Travel Back to 1860 at Cold Spring Tavern in Mountains Near Santa Barbara

Cold Spring Tavern was built in the 1860s as a stage coach station to serve travelers on San Marcos Pass in the mountains near Santa Barbara, California.

Voux Travel Cold Spring Tavern Santa Barbara Mountains Exterior

Located 20 minutes north of Santa Barbara, California in Cold Spring Canyon is this hidden gem. The romantic hideaway was built high in the mountains of Santa Barbara and with the style of a Western saloon which serves local wine, beer, and American pub fare.

Voux Travel Cold Spring Tavern Santa Barbara Mountains Old Stagecoach Route

The tavern specialties include Tri-tip sandwiches, Santa Barbara wines, and homemade chili. After dining, make sure to slip into the bar for live music and dancing.

In the summer, there is plenty of outdoor seating to catch up with friends for drinks.

Voux Travel Cold Spring Tavern Santa Barbara

If you’re looking for some extra romance, be sure to hold off until dinner where you can sit among the lit lanterns throughout the restaurant.

The physical appearance of the Tavern has been protected by a series of owners including Adelaide Ovington and her daughter Audrey who purchased the Tavern in 1941. It has been operating as a restaurant/tavern continuously since that date.

The current owners are Joy Ovington Wilson and her husband, Wayne. They have said that they will carry on the traditions of the Tavern and will endeavor to protect the Tavern for the enjoyment of future generations. “It’s a tremendous responsibility but we will do our best.”

Many famous people have been to the Tavern over the years. One movie and several television programs were filmed here. When asked why the fact that many Hollywood stars visited the Tavern was never publicized, Audrey’s answer was, “… Honey, .. That’s why they come.”

The Cold Spring Tavern is located on a stretch of Stagecoach Road right off Highway 154.

The road was one of the main routes connecting Santa Barbara with the county’s rural area across the Santa Ynez Mountains. Native Americans have lived in the Santa Barbara area for over 10,000 years and when traveling most likely used the San Marcos Pass.

The earliest recorded mention of the pass was in the early 19th century as the connection between Mission Santa Barbara and its farm at Ranch San Marcos in the Santa Ynez Valley.

For more information on Cold Spring Tavern, visit

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