Summer is finally here and everyone is looking for fun day trips and activities. Here is a list of great places to visit and events happening in Santa Barbara. Some are free and some have fees, we tried to include as much helpful information as possible – but feel free to add details in the comments section below. Hope you are enjoying your summer, exploring the beaches and having lots of family fun!
Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens – Tours are scheduled on weekends at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. and are included in admission. Tours are led by a knowledgeable docent and generally last for one hour. Also, June 15 through September 3 take advantage of a One-of-a-Kind Exhibit of California Landscapes and Native Plants in Stained Glass. Or take advantage of the “Wine and Cheese Lecture Series” July 28th with Ken Owen, Executive Director of Channel Islands Restoration about Channel Islands Restoration, wine served by Oreana Winery.
Santa Barbara Fireworks on West Beach, Wednesday the Forth of July – Fireworks start at 9pm. Food vendors will be at the waterfront from 11am until evening. Please leave your pets at home and consider taking mass transit. AM Radio 1290 is designated as Santa Barbara’s Official 4th of July Radio Station and will provide simulcast patriotic music to accompany the 18-20 minute pyrotechnic display.
Butterflies Alive at the Natural History Museum- Experience the magic of Butterflies Alive! as you walk through a beautiful garden filled with flowers, luscious greenery, and more than 1,000 free-flying butterflies. TRAVEL TIP: Get the SB Nature Pass and enjoy unlimited admission to both the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and Ty Warner Sea Center for two days for one low price.
Alan Jackson at Santa Barbara Bowl - Enjoy the sounds of country in the lovely Santa Barbara Bowl, as Alan Jackson comes to town. Date: July 28th
Channel Islands National Park Kayaking Tours – available most days in July
Kayak and explore this remarkable ocean environment. Only 20 miles off the California Coast, the Channel Islands isolation over thousands of years has created unique animals, plants and birds found nowhere else on Earth! Recently featured in T.C. Boyle’s book When the Killings Done, the island has experienced massive restoration. Come explore the beauty and richness of California’s Channel Islands.
39th Annual S.B. Greek Festival — Oak Park transforms into a Greek Village with all the sights, sounds, aromas and flavors that the Mediterranean has to offer. Purchase authentic imported jewelry and clothing, and sample imported foods and delicacies.
Saturday July 30th and Sunday July 31st, 11am to 7pm
Santa Barbara Arts & Crafts Show, Every Sunday– Approximately 300 Santa Barbara County resident artists come to display their own works in an informal atmosphere under the palms of seaside Chase Palm Park. All items are original art, created by the artists you meet. The show is held every fair weather Sunday and Special Holidays.
Time: 10 a.m. ’til Dusk
Fun Paddle – Every Saturday and Sunday in July, $49 per person
Join us for a relaxing introduction to kayaking where we’ll take a 2 hour paddling adventure around Santa Barbara shoreline. This tour is the perfect half day activity, and a great introduction to the exciting sport of sea kayaking. Fun and affordable for the whole family!
First Thursday — Art, Music & Theater– On the first Thursday of each month, downtown galleries keep their doors open late allowing the public to enjoy local art in a fun and social atmosphere. Additional attractions such as music, artist openings, demonstrations, and refreshments are featured at participating venues. Downtown Santa Barbara
July 5th 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Downtown Santa Barbara Farmers Market– Come down and buy local fresh vegetables, fruits, flowers, small plants and specialty items. Street musicians, music and downtown shops and restaurants. Year round, rain or shine. Corner of Santa Barbara and Cota Streets on Sunday and on State Street (500-600 bocks) on Tuesday.
Every Saturday and Tuesday 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m/4:00pm – 7:30.
Concert in the Park series—Thursday Nights starting June 28th, soak up the sunshine, a light coastal breeze, and your favorite picnic snacks, as you enjoy amazing live music!
Free: 6-8:30 pm every Thursday in July at Chase Palm Park
July 5 Doo-Wah Riders–Country with a Cajun Twist.
July 12 Captain Cardiac & the Coronaries– Oldies but Goodies.
July 19 Hot Club Sandwich– Acoustic Swing & Gypsy Jazz.
July 26 Upstream– Caribbean
Please add events and activities that we may have missed in the comment section below.
Photo credit: Zabowski/Creative Commons