The SB Post
Kunin tasting room on the Urban Wine Trail.
It's pretty much a guarantee in Santa Barbara: June 1st rolls around and in rolls the marine layer that coined the term "June Gloom." Not to worry though, the gray sky typically burns off by early afternoon so the sunshine is never far away or too long a wait. However, if you're looking for ways to explore Santa Barbara while the sun is hiding, might we suggest the Urban Wine Trail, a series of nearly 20 tasting rooms throughout the Funk Zone.
This is one of my truly favorite aspects of Santa Barbara for a number of reasons. First, the area's wine country is not only top-notch, but also inviting in its mom-and-pop feel. The wineries and vineyards of Santa Barbara County are typically small enclaves of winding vines and rolling hillsides hidden alongside country roads and near rural ranchlands.. They're manned by commited vintners, many of whom you'll find pouring on any given day. And it's that winning combination of world-class wines and inviting ambiance that makes the Urban Wine Trail so appealing, too--the flavor and uniqueness of wine country, all within walking distance.
The new AVA tasting room features a hand-drawn chalk mural of the area's wine history and regions.
Second is the location. The tasting rooms that make up the Urban Wine Trail are primarily located within the Funk Zone--the area located between the Pacific and Highway 101. It's a favorite among locals and is quickly gaining national acclaim as a gentrified artisan epicenter. The tasting rooms are all within a short wal of each other, downtown and the beach. Many are unsuspectingly located among old warehouses or in revamped buildings. And all of them promise the savory sips and swirls that people come from all over the world to enjoy.
And then there's the convenience. You can make a day of tasting along the UWT. Hail a pedicab or hop on a cruiser bike to get from one to the next. Or, simply show up for a glass of your favorite flavor after work at any of the eclectic and enticing venues. Chat with the vintners themselves. Learn more about the wine, the wine country, and the unique features of each.
Whatever your wine tasting preference, Santa Barbara's Urban Wine Trail promises a little something--in a lot of tasting rooms--for everyone. Salud!
It's summer in Santa Barbara, which means a lot of things to a lot of people. One of the main defining elements of summer in SB is the long list of incredible events and festivals to come!
It officially kicked off over Memorial Day weekend with I'Madonnari--the famous Italian street painting festival that takes place at Old Mission Santa Barbara. Hundreds of artists gather to transform the Mission parking lot into an array of calk art. If you missed the event, the art lingers throughout the first month or so of summer, so make sure to take a look!
There are the headlining festivals that draw people from all over--those signature Santa Barbara events. But if you're looking for something spontaneous, the Santa Barbara Calendar of Events is a great resource for what's going on right now. And if you're the party-hopping type, make sure you add these favorites to your summer lineup:
- Summer Solstice Parade and Festival - June 21 - 23
- 26th Annual Santa Barbara Wine Festival - June 29
- 4th of July
- Santa Barbara French Festival - July 13 - 14
- California Wine Festival - July 18 - 20
- Santa Barbara Greek Festival - July 27 - 28
- Old Spanish Days Fiesta - July 31 - August 4
So get out your day planner--and your evening planner--and start penciling in those Santa Barbara summer events and festivals you won't want to miss!
Don't miss your last chance to win a Santa Barbara Outdoor Adventure! Head over to our Facebook page and choose your favorite of the two featured Santa Barbara activities for a chance to win one of them!
Whether you're a long-time Santa Barbara fresh-air enthusiast or are just learning about all of the outdoor adventure one can find here, you won't want to miss your chance!
From ocean to mountains, waves to trails, and sand to dirt, there is never a lack of outdoor activity in Santa Barbara. We love getting outside and playing in the sun in our favorite coastal city and we want you to as well!
Head over to our Facebook page now through Friday, May 24th and enter to win a Santa Barbara Adventure during the Great Santa Barbara Outdoor Giveaway, simply by voting for favorite SB activities. The best part: you can enter every day and we'll be showcasing different activities every 24 hours so if you simply can't decide which is your favorite (we know, it can be tough to choose), no worries. You'll have multiple options to vote for your favorite SB outdoor adventure and then be entered to win!
