Santa Barbara—Your Summer Festival Destination

It isn’t without good reason that Santa Barbara likes to celebrate year-round. There’s plenty to be happy about when one happens upon such an iconic aspect of California’s Central Coast, including over 300 days of sun per year, rolling waves that roll into rolling hills that provide a variety of coveted wines and fresh produce, not to mention a downtown that is just as much hopping with excitement and activity as it is an epicenter of inviting, leisurely patios and decks.

With so much to enjoy, it’s no wonder that the community wanted to share the bounty and encourage others to join in the fun as far back as 1924 when Old Spanish Days Fiesta was founded. Today, the festival is one of many Santa Barbara summer soirees that has grown to include a variety of live performances, food, community celebration and more. Here is your list of not-to-be-missed summer festivals in Santa Barbara:

Santa Barbara makes the invitation even more enticing with its special offers on arts and culture, dining, hotels and hideaways, shopping, sports and recreation, tours and wineries! Don’t miss out on the unbeatable summer lineup of celebration in Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara Blooming with Events and Festivals this Spring!

It’s spring in Santa Barbara, which means the event and festival scene begins to ramp up as the days get longer and warmer! If you’re cruising through California’s Central Coast, plan your trip to coincide with one, or a few, of these classic Santa Barbara happenings:

The 24th Annual Santa Maria Strawberry Festival: April 29 – May 1, 2012
Nothing says summer like strawberry shortcake and no place produces strawberries quite as sweet as Santa Maria Valley. Head to Santa Maria Fairpark April 29th, 30th and May 1st from 11:00am – 11:00pm for some wholesome family fun, including the biggest, juiciest, freshest strawberries Santa Barbara County has to offer. A variety of culinary delights and cooking demonstrations will complement.

1st Thursday: May 3rd and June 7th, 2012
Join Santa Barbarans for an evening of art and culture, free to the public! Wander galleries and art-related venues to take in the best of the Santa Barbara arts and culture scene. 5:00pm – 8:00pm. Continue reading

Santa Barbara Celebrates Its Earth-friendly Side with Ecotopia in March and April

Year-round climate perfect for producing savor fruits and veggies? Check. The ocean on one side and beckoning mountain trails on the other? Check. A community that’s long been committed to sustainability and is the proud founder of the first Earth Day celebration? Check!  It’s no secret that Santa Barbara’s South Coast is an Earth-lovers paradise. As a local with a bent for sustainability and all things eco, I’m looking forward to celebrating Santa Barbara’s green scene in March and April during Ecotopia—two months of recognizing the area’s unique sustainable aspects—because, when you live in a place as beautifully bountiful as SB, celebrating the Earth takes more than a day.

Follow Ecotopia on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and FourSquare for weekly updates or use my quick guide to making the most of Santa Barbara’s inviting Earth-friendly activities while lowering your carbon footprint at the same time.

  1. As a seafood lover, an occasional trip to the weekly Santa Barbara Fish Market (Saturdays in the Harbor from 7:00am – 11:00am) is a must. Fishermen are encouraged to harvest sustainably and the local catch means less oil and gas to transport. If you’d rather dine out, look for Ty Warner Sea Center’s Sustainable Food Program Member stickers on storefront windows. Continue reading

South Coast Sojourn: Exploring the Quaint Coastal Communities Surrounding Santa Barbara

When taking the ultimate road trip along Highway 101, Santa Barbara is a stop many consider a must and rightfully so. The Spanish-inspired architecture, vibrant downtown and array of seasonal festivals and events make it an entertaining destination for so many. But it’s the small coastal communities surrounding the more famous town that are also making their mark on the map. During a recent Sunday cruise up the coast, it was easy to see why. Continue reading

Don’t Miss this Blogger’s Central Coast Tale

Checkout one family blogger’s experience on the Central Coast:

Just arrived in BuelltonSanta Barbara county after an excellent drive down the” PCH” from Carmel, taking in the amazing Coastal scenery of the Big Sur – dramatic cliffs, huge pacific surf and hair-pin bendy roads (another RV navigational challenge)! Had a great lunch-time stop at a restaurant called Nepenthe in the heart of the Big Sur.

Monterey and Carmel were superb – the whale watching was the undoubted highlight with us being extremely lucky in seeing a couple of killer whales and also spending a great few hours in the impressive Aquarium in Monterey.

Tomorrow we are taking in some winery visits in the Santa Ynez wine area and then an afternoon on the beach near Santa Barbara.

Probably time to return the RV as I have started to assess the various merits of the different RV ‘s around the campgrounds – may need some serious help from friends and family to talk me out of entering the dark world of caravanning when we return to the UK. Thanks in advance!

Read more of the Resfamily blog here…
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New Hyatt Comes to Santa Barbara

Hyatt recently announced the official name change of Hotel Mar Monte to Hyatt Santa Barbara. This much-loved 80-year-old landmark oceanfront hotel has been undergoing extensive renovations since February 2011. The first phase of renovations included 91 guest rooms as well as landscaping and décor in the lobby, pool and deck area. This October, the renovation will resume with the remaining 80 guest rooms and all function space receiving a makeover, with all areas expected for completion in 2012.

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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