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in Santa Barbara County

Vandenberg AFB 2018 Living

in Santa Barbara County

Arts, culture, entertainment, outdoor recreation, food, drink and shopping are wildly abundant in Santa Barbara County. Lose yourself in the music and majesty of the Santa Barbara Opera, observe wild animals and learn about their habitats at the Santa Barbara Zoo, walk the decks like a seasoned sailor at the Maritime Museum or find the best route to be one less car with the help of the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition — and much, much more.

ANNUAL EVENTS

Residents of Santa Barbara County can enjoy a colorful spectrum of annual events, festivals and community gatherings.

California Avocado Festival

www.avofest.com 

The California Avocado Festival, or Avofest, is held in October in the heart of downtown Carpinteria. It’s a three-day extravaganza of food, with a guacamole contest, music and family fun.

I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival

www.imadonnarifestival.com 

A truly unique celebration, the I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival is held every Memorial Day at the Old Mission in Santa Barbara. Madonnari, or street painters, transform the Old Mission into a colorful work of art with more than 100 chalk paintings. Benefits go to the Children’s Creative Project, a nonprofit arts education program that serves 50,000 children throughout Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.

Lompoc Flower Festival

www.facebook.com/lompocvalley.flowerfestival 

Celebrated for more than 60 years, the Lompoc Flower Festival is held every June in the Lompoc Valley. The festival’s flower show is considered one of the highest-ranked flower shows in California. Festival-goers will also enjoy a parade, carnival rides and games, arts and crafts, entertainment and, of course, flower displays and arrangements.

Old Spanish Days Fiesta

www.oldspanishdays-fiesta.org 

This famed five-day celebration of Santa Barbara’s heritage is held in early August. Recognized as one of the five-best regional festivals in the U.S., the fiesta has marked the area’s Spanish and Mexican heritage for more than 90 years. Enjoy Spanish and Mexican dance, song and food in the plazas, parks and streets of Santa Barbara. These festivities, along with a live rodeo and the large equestrian parade, “El Desfile Historico,” draw in thousands each year.

Parade of Lights

www.santabarbaraca.gov/gov/depts/waterfront/events/light_parade.asp 

The Parade of Lights is held in December at the Main Harbor and Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara. The boat parade begins at 5:30 p.m. and is followed by a fireworks display. Come early and enjoy Santa’s Village on the City Pier.

Santa Barbara County Fair

www.santamariafairpark.com 

Held in July at the Santa Maria Fairpark, the county fair celebrates agriculture, local organizations and hometown pride. Festivities include carnival rides and games, a destruction derby, a country rodeo and calf scramble, music and more.

Santa Barbara International Film Festival

http://sbiff.org 

Held in late January/early February, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival is world-renowned. The 11-day festival screens hundreds of films to an audience of more than 75,000 film enthusiasts, industry professionals and even Hollywood superstars.

Santa Barbara International Orchid Show & Festival

www.sborchidshow.com 

The longest-running orchid show in the nation, the Santa Barbara International Orchid Show & Festival is held in spring. Featuring gorgeous displays of exotic orchid species and hybrids, the festival boasts thousands of blooming orchids, fine art and photography. Orchids, corsages and supplies are available for sale. There are also free workshops on orchid care, led by experts.

Santa Maria Elks Rodeo & Parade

www.elksrec.com 

The Santa Maria Elks Rodeo & Parade is a three- to four-day June extravaganza at the Elks-Unocal Event Center in Santa Maria. Watch exciting performances, including bull riding, roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing, mutton bustin’ and, of course, the parade.

Santa Maria Beerfest

www.facebook.com/SMbeerfest 

Held in October, the Santa Maria Beerfest showcases local and regional craft beers and celebrates beer in general. Held downtown, the festival will feature 30 breweries, food trucks, corn hole, beer pong and other entertainment. Proceeds benefit the Santa Maria Kiwanis Noontime group and its youth scholarship program.

Santa Maria Valley Strawberry Festival

www.santamariafairpark.com/events/2017/strawberry-festival-(2) 

Celebrated on the fourth weekend of April at the Santa Maria Fairpark, the Santa Maria Valley Strawberry Festival showcases delicious strawberry creations. Free attractions, educational exhibits, carnival rides and live entertainment mean there’s something for everyone.

Summer Solstice Celebration and Parade

www.solsticeparade.com 

A celebration of the longest day of the year, this event centers on June’s Solstice in Alameda Park in Santa Barbara. Live music, dancing, food, arts and crafts, and a children’s festival attract more than 100,000 people from around the world. Watch the colorful and extravagant spectacle of more than 1,000 costumed participants as they dance, drum and spin up State Street in the parade.