Don't wait; visit Santa Barbara on Facebook today to learn more!
Planning a beach adventure? Looking to esape to some white sand and lapping waves? Need a place to let Fido run and play? Or the perfect sunset watching spot?
Then Santa Barbara's beaches are calling your name. Here's your guide to some of the area's best sandy spots:
Butterfly Beach (Montecito): There's a reason this beautiful beach graced the cover of Travel+Leisure magazine's May 2013 issue - it's absolutely stunning. The protected Motecito coast lends itself to a quiet bay. A favorite of stand-up paddleboarders, it's not uncommon to be joined by the occassional dolphin or sea lion whil you're out on your board. If you're looking for some artistic inspiration, this is a great place to set up an easil and capture the colors with pen on paper oil on canvas or through the lens.
Butterfly Beach bliss
East and West Beach (Santa Barbara): Stearns Wharf divides downtown Santa Barbara's coastline into these two favorite places to play. East Beach is famous for its pick-up volleyball games. West Beach is a great spot to see the sights from a sea kayak or hop on a sail boat. Its proximity to Santa Barbara Harbor makes it ideal for these alternative ocean activities.
Bump, set, spike at East Beach!
Leadbetter Beach (Santa Barbara): Beyond Santa Barbara Harbor, this beach entices with a picnic area and Shoreline Beach Cafe where you can enjoy patio dining or even a table in the sand.
Arroyo Burro Beach a.k.a. Hendry's Beach (Santa Barbara): An SB favorite, Hendry's is excellent for long beach walks. Dogs are allowed in designated areas and it's not uncommon to see paragliders launching from the cliffs overhead.
Carpinteria City Beach (Carpinteria): This beach boasts the title of "World's Safest Beach" with its gentle waves and sandy ocean floor. Riptides are uncommon making it excellent for swimming and the beach stretches for miles. Enjoy a stroll through downtown "Carp" while you're here.
Santa Claus Lane (Carpinteria): If St. Nick was looking to try surfing, this is most likely where you would find him. A locals' favorite, this is a fantastic place to try your hand at surfing, boogie boarding or take a quick dip!
Goleta Beach (Goleta): Like to pack it all in during your beach time? Then this is where you'll want to go. Goleta Beach offers volleybally, picnic area, fishing facilities and restaurant. Almost a mile of sandy beach leaves you with plenty of options.
Refugio State Beach: Couple your time in the sand with a trip along a nearby hiking or biking trail. Pack a picnic and make a day of it! Just 10 minutes past Goleta, this is a fun spot for a quick escape.
Gaviota State Park: This beach and rugged coastline offer a slightly different perspective to the area's sand and sun. For unmatched views, consider a hike up to Gaviota Peak, which looks out over the ocean and Channel Islands.
With the official start of the Amgen Tour of California (ATOC) only four days away, make sure you're up to speed (so to speak) on everything "America's Greatest Race" offers. Know the exciting answers to these frequently asked ATOC questions:
1. How will the race move through California? For the first time in its history, the race will travel south to north, spanning 750 miles of California roadways. View the entire ATOC route.
2. What if I want to extend my stay along the way, say in sunny Santa Barbara for the Stage 4 Finish and Stage 5 Start on May 15th and 16th? You're in luck; a variety of Santa Barbara hotels are offering ATOC-themed hotel packages.
3. Should I bring my bike, and if so, where should I ride while I'm in town? YES! Cycling enthusiasts of all skill levels and interests, from beginner to advanced, cruiser bike to mountain bike, will want to explore on two wheels while in town. Here are a few of our favorite Santa Barbara bike routes.
4. I want to be part of the Finish Line action. Are there any special events that day? Plenty! Don't mess the festivities along Cabrillo Boulevard where the race will finish between approximately 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday and start at 11:00 on Thursday. Make the most of it by attending the Stage 4 Finish Line Viewing Party.
5. I've never cycled in or around Santa Barbara; what can I expect? Check out this Amgen Tour of California Santa Barbara cycling video for inspiration.
It's a milestone in both the social media world as well as our a testament to how much our friends love Santa Barbara and how much we appreciate their contributions to the social media conversation: we're nearly to 100,000 people who like our Facebook page!
