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Relieve Your Holiday Stress with These 5 Activities

Posted On: Wednesday, Nov 26, 2014 11:11 AM

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With the chaos of the holiday season, and the aftermath of Black Friday, it’s important to take the time to relax, de-stress, and to use this time to create special moments you’ll remember throughout the year. In Santa Barbara, we’re in no shortage of sunshine and activities for you and your loved ones. While your friends and family are in town for a Thanksgiving getaway, or perhaps you’re preparing for a Santa Barbara Christmas, here are a few activities that will help to relieve your holiday stress and welcome the warmth of the season. Did we mention it’s still sunny and 70 degrees here?


1. Hiking

Get off your seat and on your feet! Spend the afternoon hiking in Santa Barbara and you’ll be lead to spectacular views of the city. Or, on an overcast day, you’ll be transported into a dreamland above the clouds.  

 2. Beach Walk
If hiking isn’t quite your thing, but you still want to get moving after all the holiday treats, a beach walk is something everyone can enjoy. If you don’t know where to start, here are a few of our favorite beaches.  

3. Horseback Riding
Add a little giddy up to your holiday and experience horseback riding on the beach. Perfect for the whole family, this is an activity you and your kids will be talking about for years to come.

4. Savor a sunset
Nothing beats the beauty of a Santa Barbara sunset. Surrounded by a sky bursting with color, it’ll be a performance you’ll never forget.

5. Star-Gazing
Need one final way to de-stress this season? Spend the evening relaxing under a star-filled sky. There’s no better way to end your day.

However, if you’re looking for events to fill your holiday vacation, view our guide to the holidays in Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara Holiday Guide 2014

Posted On: Friday, Nov 21, 2014 10:35 AM

The holiday season is no longer just around the corner, in Santa Barbara, our menus are planned, party outfits have been picked out and we're ready to celebrate the rest of the year surrounded by friends and family. Whether you're planning a Thanksgiving getaway or if Santa Barbara is your Christmas vacation destination, we're here to help plan your stay with some of our favorite events of the season. With so many holiday events and gatherings to choose from, your calendar is sure to be booked from now until 2015. 

NOVEMBER:
In between planning your Santa Barbara Thanksgiving and putting the final touches on your holiday menu, take the time to attend one of our November events. From cooking unique side dishes to running off those holiday pounds, you'll have a "smashing time" at the following events:

  • November 22-23: Holiday Marketplace 2014
    From hand-thrown ceramics to one-of-a-kind jewelry to custom-sewn textiles to custom crafted leather goods - the Holiday Marketplace is one-stop shopping for even the most difficult-to-buy-for person on your holiday list. 

  • November 23rdVeggies Gone Wild, A new Spin on Holiday Dishes
    Experience some decidedly non-classic but uniquely delicious sides for your holiday (or anytime) meals.

  • November 23: 5K Gobble Run
    The 5K Gobble Gobble Run is the run with fun! Your prize for crossing the finish line? A glass of wine from Fess Parker Winery! Or, you can choose to walk through 2-3 wine tasting stations along the 1K course.

  • November 27th: Thanksgiving Day Pumpkin Smash
    Have a “smashing” time at the Santa Barbara Zoo with the family on Thanksgiving! Watch as the elephants, gorillas and other Zoo animals play and interact with pumpkins during this holiday favorite event.

For a complete list of November holiday events, please visit our November Events Calendar.

DECEMBER
During your California Christmas vacation, dash through Santa Barbara in December. We're more than a winter beach vacation. Below, you'll discover holiday traditions that include a few of our favorite things, parades, trains and a toast to champagne.

  • December 3rd: Secrets of a Tamale Chef
    This entertaining and interactive class shows how to make tamales you'll love to eat and serve.

  • December 3rd: 20th Annual Arcada Christmas Walk
    Get into the holiday spirit with a stroll in Santa Barbara’s La Arcada, complete with photos with Santa, strolling carolers, local music groups, popcorn and other holiday cheer!