Living in Santa Barbara County

Vandenberg AFB Living in Santa Barbara County

 

Arts, culture, entertainment, outdoor recreation, food, drink and shopping are wildly abundant in Santa Barbara County. Lose yourself in the music and majesty of the Santa Barbara Opera, observe wild animals and learn about their habitats at the Santa Barbara Zoo, walk the decks like a seasoned sailor at the Maritime Museum or find the best route to be one less car with the help of the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition — and much, much more.

ANNUAL EVENTS

Residents of Santa Barbara County can enjoy a colorful spectrum of annual events, festivals and community gatherings.

Autumn Grapes & Grains Festival

www.facebook.com/grapesandgrainsfestival

Held in October, the Autumn Grapes & Grains Festival takes place in downtown Santa Maria. The street fair features local wines, brews and artists as well as art demonstrations, carnival games, food, a petting zoo, a car show, live entertainment and a Chalk Art Expose. For more information on the festival, visit the city of Santa Maria’s website at www.cityofsantamaria.org or http://santamariawines.com/events.html.

California Avocado Festival

www.avofest.com

The California Avocado Festival, or Avofest, is held in October in the heart of downtown Carpinteria, a three-day extravaganza of food, a guacamole contest, music and family fun.

I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival

www.imadonnarifestival.com

A truly unique celebration, the I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival is held every Memorial Day at the Old Mission in Santa Barbara. Madonnari, or street painters, transform the Old Mission into a colorful work of art with more than 100 chalk paintings. Benefits go to the Children’s Creative Project, a nonprofit arts education program that serves 50,000 children throughout Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.

Lompoc Flower Festival

www.lompocvalleyfestivals.com/flower-festival.html

Celebrated for more than 60 years, the Lompoc Flower Festival is held every June in the Lompoc Valley. The festival’s flower show is considered one of the highest-ranked flower shows in California. Festival-goers will also enjoy a parade, carnival rides and games, arts and crafts, entertainment and, of course, flower displays and arrangements.

Old Spanish Days Fiesta

www.oldspanishdays-fiesta.org

This famed five-day celebration of Santa Barbara’s heritage is held in early August. Recognized as one of the five-best regional festivals in the U.S., the fiesta has marked the area’s Spanish and Mexican heritage for more than 90 years. Enjoy Spanish and Mexican dance, song and food in the plazas, parks and streets of Santa Barbara. These festivities, along with a live rodeo and the large equestrian parade, “El Desfile Historico,” draw in thousands each year.

Parade of Lights

www.santabarbaraca.gov/gov/depts/waterfront/events/light_parade.asp

The Parade of Lights is held in December at the Main Harbor and Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara. The boat parade begins at 5:30 p.m. and is followed by a fireworks display. Come early and enjoy Santa’s Village on the City Pier.

Santa Barbara County Fair

www.santamariafairpark.com

Held in July at the Santa Maria Fairpark, the county fair celebrates agriculture, local organizations and hometown pride. Festivities include carnival rides and games, a destruction derby, a country rodeo and calf scramble, music and more.

Santa Barbara International Film Festival

http://sbiff.org

Held in late January/early February, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival is world-renowned. The 11-day festival screens hundreds of films to an audience of more than 75,000 film enthusiasts, industry professionals and even Hollywood superstars.

Santa Barbara International Orchid Show & Festival

www.sborchidshow.com

The longest-running orchid show in the nation, the Santa Barbara International Orchid Show & Festival is held in spring. Featuring gorgeous displays of exotic orchid species and hybrids, the festival boasts thousands of blooming orchids, fine art and photography. Orchids, corsages and supplies are available for sale. There are also free workshops on orchid care, led by experts.

Santa Maria Elks Rodeo & Parade

www.elksrec.com

The Santa Maria Elks Rodeo & Parade is a three- to four-day June extravaganza at the Elks-Unocal Event Center in Santa Maria. Watch exciting performances, including bull riding, roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing, mutton bustin’ and, of course, the parade.

Santa Maria Valley Strawberry Festival

www.santamariafairpark.com/events/2017/strawberry-festival-(2)

Celebrated on the fourth weekend of April at the Santa Maria Fairpark, the Santa Maria Valley Strawberry Festival showcases delicious strawberry creations. Free attractions, educational exhibits, carnival rides and live entertainment mean there’s something for everyone.

