What Michael Bay is to explosions, The Four Seasons’ Biltmore Resort in Santa Barbara is to Sunday brunch. The all-you-can-eat buffet features unlimited oysters, caviar, sushi, and fresh masa tortillas made to order. Mouthwatering indulgences as far as the eye can see, all set against the backdrop of a lush, colorful landscape with pristine, uninterrupted ocean views.
But there’s a secret way to enjoy almost all of this without forking over $80, provided you’re willing to set your alarm a little early and forego the crab legs. The Biltmore offers an early breakfast buffet, which guests of the hotel frequent and is—unbeknownst to many—open to the public.
If you’re not staying in Santa Barbara already, get on the road by 7 AM or so, the only time all week there is no traffic. By about 8:30 you’ll be sipping coffee next to a toasty fire pit while watching dolphins play in the surf (really). The earlier breakfast buffet, which runs from 7–11 Monday through Saturday and 7-10 on Sundays, is only $36 per person and features fruits, charcuterie, made-to-order omelets and breakfast bowls, as well as lox, bagels, and all the breakfast classics like French toast and pancakes. There’s even a “Gluten-free Corner,” because of course there is.