  • December 5th62nd Annual Downtown Santa Barbara Holiday Parade
    Join Grand Marshall Alan Thicke and more than 50,000 spectators to cheer marching bands, floats, performance groups and of course - Santa Claus in  the 2014 Downtown Santa Barbara Holiday Parade. This year’s theme, "Winter Nights & Holiday Lights", is presented by Consumer Fire Products, Inc.

  • December 5-7: Folk & Tribal Arts Marketplace at Museum of Natural History
    Attend the largest folk art show in Southern California, as they return to Santa Barbara with nearly 30 vendors representing more than 50 countries. This show will featuring an amazing selection of baskets, décor, ethnographic art, furniture, jewelry, pottery, sculpture, and more!

  • December 6: Gustafson Dance Presents: Rudolph
    Holiday season isn’t complete without a visit to see Santa’s trusted reindeer, Rudolph. Also included in this ballet of the holiday classic are Clarice, the Abominable Snow Monster, and even Santa. 

  • December 7th: Cheese and Sparkling Wine Class
    This is one delicious event you won’t want to miss! Join C’est Cheese as they celebrate the holiday season with sparkling wines & cheese! Attendees will taste through 3 sparkling wines, a Prosecco from Italy, a Cap Classique from South Africa & a Champagne from France - each of which will be paired with 2 cheeses.

  • December 7-9: Holiday Festival of Trains
    Those of all ages are invited to enjoy a sampling of Dave Halbeisen's extensive model train collection as the Santa Barbara Public Library System presents "Holiday Festival of Trains" at the Goleta Library for a special 3-day holiday display.

  • December 10: A Very Electric Christmas
    Get ready for a Very Electric Christmas at the Granada Theater. Performed in complete darkness this show is sure to entertain and features creative storylines centered around Nutcracker soldiers, candy-canes, naughty Rats, an electric Christmas tree surrounded by presents, glow worms, dancing flowers and many other holiday creatures that light up the stage.

  • December 13: Healthy Holiday Cooking
    Held at the Santa Barbara Public Market, learn how to make healthy holiday dishes without breaking tradition. Replace high fat holiday foods with healthier, delectable versions that will fool even your pickiest guests!

  • December 13: Nutcracker at the Arlington
    A cherished Santa Barbara holiday tradition, Nutcracker at the Arlington Theatre will be performed by Santa Barbara Festival Ballet at the Historic Arlington Theatre with a live, full symphony orchestra.

  • December 14th: 29th Annual Parade of Lights
    A Santa Barbara tradition the whole family can enjoy! The 29th Annual boat parade will begin as 20-30 boats motor, sail, and paddle the Santa Barbara Coastline. Best viewing locations include Stearns Wharf and Santa Barbara Breakwater.

For a complete list of December holiday events, please visit our December Event Calendar.

A Few of our Favorite Santa Barbara Beaches

Posted On: Friday, Oct 17, 2014 2:11 PM

One of the simplest pleasures of Santa Barbara is its proximity to the ocean. With miles of sandy coastline, and over 300+ days of sunshine to enjoy, you'll have trouble picking which of our pristine beaches to visit first. From surfer dude waves to a gentle ocean, Santa Barbara beaches have something to offer everyone.

When you're ready to hit the beach, here are some of our favorites with a few insider tips:

1. Arroyo Burro Beach
Insider Tip: Known as Henry's Beach to locals, Arroyo Burro Beach is a flat, dog-friendly spot. There's even a dog-washing station in the parking lot!

 henrys beach santa barbara
Image by Instagram Fan @littlelynnSB

2. Butterfly Beach
Insider Tip: Located in Montecito, Butterfly Beach faces west, making it a great place to watch the sunset.