Summer Solstice Celebration and Parade

www.solsticeparade.com

A celebration of the longest day of the year, this event centers on June’s Solstice in Alameda Park in Santa Barbara. Live music, dancing, food, arts and crafts, and a children’s festival attract more than 100,000 people from around the world. Watch the colorful and extravagant spectacle of more than 1,000 costumed participants as they dance, drum and spin up State Street in the parade.

Arts

Vandenberg AFB Living Arts

 

Santa Barbara residents can pick from a wealth of artistic endeavors, from stage plays to fine arts and more.

Ann Foxworthy Gallery at Allan Hancock College

800 S. College Drive
Santa Maria, CA 93454
805-922-6966, ext. 3252
www.hancockcollege.edu

The Ann Foxworthy Gallery features monthly exhibits by local and national artists. The gallery also hosts shows by the college’s fine arts faculty and students.

Lobero Theatre

33 E. Canon Perdido St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
805-966-4946
www.lobero.com

Founded in 1873, the Lobero is California’s oldest continuously operating theater. It is the home stage of many major performing arts groups in Santa Barbara, including the ballet, opera, chamber orchestra, youth symphony and more.

Lompoc Murals

www.lompocmurals.com

Follow the Old Town Lompoc Heritage Walk and see some of the famed Lompoc Murals. There are close to 30 major commissioned murals, with dozens of smaller murals within the community that depict Lompoc’s history. For a map of mural locations, visit the Lompoc Mural Society’s website at www.lompocmurals.com.

Opera Santa Barbara

1330 State St., Suite 209
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
805-898-3890
www.operasb.com

Opera Santa Barbara has presented nearly 50 operas since it opened in 1994. Featuring the highest caliber of opera, productions have included “Macbeth,” “Carmen” and “Tosca.” The opera has also provided thousands of hours of educational programs to the community, establishing a solid base of opera lovers in Santa Barbara County.

Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts

800 S. College Drive
Santa Maria, CA 93454
805-928-7731
www.pcpa.org

Celebrating 50 years, the PCPA is the only resident professional theater company on the Central Coast. It is also the only training program of its kind offered at a community college. Alumni include Robin Williams, Kathy Bates and Zac Efron. Year-round productions include classic and contemporary plays, comedies and musicals.

Santa Barbara Bowl

1122 N. Milpas St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93103
805-962-7411
www.sbbowl.com

The Santa Barbara Bowl hosts some of the biggest names in concert touring. The historic venue underwent nearly $40 million in renovations that were completed in 2014.

Santa Barbara Symphony

1330 State St., Suite 102
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
805-898-9386
www.thesymphony.org

The Santa Barbara Symphony serves more than 25,000 people each year with brilliant concerts and engaging educational programs. Founded in 1953, the orchestra performs in the elegantly restored Granada Theater at 1214 State St.

Arts

Vandenberg AFB 2018 Arts

Santa Barbara residents can pick from a wealth of artistic endeavors, from stage plays to fine arts and more.

Ann Foxworthy Gallery at Allan Hancock College

800 S. College Drive

Santa Maria, CA 93454
805-922-6966, ext. 3252

www.hancockcollege.edu/gallery 

The Ann Foxworthy Gallery features monthly exhibits by local and national artists. The gallery also hosts shows by the college’s fine arts faculty and students.

Lobero Theatre

33 E. Canon Perdido St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93101 805-966-4946

www.lobero.com 

Founded in 1873, the Lobero is California’s oldest continuously operating theater. It is the home stage of many major performing arts groups in Santa Barbara, including the ballet, opera, chamber orchestra, youth symphony and more.

Lompoc Murals

www.lompocmurals.com 

Follow the Old Town Lompoc Heritage Walk and see some of the famed Lompoc Murals. There are close to 30 major commissioned murals, with dozens of smaller murals within the community that depict Lompoc’s history. For a map of mural locations, visit the Lompoc Mural Society’s website at www.lompocmurals.com.

Opera Santa Barbara

1330 State St., Suite 209

Santa Barbara, CA 93101 805-898-3890

www.operasb.com 

Opera Santa Barbara has presented nearly 50 operas since it opened in 1994. Featuring the highest caliber of opera, productions have included “Macbeth,” “Carmen” and “Tosca.” The opera has also provided thousands of hours of educational programs to the community, establishing a solid base of opera lovers in Santa Barbara County.

Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts

800 S. College Drive

Santa Maria, CA 93454 805-928-7731

www.pcpa.org 

Celebrating 50 years, the PCPA is the only resident professional theater company on the Central Coast. It is also the only training program of its kind offered at a community college. Alumni include Robin Williams, Kathy Bates and Zac Efron. Year-round productions include classic and contemporary plays, comedies and musicals.

