursday events, promoting local pet artists. Be sure to say hello to Tex, the pooch the Glantzes adopted from D.A.W.G. in November; h’s now the store’s four-legged ambassador.

Two Owls Boutique

It might be hard to find a shop that embodies the spirit of Santa Barbara more than Two Owls Boutique in Victoria Court. Started in 2000 with an eye toward environmental sensitivity, Two Owls features organic cotton clothing for women and children that’s designed in Santa Barbara and manufactured domestically. Coming very soon to its shop at 1221 State St., Suite 5, is a brand-new label of children’s clothing, using refurbished fabric, called SoMona. Named for owner Mona Anastas, the line is made in her shop, with prices ranging from $10 to $35. She hopes to add a women’s line for SoMona soon.

A Tropical Affair Lingerie & Bikinis

This being Santa Barbara, you’ll surely need a swimsuit as the weather gets warmer. Or maybe you’re in the market for something a little more intimate. Either way, A Tropical Affair Lingerie & Bikinis likely has whatever suits your fancy. Located at 12 E. Cota St. for 10 years, the shop offers scores of brands from around the world. Owned by Heather Taylor, the boutique also carries cruise wear for folks lucky enough to be heading to the high seas. Popular with locals and tourists alike, A Tropical Affair opened an online store to serve all customers near and far. Click here to enter and shop.

Indigo Interiors

Santa Barbara’s known for its Spanish inspired architecture, but Indigo Interiors has been giving it an Asian influence for 26 years. Opened originally as a boutique of Japanese antiques, Indigo has evolved into a bastion of interior design. With the help of principal Genny Cummings, who is also an interior designer, Indigo provides its customers everything they need to decorate their homes. Located at 1323 State St., the boutique today offers furnishings and accessories from Indonesia, the Philippines and China. Cummings has seen trends come and go over the past quarter-century, but Indigo has thrived with flexibility and creativity while preserving a classic sense of style.

This information was provided by members of the Santa Barbara Downtown Organization. If you’re a member and would like your business to be considered for a future article, e-mail

— Mary Lynn Harms is marketing director of the Santa Barbara Downtown Organization.