FROM HOTELS TO HIDEAWAYS, SANTA BARBARA HAS IT ALL!
UNCOVER GREAT RATES
LINGER A LITTLE LONGER IN NEIGHBORHOOD INNS
Visit our blog to uncover local secrets, events & more. Details
Stay a little longer & do a little more! Details
Tour the region from sunrise to sunset Details
WHAT TO DO WHILE HERE? Learn More
TREAT YOUR PALATE TO AN UNFORGETTABLE TASTE VACATION More Details
CALENDAR OF EVENTS Learn More
With so many options, here are ideas on where to begin. Details
From toddler to teen, you'll have a blast! Details
Follow the sunset to SB. And take a map along, just in case! Details
EXPERIENCE SANTA BARBARA'S MAGIC Learn More
FIND WHAT INSPIRES YOU More Details
VIEW OUR GALLERY FOR AWE INSPIRING PHOTOS Learn More
Experience events & attractions unique to Santa Barbara! Details
Explore SB on two feet or two wheels. Details
Your guide to the surrounding Santa Barbara area. Details
SB BASICS, MAKE TRIP-PLANNING A BREEZE Learn More
GETTING HERE IS EASY More Details
REQUEST A VISITOR'S GUIDE Learn More
Take a vacation from your car in Santa Barbara.Details
We’re filled with hidden gems and plenty to see and do. Details
Our e-newsletter will transport you to the sights of SB. Details
This week PhoCusWright released a study that demonstrates how experiences drive travelers to destinations -- more so than, say, a specific hotel or a great deal. Yes, all of that comes into play at some point in the decision making and planning process. Yet, it's what you can do in a vacation destination that truly woos travelers. According to Viator.com, today's travelers are "looking for extraordinary experience-driven activities." People, we've got you covered.
I might be biased because I am paid to be a Santa Barbara evangelist, but I think our fans and locals would agree that there's no shortage of extraordinary experiences here. And it's our job to make sure you know they are here for the doing! Here's a sampling of special experiences in Santa Barbara, categorized by special interest:
ADRENALINE JUNKIES: Enjoy some air time with Skydive Santa Barbara, or soar like a bird with Eagle Paragliding.
ANIMAL LOVERS: Become an honorary zookeeper for a day through the Santa Barbara Zoo's behind-the-scenes Keeper for a Day program (ages 18+).
ECO-ADVOCATES: Santa Barbara is considered the birthplace of Earth Day (that's right, the home of Earth Day), and the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival has been celebrating and promoting sustainable living for 40 years. This year's fest will be held April 16-17 at Alameda Park and attract environmental advocates, light green consumers and eco-innovators from Southern California and beyond. While the overarching aim of Earth Day might be serious, this fest is serious about delivering good green fun.
FOODIES: Meet Santa Barbara's top farmers and fishermen and make delicious dishes with their bounty on a Market Forays culinary tour and cooking class, led by Slow Food leader Laurence Hauben. The experience has been described as "life-changing." Fanatical foodies should make a beeline for Santa Barbara during epicure.sb, a month long culinary extravaganza held every October. The "month to savor Santa Barbara" includes several food festivals, wine and beer fests, cooking classes, seminars and many opportunities to get your grub on.
GREEN THUMBS: Tour the spectacular, astounding and one-of-a-kind Lotusland garden and estate in Montecito. Gardenistas will also marvel at Rose Story Farms in Carpinteria, which offers tours during the April-November growing season.
MOVIE BUFFS: Visit Santa Barbara during the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, held over 11 days starting in late January and running through early February. The 200+ film screenings, celebrity tribute events and panel discussions give film fiends plentiful opportunities to soak up the cinematic world and hear from the most buzzed about acting and filmmaking talent.
MUSIC FANS: The Santa Barbara Bowl is a music fan's dream venue to see a show. The legendary intimate outdoor venue is a favorite of musicians and fans alike, and is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. Only a few shows in the 2011 season have been announced so far -- Janet Jackson, Mumford & Sons and Robert Plant. The season runs April through November, so follow their Twitter or Facebook feed to keep an eye out for your favorite bands and singers.
NATURE ENTHUSIASTS: Visit "America's Galapagos," the Channel Islands National Park & Marine Sanctuary. Truth Aquatics runs hiking, kayaking and SCUBA diving trips to the islands, and Santa Barbara Adventure Company leads a variety of island excursions including a new camping and kayaking adventure. If you're short on time or would prefer to do something less intensive, the Condor Express runs half-day whale watching excursions to the Channel Islands.
WINE GEEKS: Wine tasting can be enjoyed in so many ways -- by bike, pedicab, horse, jeep, limo, stretch limo jeep, biodiesel-powered van, etc. But nothing beats the beauty of having nearly all of the region's wineries in one place for a grand tasting event. This mass sip happens twice a year in Santa Barbara -- at the Vintners' Festival (April 16) and Celebration of Harvest (October), both organized by the Santa Barbara County Vintners' Association.
Need more inspiration? Check out the Experience Santa Barbara section of our website for itineraries and in-depth resources designed for culinary travelers, sustainability seekers, art lovers and film fans.
The Santa Barbara Bowl is one of the best places I've been to see a concert. There is NOT a bad seat in the house! Those summer nights with the warm breeze filtering through the canyon with a great band playing is what the SB Bowl is all about! Whenever I visit SB, I always stay at The Sandman Inn (www.thesandmaninn.com). At a great price, the location and amenities are that of a 5 star hotel! I'd definitely recommend!
Posted On: Sunday, May 15, 2011 8:48 PM
For insider tips, special offers and more, sign up for our enews today!
Winter Vacation, Re-Defined in...
Top 5 Reasons to Visit Santa B...
SB Story: Made In Santa Barbar...
Your Santa Barbara Summer To D...
10+ Activities Mom will Love t...
Ashleigh Davis (1)
November 2015 (1)
June 2015 (3)
May 2015 (1)
April 2015 (2)
February 2015 (2)
January 2015 (1)
December 2014 (1)
November 2014 (2)
October 2014 (4)
September 2014 (1)
August 2014 (4)
July 2014 (1)
June 2014 (2)
May 2014 (4)
April 2014 (4)
March 2014 (2)
February 2014 (3)
January 2014 (2)
December 2013 (3)
November 2013 (3)
October 2013 (6)
September 2013 (4)
August 2013 (4)
July 2013 (4)
June 2013 (2)
May 2013 (6)
April 2013 (3)
March 2013 (3)
February 2013 (2)
January 2013 (9)
December 2012 (3)
November 2012 (5)
October 2012 (5)
September 2012 (4)
August 2012 (6)
July 2012 (4)
June 2012 (4)
May 2012 (5)
April 2012 (4)
March 2012 (5)
February 2012 (11)
January 2012 (6)
November 2011 (1)
October 2011 (6)
August 2011 (1)
July 2011 (2)
June 2011 (2)
May 2011 (3)
April 2011 (2)
March 2011 (4)
February 2011 (10)
January 2011 (7)
December 2010 (4)
November 2010 (4)
October 2010 (5)
September 2010 (3)
August 2010 (4)
July 2010 (4)
June 2010 (5)
May 2010 (2)
Request your FREE copies today to help plan your visit and get the most of it while you're here!
Seeing is believing, and once you see what Santa Barbara's all about, you'll be hooked forever. ... <<More
From camping to glamping, sometimes the best amenity is the great outdoors and loads fresh air. ... <<More