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Santa Barbara Thanksgiving Activities 2016

Although Santa Barbara’s fantastic climate can often trick us into thinking summer is a year round affair, the holiday season has arrived, whether we’re ready or not!  Fortunately, Santa Barbara is packed with fantastic holiday activities for people of all ages this time of year, and we at Santa Barbara Adventure are here to highlight some of the area’s best events and activities. With Turkey Day fast approaching, the guides at Santa Barbara Adventure compiled a short list of must-do activities for you and your loved ones over the next couple of weekends:

1)      Looking for a way to get the kids and in-laws out of the house on Thanksgiving Day? Send them to the Santa Barbara Zoo for their Thanksgiving Day Pumpkin Smash. At 10:00 AM on November 24th, the SB zookeepers are going to give many of the animals, including the elephants and gorillas, pumpkins to play with, just to see what happens! This is sure to be a hit, and will undoubtedly add a new and fun twist to the already incredible experience that is visiting our beautiful local zoo.

santa ynez wine tours

2)      After the holiday is over, take a break and let someone else do the driving, thinking, and meal prep for a day by signing up for a Santa Ynez Valley wine country tour! You can rest assured knowing we were recently voted as Finalist for the best ‘Santa Barbara Wine Tour Company’ by readers of the Santa Barbara Independent, and have a variety of wine tours that fit any taste and personality. For those hoping to enjoy the crisp fall air, exploring the wine country by bicycle is a fantastic opportunity for the whole family, especially those trying to burn off that third serving of stuffing. However, if you are looking to treat yourself to a unique wine tour, check out the Tasty Cupcake and Wine Tour, where participants enjoy great wine, world-class wineries, and the best cupcakes this side of the Mississippi.

3)      Head over to the Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens for the annual Marketplace in the Garden from November 18th to November 20th. This event provides a vast array of gift choices and decorative items. From hand-thrown ceramics to one-of-a-kind jewelry to custom-sewn textiles to custom crafted leather goods – the Holiday Marketplace is one-stop shopping for even the most difficult-to-buy-for person on your holiday list. From fine art to folk art, there will be delightful stocking stuffers, herbal products, locally-produced olive oil and honey, scented soaps and candles and much more.

4) If you are looking for a restaurant to enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner while visiting Santa Barbara, there are quite a few options. A few of our favorites: The Wine Cask, The Stonehouse and Bella Vista at the Four Season Biltmore. There are several other options but restaurants do tend to book up quickly for the holiday, so make your reservation early.

Channel Islands Kayaking5) For the adventurous at heart, you may opt for a holiday of excitement with turkey sandwiches and ocean mist in your face. For an amazing day at sea, the Channel Islands National Park is just a few miles off the coast of California. Ferry boats and kayaking tours are available throughout the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The island offers hiking, bird watching, snorkeling and much more. Call our office to check available tours and island camping options.

As you can see, Santa Barbara is filled with fantastic activities this holiday season! If you have a favorite activity or event that you want to share, please leave it in the comment section below. Have a Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at SBACo!

Photo credit: Creative Commons/ SpecialKRB

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