Butterfly Beach
Image by Instagram Fan @SBlifeandstyle 

3. East Beach
Insider Tip: Bring the family and head to East Beach, next to Stearns Wharf. East Beach makes your stay a breeze with lifeguard stations, playground, cafe, and volleyball courts.

 east beach volleyball santa barbara
Image by J. Sinclair

4. Goleta Beach Park
Insider Tip: This good land beach is for those who like to be active during their beach time. Goleta Beach Park is complete with a fishing pier, playgrounds, picnic and grill areas, bike trails, volleyball courts and horseshoe pits.

 Goleta beach park
Image by Instagram Fan @gb0n

5. Ledbetter Beach 
Insider Tip: Near the harbor, where the coastline wraps around the beach. Because the coastline trends east to west, you can watch both the sunrise and sunset here.

 ledbetter beach santa barbara
Image By Jay Sinclair 

6. Summerland Beach
Insider Tip: Looking for a relaxing time? Summerland beach is a low-key spot that's not only dog friendly, but horse friendly too.

summerland beach
Image By Jay Sinclair 

Which of these Santa Barbara beaches is your favorite?

6 Savory Sips in Santa Barbara’s Newest Wine Neighborhood

Posted On: Tuesday, Oct 14, 2014 11:34 AM

As a lover of Santa Barbara and even bigger lover of Santa Barbara wine, I’m happy to announce and cheers to Santa Barbara’s newest wine tasting neighborhood, the Wine Collection of El Paseo. Located in the heart of fine dining and high-end shopping on State Street, these 6 ultra-premium wine tasting rooms are the perfect pairing for an afternoon (or two!) of wining, dinning and shopping.


Photo By Mark Weber

But what sets this new tasting neighborhood apart from others in the area? The new Wine Collection of El Paseo features small-production, boutique wineries that produce ultra-premium wines sourced from local Santa Barbara County vineyards.  In addition to tasting great wines, while you sip and swirl, you’ll be able to earn how these wines are locally crafted and about the terroir of where the grapes are grown in Santa Barbara County. It’s truly a grape to glass experience!

Tasting rooms of the Wine Collection of El Paseo includes Au Bon Climat Winery, Grassini Family Vineyards, Happy Canyon Vineyard, Jamie Slone Wines, Margerum Wine Company and MWC32.

Spend the afternoon in Downtown Santa Barbara and taste for yourself! All tasting rooms are open daily from 12-6 pm. Keep in mind the final tastings of the day begin no later than 5:30 pm.



Follow Grassini Family Vineyards on Instagram @grassinifamilyvineyards

For your epicure.sb insider tip, enjoy special tasting flights from:

Grassini Family Vineyards, featuring “Savor The Sauv” October 1-31
Jamie Slone Wines, featuring “Showtime at the Cabernet” October 1-31
Au Bon Climat Winery, featuring “Monster Mash Tasting Flight” October 24-31 and “Halloween” on October 31st

Cheers!

epicure.sb Inside Scoop: How To Crack Sea Urchin in 4 Easy Steps

Posted On: Friday, Oct 3, 2014 2:07 PM

Have you ever taken a look at the purple and prickly shell of the sea urchin and thought, how am I supposed to eat that? Believe us, it's not as hard as it may appear, and the results are too delicious not to try. In Santa Barbara, sea urchin is our specialty, and we're here to show you how to crack and enjoy this local delicacy in 4 easy steps.

In honor of epicure.sb, a 31-day celebration of cuisine, libations and culture during the month of October, Stephanie Mutz, President of Commercial Fishermen of Santa Barbara is here to guide you and provide the inside scoop. Here we go:

Step 1: Open the urchin by turning it upside down with mouth facing up. Hold two spoons back to back and squeeze together.

how to crack a sea urchin step 1

Step 2: Turn the sea urchin over to dump the sea water and algae.
how to crack a sea urchin step 2

Step 3: Pull out the maroon membranes.
how to crack a sea urchin step 4

 Step 4: With a spoon, scoop pieces of the bright orange uni.

how to crack a sea urchin step 3
That's it! The traditional way to eat sea urchin is raw, right out of the shell. Not feeling that adventurous? Don't worry. Visit seastephaniefish.com for recipes or click here for your complete guide to all the eats, drinks and experiences during epicure.sb.