If you haven't already, head over and like our page, not just to help us get there, but because our Facebook community is a great place to find inspiration, SB advice and the beta on upcoming events. d
The social connections continue. For those looking to find out the latest in Twitter time, check out dour Twitter feed: @santabarbara. We're happy to answer questions and provide the travel information you're looking for!
For the pinners, our Pinterest boards provide endless inspiration for planning your next trip, what to do while you're here, shopping excursions, outdoor activities, food and wine, festivals and more!
It's a mere few weeks until the Amgen Tour of California kicks off in the southern part of the state and begins its epic trek north for 750 miles and eight days. Whether you're an avid cyclists or just looking to get in on action that rivals the Tour de France, make sure you add ATOC Santa Barbara to your spring calendar. Make the most of it with a stop in Santa Barbara, which isn't only an outdoor recreation lover's paradise, but also one of the Amgen Tour of California stops to be hosting both a stage finish and stage start!
Here's your guide to making the most of ATOC Santa Barbara:
ROUTE - Your snapshot of the entire 750-mile route, which will travel from south to north for the first time this year, winding along coastal roads, over mountain passes and through some of California's most scenic destinations.
SANTA BARBARA SOUTH COAST - If you're planning on visiting during ATOC, take a look at everything the Santa Barbara South Coast communities have to offer. We're pretty sure you won't want to leave once you do!
STAGE 4 FINISH LINE PARTY - Join the community and cheer on racers as they speed across the finish line, then celebrate at the Stage 4 Finish Line Party! Get your tickets today and join in the fun on May 15th.
SOCIAL LOUNGE - Keep up to date on all things #ATOC on our social media lounge. Of course, please share, post and comment if you have something positive to add!
VOLUNTEER - Helpers welcome. Check out ways you can contribute to the Amgen Tour of California Santa Barbara.
OUTDOOR LIFE IN SB - Of course, the action doesn't stop at the finish line in Santa Barbara. There is a wide variety of outdoor activity that awaits, including surfing, SUPing, golf, hiking and biking trails, rock climbing, Channel Islands National Park and much more. For those looking for some more two-wheeled fun, check out these SB bike routes; there's something for every ability level and interest!
HOTEL PACKAGES - Extend your stay with an exclusive Amgen Tour of California Santa Barbara hotel package!
Every day is Earth Day in Santa Barbara--with parks, gardens, beaches, ocean and fresh air aplenty! But once a year, we come together as a community and invite you to join us for the annual Earth Day Festival in Alameda Park. This free festival is a flurry of family-friendly activities and eco-centric events.
Home to the first Earth Day celebration in 1970, Santa Barbara embraces this annual tribute to all of our Earth-friendly efforts year-round. Highlights include bike valet, eco marketplace, contest, the Environmental Hero award, food and drink vendors, a green car show, kids' corner and main stage packed with a weekend-long lineup of live entertainment!
Don't miss the Environmental Hero Award, which will honor two recipients this year: Van Jones, president and co-founder of Rebuild the Dream, and Bill Nye, host of Stuff Happens on Planet Green.
If you're looking for a great way to honor the environment, have a fun time, and join others doing the same, make sure to kick off your Santa Barbara summer festival season with a visit to the Earth Day Festival on April 20 - 21!
For more ideas on how you can go green in SB throughout the year, make sure to learn more about Ecotopia!
This spring, give yourself the gift of a shopping trip to Santa Barbara and receive a $25 gift card when you do! This special Expedia offer is valid for weekday stays (Sunday - Thursday) April 1 - June 30, 2013. It's the perfect time of year to a) be in Santa Barbara, b) refresh your wardrobe and c) pamper yourself with some retail therapy!
Choose from a variety of Santa Barbara lodging options on the waterfront, uptown, downtown or in Montecito. The $25 giftcard is valid at two unique Santa Barbara shopping centers--La Cumbre and Paseo Nuevo. Here you'll find everything from namebrand to unique boutique. Couple your shopping excursion with world-class wine country, unmatched outdoor recreation on The American Riviera®, arts and culture and a landscape teeming with tales of Romance.