Worth the Drive: Presidio Motel

Worth the Drive is a twice weekly look at nearby getaways

Brad Hand
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Your job: Decide to get out of town and fast. Our job: Help you find where you're headed. This week, Worth the Drive takes us to...

The Presidio Motel: The name of this Santa Barbara boutiquery makes us feel as if we've driven down a long desert stretch, only to see the first seagull overhead. We're dressed like an Ali McGraw character circa 1974, the lenses of our sunglasses are the size of salad plates, and the inn we're walking into feels mid-century cool and artier than an art store.

Where it is at: The Presidio is located on State Street. Which thrills us, because that means walking distance to restaurants, to drinks, to galleries. Walking. Distance.

About the motel: It is oh-so-contemporary, and art-forward, and each room is its own canvas. Think vinyl decals dotting the walls: Room 7 is full of purple-y pinwheels, while Room 16 boasts a parachuting elephant.

Parachuting elephant: Two more words that do this heart good.

Prices: Some rooms can go for just under a hundred bucks. Other rooms don't go too far north of that. These are prices that make us feel all parachuting-elephant-y inside.

Valentine's Day: As of this typing, there were a couple of rooms left.

Vintage motel: Motels are film-location favorites; how many convertibles have pulled to a stop under a "no vacancy" sign? The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is on right now, which makes us think that staying at a stylish motel like the Presidio is the perfect way to go. Go see a movie, then stay in a movie-ready place.

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