 

Savor Your Salutations with 8 Yoga Events During epicure.sb

Posted On: Wednesday, Oct 1, 2014 10:32 PM

There's a new craze that's sweeping Santa Barbara and it's calling on the mind and body. That's right, yoga in Santa Barbara is stretching its reach and balancing itself within our coastal lifestyle.

Santa Barbara Beach Yoga
Image by Instagram fan @primalrevolutions

Yoga has been around for centuries, but what makes the Santa Barbara yogi so unique? Our ocean to mountain sunshine allows for this meditative practice to be taken outside of the studio and into the wild. Bring a whole new meaning to mountain pose while you’re surrounded by giant boulders and breathtaking views. Or, perhaps boat pose on the sand at your favorite Santa Barbara beach. Wherever you choose, this healthy activity will leave you feeling centered in your Santa Barbara surroundings.

Santa Barbara sunset yoga

Image by Instagram fan @primalrevolutions

As part of epicure.sb, a 31-day celebration of Santa Barbara’s cuisine, libation and culture, we’ll also be celebrating yoga in Santa Barbara with the First Annual Health and Wellness Yoga Series. This October event series will feature a unique array of Santa Barbara's top Yoga teachers and premiere locations. Each of the events is designed include an hour long yoga class followed by a reception.

  Re-Occurring Sundays

The purpose of this series is to create a truly uplifting experience that highlights the unique lifestyle of Santa Barbara. With that said, grab your yoga mat and join us for one of these unique events!

Namaste.

The Top 10 Father/Daughter Songs Requested for Santa Barbara Weddings

Posted On: Thursday, Sep 25, 2014 11:12 AM

Romantic and whimsical, the Santa Barbara South Coast is home to some of the most beautiful weddings a bride and groom could wish for. Breathtaking landscapes, a Mediterranean climate year round that makes wedding planning a breeze, and sunsets that will make your heart skip a beat. These are just some of the contributions to the beauty of a Santa Barbara wedding. However, the real reason of their beauty is within the love that is shared and expressed, time and time again.

Santa Barbara Wedding Playlist
Image by Instagram Fan @dmitry_shumanev 

One way to express your wedding love is through the traditional father and daughter dance. There is nothing quite like it, or as special. Since Santa Barbara is home to countless weddings each year, we've reached out to one of our wedding experts, DJ Scott Topper, and he's provided us with a list of the top 10 most requested songs for this beloved father and daughter dance in SB.

10. Daughters- John Mayer
9. Dance with my Father - Luther Vandross
8. I Loved Her First - Heartland
7. Daughter - Loudon Wainwright
6. Just Fishin' - Trace Adkins
5. Walk with You - Edwin McCain
4. My Little Girl - Tim McGraw
3. My Girl - The Temptations
2. Butterfly Kisses - Bob Carlisle
1. My Wish - Rascal Flatts

 Think we missed a song? Tell us in the comments below!

And remember, you can always listen to the sounds of the Santa Barbara South Coast on our SB Pandora Station!

90 Seconds of Inspiration for Labor Day Weekend in Santa Barbara

Posted On: Friday, Aug 22, 2014 4:14 PM

This Labor Day Weekend, take a relaxing vacation in the Santa Barbara South Coast. The reason? Because you deserve it! Treat yourself and your loved ones for an extended weekend of fun, in the Santa Barbara sun. As summer slowly comes to an end, we guarantee you’ll create enough memories to last through the winter season.

In fact, thanks to our Instagram followers, here is 90 seconds of inspiration of what your SB weekend can look like:

For a perfect Santa Barbara pairing, nothing goes better with your morning beach walk than a Santa Barbara sunrise.

Video by Instagram fan @goprocab

In Santa Barbara, happiness is a dog at the beach. Trust us, man's best friend will love SB just as much as you do!