Santa Barbara Bowl

1122 N. Milpas St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93103 805-962-7411

www.sbbowl.com 

The Santa Barbara Bowl hosts some of the biggest names in concert touring. The historic venue underwent nearly $40 million in renovations that were completed in 2014.

Santa Barbara Symphony

1330 State St., Suite 102

Santa Barbara, CA 93101 805-898-9386

www.thesymphony.org 

The Santa Barbara Symphony serves more than 25,000 people each year with brilliant concerts and engaging educational programs. Founded in 1953, the orchestra performs in the elegantly restored Granada Theater at 1214 State St.

Museums

Learn about Santa Barbara’s history and cultural contributions by visiting any one of the many local museums.

The Natural History Museum

412 S. McClelland St.

Santa Maria, CA 93456 805-614-0806

www.smnature.org 

There’s something for everyone at the Natural History Museum, “Where natural history comes to life!” Exhibits and displays feature rocks and fossils, native birds, a life-size Tyrannosaurus rex skull and a bat room. The museum also has engaging, hands-on exhibits, live animal visits and educational programs.

Old Mission Santa Barbara

2201 Laguna St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93105 805-682-4713

www.santabarbaramission.org 

Founded in 1786, Old Mission Santa Barbara is known as the Queen of Missions. Explore the museum, mausoleum, church and 10 acres of beautiful gardens. Guided tours are available.

Old Mission Santa Ines

1760 Mission Drive

Solvang, CA 93464 805-688-4815

www.missionsantaines.org 

Founded in 1804, Santa Ines is the 19th California mission. The mission has a beautiful view of the Santa Ynez River Valley and the Santa Ynez and San Rafael mountain ranges. Visitors can also see hand-painted murals and priceless European art and sculptures. The mission is home to gardens as well and is the resting place of Native Americans and early California settlers.

Rancho La Patera & Stow House

304 N. Los Carneros Road

Goleta, CA 93117 805-681-7216

www.stowhouse.com 

Experience Rancho La Patera by walking through the gardens, taking a guided tour of the Stow House and enjoying hands-on exhibits in the Calvalletto History Education Center. Start in the Visitor Interpretive Center to get an overview.

Santa Barbara Maritime Museum

113 Harbor Way, Suite 190

Santa Barbara, CA 93109 805-962-8404

www.sbmm.org 

The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum is in the Santa Barbara Waterfront Center. The museum features exhibits on Goleta’s canons, surfing, Santa Barbara Channel shipwrecks and a boat model gallery. There’s also a children’s area, where younger visitors can learn about the sea with hands-on activities.

Santa Barbara Museum of Art

1130 State St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93101 805-963-4364

www.sbmuseart.org 

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art includes exhibits on ancient art, Asian art, modern and contemporary art, sculpture and photography. The museum also hosts a variety of programs and workshops for children and adults. Guided tours are available.

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

2559 Puesta del Sol

Santa Barbara, CA 93105 805-682-4711

www.sbnature.org 

The Santa Barbara Museum combines history, science, nature and art with a dozen exhibits showcasing regional natural history. Exhibits include a life-size blue whale skeleton, a planetarium and an ethnobotanic garden. The museum also offers a number of family programs, lectures and festivals.

Santa Maria Museum of Flight

3015 Airpark Drive

Santa Maria, CA 93455 805-922-8758

www.smmof.org 

The Santa Maria Museum of Flight’s planes, models, photos, memorabilia and exhibits will excite any aviation enthusiast.

Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum

705 S. McClelland St.

Santa Maria, CA 93454 805-928-8414

www.smvdiscoverymuseum.org 

Children will love the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum, which includes a live shark tank, giant bubble machine and “creation station” as well as hands-on educational exhibits based on local themes such as agriculture, aerospace and the environment.

Santa Maria Valley Historical Museum

616 S. Broadway

Santa Maria, CA 93454 805-922-3130

http://santamariahistory.com 

Get a glimpse into the history of Santa Maria through pictures, artifacts and valley memorabilia collected by the Santa Maria Valley Historical Society.

Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum & Parks-Janeway Carriage House

3596 Sagunto St.

Santa Ynez, CA 93460 805-688-7889

www.santaynezmuseum.org 

The museum is composed of exhibit spaces that include the Native American room, the Pioneer Room, the Jeannette Lyons Costume Room, the Valley Room, the Ellen Gleason Library and a gift shop. Across the museum’s early-California style courtyard is the 7,500-square-foot Parks-Janeway Carriage House, renowned as one the finest carriage collections in the U.S. More than 36 carriages as well as saddles are on display.

