Culture 101: Santa Barbara’s Quick Guide to Over 101 Cultural Pursuits

Culture 101 in Santa Barbara

Or maybe “quick” is the wrong word because, really, culture has been imbedded in Santa Barbara since long before the Spanish settlers arrived. Dating back to the Chumash Native Americans and their basket weaving, wall painting, jewelry and intricately designed canoes, it would seem that the Santa Barbara South Coast gave rise to a love of art and culture over 13,000 years ago. Continue reading

Aloha from California’s BBQ Capital

Talk about a win-win situation! Residents of the Central Coast can now fly directly to beautiful Hawaii via the Santa Maria Public Airport…And now residents of Hawaii have a straight shot to California’s BBQ Capital!

Indeed, as reported in the Santa Maria Times, “Visitors to the Santa Maria Public Airport will be noticing a little more ‘island style’ starting today after Allegiant Air announces it will begin flights to Honolulu, Hawaii on Nov. 17…Andrew Levy, president of Allegiant Travel Co., said Santa Maria’s location and its already active service to Las Vegas played a big role in securing the Hawaiian service…’We believe we’ll be able to pull people from all over the area. We think it will be a good route.’” Continue reading

Free Wintertime Fun for Travelers in Santa Cruz County

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, courtesy of Santa Cruz County CVB

Santa Cruz County may be known as a Nuclear-Free and Hate-Free Zone, but that’s not all that’s free! Budget-minded travelers have a plethora of options this fall and winter season.

Check out the Top 12 Free Things to Do in Santa Cruz County courtesy of Santa Cruz County Conference & Visitors Bureau.

Enter to Win a SAVOR CENTRAL COAST Wine-Food-Fun Getaway Valued at $2,000.00!

Sunset Savor the Central Coast is now offering a Food Fun Getaway Contest – click on here to get all the details and enter to win today! Hurry, the sweepstakes ends September 9, 2011!

For more information on this fantastic event go here.

Ventura’s Fall Festivities Keep Summer Alive!

While most of the country gears up for chilly weather in the fall, Californians can enjoy the outdoors for months after Labor Day.  From beachside festivals to wine galas under the stars, Ventura coaxes visitors and residents into taking an extended summer vacation.  Here are some fantastic upcoming events to enjoy the Central Coast of California:

Paint Ventura invites people of all artistic abilities to tap into their creativity and support the arts.  Highlights include exhibits by local artists and workshops focusing on a variety of media, open to adults and youth for free or for a small fee.  The event itself is free and takes place on September 9-11; times and venues vary daily.  More information is available at http://www.paintventura.com.

Continue reading

Featured Deal: The Royal Treatment

Retreat royally with the Santa Barbara Hotel Group’s, Royal Romance Escape package.

Escape to Santa Barbara for a romantic getaway on the American Riviera. With its glistening, palm-lined beaches, Spanish courtyards, lush gardens, and warm Mediterranean climate, Santa Barbara is undeniably a destination for lovers and royals! Continue reading

SAVOR 2011 Central Coast Tickets Go On Sale!

Sunset magazine has launched ticket sales and posted this year’s website for Sunset’s SAVOR the Central Coast. 

In addition to the main event at the Santa Margarita Ranch featuring celebrity chef Cat Cora – the multi-day celebration, held Sept. 29 through Oct. 2, is set to include a host of new activities:* VIP Reception & Opening Night Event at Hearst Castle (Thursday, Sept. 29) An enchanted evening soiree featuring premium Central Coast wine, tapas, and inimitable coastline views beside William Randolph Hearst’s magnificent Roman-style Neptune Pool.* Sunset Western Wine Awards Gala (Friday evening, Sept. 30). One of the weekend’s most anticipated events, the Sunset Western Wine Awards are recognized as the highest honor for western winemakers.  Hosted on the historic Pismo Beach Pier, the event features tantalizing, locally grown fare paired with wines that have been nominated for a Sunset Western Wine Awards.* Adventure Tours (Friday, Sept. 30). An unparalleled opportunity to explore the unspoiled and diverse majesty of the Central Coast, enhanced by the flavors of a gourmet picnic.  New tours for 2011 include:* Behind-the-scenes Hearst Castle www.HearstCastle.com tour with Sunset travel editor, Peter Fish* Kayak tour of the peaceful Morro Bay Estuary* Afternoon of horseback riding across the Oceano Dunes* Expert-guided hike through rugged Moñtana de Oro State Park*  Tour of the newly-restored Avila Lighthouse with Sunset associate garden editor, Julie Chai* Hot-air balloon ride over the Paso Robles wine region with Sunset president, Barb Newton*  “Berry to Bottle” winemaking experience with Sunset wine editor, Sara Schneider

*  Main Event at Santa Margarita Ranch (Saturday, Oct. 1 and Sunday, Oct. 2)

* The Backyard Farm – Docent-led seminars on raising poultry, bees, goats, growing veggies and, potato towers; making compost, and more. Tours benefit the Lillian Larsen School in San Miguel as part of the national Farm-to-School Program.

* Winemaker Central Seminar Stage – This is a new SAVOR stage dedicated to the fruit of the vine. Seminars will feature unforgettable Paso Robles blends, cool-climate syrahs and a blind tasting of the Central Coast’s best pinot noirs.

* Cat Cora Demonstration – Celebrity chef Cat Cora brings her world-renowned culinary expertise and Iron Chef style to a seminar on “Classics with a Twist.” Visit the pavilion afterward where she’ll be signing books.

* Sustainable Seafood with Cindy Pawlcyn – With restaurants including Northern California favorites Fog City Diner, Mustards Grill and Go Fish, celebrity chef Cindy Pawlcyn brings her contagious passion for sustainable seafood to SAVOR.

* Beer Tasting and Food Pairing Seminar – Sunset magazine Food Editor Margo True picks her favorite Central Coast beers and pairs them with dishes made from local ingredients.

Ticket information

Tickets for the Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast officially went on sale on May 5. Tickets will also be available at Farm Supply stores on the Central Coast beginning July 5. Sunset magazine is partnering with the San Luis Obispo County Visitors & Conference Bureau to launch Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast.

For more event information and ticketing, visit www.SavorCentralCoast.com or call 768-6653.

Become a fan on Facebook , http://www.facebook.com/SavorCC, or follow them on Twitter (@SavorCC). Ticket proceeds and sponsorships are considered donations to the San Luis Obispo County Visitors & Convention Bureau, a 501c6 nonprofit tourism organization promoting San Luis Obispo County.

• About Sunset magazine

Sunset magazine is the premier guide to life in the West, covering the newest and best ideas in Western home design and landscaping, food and entertaining, and regional travel in 13 Western states. Sunset and http://www.sunset.com are part of the lifestyle group of magazines and websites published by the Time Inc. Lifestyle Group.

• About the San Luis Obispo

Visitors & Conference Bureau

The San Luis Obispo County Visitors & Conference Bureau promotes San Luis Obispo County through advertising, marketing, public relations and group sales.  Its member base is comprised of more than 500 tourism industry-related businesses including lodging properties, restaurants, wineries, golf courses and retail stores.

For more information on the VCB, visit www.SanLuisObispoCounty.com or contact Molly Morrison Cano at 781-2531 or mollym@SanLuisObispoCounty.com.