Video by Instagram fan @joseeliaz

Surfing is a lifestyle we gladly accept, especially on a sunny summer afternoon.

During your stay in the Santa Barbara South Coast, you'll feel on top of the world.

Video by Instagram fan @frostedminisweets

Stand up paddleboarding should be on everyone's summer to do list!

 Take in a moment from one of our many breathtaking viewpoints.

 Video by Instagram fan @perkinsj

 

Don't forget to share with us your Santa Barbara memories by tagging #SeeSB on Instagram and Twitter.

Savor Santa Barbara in Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race!

Posted On: Monday, Aug 11, 2014 9:54 AM

Food Network The Great Food Truck Race  
(Photo Courtesy of Food Network) 

Don't miss the piping hot premiere of Food Network's The Great Food Truck Race, where food truck contenders will gather together in the culinary community of Santa Barbara to kick off an all new season.

Tune in on Sunday August 17th at 9|8c, as host Tyler Florence introduces eight brand-new food truck teams, all rookies to the food truck scene. They'll start their journey in Santa Barbara with fresh concepts, entrepreneurial spirits and chance to win their own food truck business and $5,000 in seed money.

 Stearns Wharf Santa Barbara J Sinclair

Food Network The Great Food Truck Race 02
(Photo Courtesy of Food Network)

Food Network The Great Food Truck Race 04 
(Photo Courtesy of Food Network)

Food Network The Great Food Truck Race 05
(Photo Courtesy of Food Network)
 

For additional information and a sneak peek of the new season, please visit FoodNetwork.com/FoodTrucks

After you've watched the episode, make you way to the Santa Barbara South Coast to taste your way through our plentiful palate of flavors. Dine in one of our 300+ restaurants, sip on delectable Santa Barbara County wines, or re-enact the episode and eat on your feet with one of our local Santa Barbara food trucks.

 santa barbara restaurants J Sinclair

Your Santa Barbara Summer Playlist

Posted On: Friday, Aug 1, 2014 10:48 AM

santa-barbara-summer-music-playlist

There's only one thing in this world that's better than a summer in the Santa Barbara South Coast, and that's finding the perfect playlist to pair with your vacation in Santa Barbara! The sounds of a SB summer can be found in the rhythm of our ocean shores, in our laid back attitudes, and through the pulsing sounds of our unforgettable summer celebrations. Whatever your musical taste, you're guaranteed to fall in love with the sounds of a SB summer. If you need a little SB inspiration, here a few tracks we'd gladly put on replay:

  • Vacation, The Go-Go's - While packing for your weekend getaway, this is just the tune to get you movin', groovin', and dancing your way through your Santa Barbara vacation
  • On top of the World, Imagine Dragons -- You'll definitely feel on top if the world when in SB. And why you're at it, hiking in Santa Barbara will lead you to views that top the whole Santa Barbara South Coast. 
  • Do You Remember, Jack Johnson - UCSB graduate and returning artist to the Santa Barbara Bowl, this Jack Johnson song is all you'll ever need on our sunny shores. 
  • Three Little Birds, Bob Marley - The laid back sounds of Bob Marley are just the tunes to turn up as you cruise your way down Cabrillo Boulevard on a surrey from A Wheel Fun Rentals
  • California Girls, Katy Perry - Born and raised in the Santa Barbara South Coast, this California girl has given us the ultimate summer anthem and we can't help but play it again, especially while shopping in one of Santa Barbara's 9 shopping districts
  • Happy, Ferrell Williams - Because honestly, who wouldn't be happy vacationing in SB!?

You can do more than listen to the sounds of the Santa Barbara South Coast, but become musically inspired by them as well! Artists such as David Crosby, Jeff Bridges, Brian Wilson, Glen Phillips and so many more have used their Santa Barbara surrounding to inspire classic hits.

If you're left wanting to hear more, you can listen to the Santa Barbara South Coast all day long with Visit Santa Barbara's custom Pandora Station. Get ready to be transported to a Santa Barbara paradise!

 

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