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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.
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:
For a complete list of November holiday events, please visit our November Events Calendar.
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.
For a complete list of December holiday events, please visit our December Event Calendar.
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!
2. Butterfly Beach
Insider Tip: Located in Montecito, Butterfly Beach faces west, making it a great place to watch the sunset.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Which of these Santa Barbara beaches is your favorite?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
(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.
(Photo Courtesy of Food Network)
(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.
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:
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!
In the Santa Barbara South Coast, fine dining isn't limited to reservations and a single location. We've taken the dining experience to the streets, where you can discover multitudes of signature Santa Barbra tastes, treats and eats, all while on your feet.
Begin with one of our foodie friendly walking tours:
Savor Santa Barbara Food Tours: This guided 3 1/2 hour walking tasting tour emphasizing in local foods, flavors and fun. By the end, you'll have eaten and been drinking like a local! Combining some of the oldest and newest eateries with local history, culture and architecture, you'll experience seven distinct tastings of food, beer and wine while strolling off-the-beaten path
Eat this, Shoot That!: Touring with a twist! This 2.5 hour walking tour takes guests to various eateries and tasting rooms for 8 different tastings, all the while learning how to take better travel photos as you explore our fabulous city! This tour is great for all palates and photo novices of every skill level, even the iPhone photographer.
Taste Santa Barbara Food Tours:Not quite sure where or what to eat? Considered the "progressive lunch", this 3.5 tour is a fantastic way to try different foods in some of the best eateries and watering holes in Downtown Santa Barbara. In addition, you'll learn about Santa Barbara culture, architecture and a little history. The tour is great fit for all!
Next up is food trucks:
The Burger Bus: One phrase can describe your experience while indulging in The Burger Bus, "simple yet sublime". Made with the best ingredients possible, all burgers and sides are made from local produce and ingredients. While sticking with traditional burger fixings, The Burger Bus also branches out to explore new flavors, creating burgers such as CB&JTM, a burger patty covered in melted cheese, grilled onions and seasonal Mama's Preserves jelly on toasted ciabatta. In addition, did we mention that their menu includes deep fried pickles, called pickle chips? Simply amazing.
Georgia's Smokehouse: Making daily lunch and dinner stops, Georgia's Smokehouse is the place for a southern helping of comfort food. Specializing in Southern Smokehouse BBQ, the pulled pork sandwich is a must get when visiting this truck. When picking out sides, we recommend the Bacon & Cheddar Hush Puppies, which are out of this world.
Sugar and Salt Creamery: If you're looking for a sweet treat while on your feet, start walking to the Sugar and Salt Creamery. You'll immediately send your taste buds into a sweet dream after tasting their sorbet made from raw sprouted almond milk.
Don't forget about the beverages!
All within walking distance to each other, Santa Barbara's Urban Wine Trail and The Funk Zone are great locations to sip and savor wine, beer and signature cocktails from one location to the next. Just remember, with all drinking, please do so responsibly.
For insider tips, special offers and more, sign up for our enews today!
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