Santa Barbara Events & Festivals
Harbor & Seafood Festival
(October): Draws seafood lovers of all ages to Santa Barbara’s popular Harbor for one of the community’s most unique and beloved events.
(September): The annual Santa Barbara Sandcastle Festival is an exciting and fun way to celebrate the beautiful ocean and beaches, two of our community's greatest natural resources. Festival admittance is free, and the cost to compete in the sandcastle & sculpture contest is minimal.
Find complete list of Santa Barbara events here
Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce:
Visit Santa Barbara
Quietly nestled between the ocean & the mountains, Santa Barbara represents the essence California -- the art & culture of the big city & the heart & hospitality of a small, coastal town
. Between the shopping on State Street, some of the best restaurants in the country, & the best that the hotel industry has to offer, Santa Barbara is truly a magnificent place to live or visit!
John Dickson's Santa Barbara Community Guide:
Santa Barbara has a number of sights that are historically and culturally significant. They are appropriate for both families and individuals of all ages.
Our city was shaped by its Spanish past and reflects that in its architecture. There has been a strong commitment to keeping Santa Barbara beautiful. It makes this city very easy on the eye!
Things to Do
- This is where it all began for Santa Barbara. The mission is one of the most beautiful in the state and offers real historic insight. Many events are scheduled at the Mission and it continues to be a focal point of cultural and religious activity.
is at the Heart of Santa Barbara beauty and a great source of entertainment. You'll find three beaches, several excellent restaurants, a wharf, a museum, a harbor and a skate park. If you are visiting Santa Barbara, this is an absolute must-see.
Santa Barbara Zoo
- One of the nation's best small zoos
, this is a visit for the entire family. The Zoo was developed like a park, with plenty of picnic and open areas. The animals are easily viewed and the setting is intimate. They say its a small zoo but there are 600 animals!
From Go California.com
Though wine tasting and beach basking
are two of the most popular area activities, its worth whiling away an afternoon in the city to catch local cultural highlights before steering northwest for the vineyards or south towards the sea. Sights of note around town include historic Mission Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Historical Museum, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park (once a Spanish fort). There's also a maritime museum and a kid-friendly sea center (Ty Warner Sea Center) near the waterfront, a zoo and a lush botanic garden good for a leisurely wander on one of Santa Barbara's famously fine days.
There is a fine list of beaches to chose from when the time is right, including East Beach, West Beach and to the south, Carpinteria State Beach. Scuba Divers, as well as hikers, and wildlife watchers, will find it relatively easy to book passage (by plane or boat) on to the Channel Islands, a national park comprised of eight islands
, which also boasts a selection of sandy beaches as well as inland trails and snorkeling hot spots.
Touring the vineyards of Santa Barbara Wine Country
is always a tasty sojourn. Tasting rooms and tours are available throughout the area, as well as first-class restaurants and gourmet delicatessens to pack up a picnic.
Santa Barbara county boasts six public 18-hole golf courses
, four of which are within a half hour of downtown. Three of these four boast championship level play. The fourth is one of the busiest municipal courses in the country (and some years THE busiest). There are also excellent 9-hole courses with practice facilities open in the evenings.