South Coast Railroad Museum

300 N. Los Carneros Road

Goleta, CA 93117 805-964-3540

www.goletadepot.org 

This museum focuses on the history, technology and adventure of railroading. Its centerpiece is the Goleta Depot, a country railroad stationhouse built by the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1901 during the completion of the Coast Route that joined San Francisco and Los Angeles. The Goleta Depot is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Kids will love the miniature train ride.

Museums

Vandenberg AFB Living Museums

 

Learn about Santa Barbara’s history and cultural contributions by visiting any one of the many local museums.

The Natural History Museum

412 S. McClelland St.
Santa Maria, CA 93456
805-614-0806
www.smnature.org

There’s something for everyone at the Natural History Museum, “Where natural history comes to life!” Exhibits and displays feature rocks and fossils, native birds, a life-size Tyrannosaurus rex skull and a bat room. The museum also has engaging, hands-on exhibits, live animal visits and educational programs.

Old Mission Santa Barbara

2201 Laguna St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
805-682-4713
www.santabarbaramission.org

Founded in 1786, Old Mission Santa Barbara is known as the Queen of Missions. Explore the museum, mausoleum, church and 10 acres of beautiful gardens. Guided tours are available.

Old Mission Santa Ines

1760 Mission Drive
Solvang, CA 93464
805-688-4815
www.missionsantaines.org

Founded in 1804, Santa Ines is the 19th California mission. The mission has a beautiful view of the Santa Ynez River Valley and the Santa Ynez and San Rafael mountain ranges. Visitors can also see hand-painted murals and priceless European art and sculptures. The mission is home to gardens as well and is the resting place of Native Americans and early California settlers.

Rancho La Patera & Stow House

304 N. Los Carneros Road
Goleta, CA 93117
805-681-7216
www.stowhouse.com

Experience Rancho La Patera by walking through the gardens, taking a guided tour of the Stow House and enjoying hands-on exhibits in the Calvalletto History Education Center. Start in the Visitor Interpretive Center to get an overview.

Santa Barbara Maritime Museum

113 Harbor Way, Suite 190
Santa Barbara, CA 93109
805-962-8404
www.sbmm.org

The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum is in the Santa Barbara Waterfront Center. The museum features exhibits on Goleta’s canons, surfing, Santa Barbara Channel shipwrecks and a boat model gallery. There’s also a children’s area, where younger visitors can learn about the sea with hands-on activities.

Santa Barbara Museum of Art

1130 State St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
805-963-4364
www.sbmuseart.org

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art includes exhibits on ancient art, Asian art, modern and contemporary art, sculpture and photography. The museum also hosts a variety of programs and workshops for children and adults. Guided tours are available.

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

2559 Puesta del Sol
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
805-682-4711
www.sbnature.org

The Santa Barbara Museum combines history, science, nature and art with a dozen exhibits showcasing regional natural history. Exhibits include a life-size blue whale skeleton, a planetarium and an ethnobotanic garden. The museum also offers a number of family programs, lectures and festivals.

Santa Maria Museum of Flight

3015 Airpark Drive
Santa Maria, CA 93455
805-922-8758
www.smmof.org

The Santa Maria Museum of Flight’s planes, models, photos, memorabilia and exhibits will excite any aviation enthusiast.

Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum

705 S. McClelland St.
Santa Maria, CA 93454
805-928-8414
www.smvdiscoverymuseum.org

Children will love the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum, which includes a live shark tank, giant bubble machine and “creation station” as well as hands-on educational exhibits based on local themes such as agriculture, aerospace and the environment.

Santa Maria Valley Historical Museum

616 S. Broadway
Santa Maria, CA 93454
805-922-3130
http://santamariahistory.com

Get a glimpse into the history of Santa Maria through pictures, artifacts and valley memorabilia collected by the Santa Maria Valley Historical Society.

Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum & Parks-Janeway Carriage House

3596 Sagunto St.
Santa Ynez, CA 93460
805-688-7889
www.santaynezmuseum.org

The museum is composed of exhibit spaces that include the Native American room, the Pioneer Room, the Jeannette Lyons Costume Room, the Valley Room, the Ellen Gleason Library and a gift shop. Across the museum’s early-California style courtyard is the 7,500-square-foot Parks-Janeway Carriage House, renowned as one the finest carriage collections in the U.S. More than 36 carriages as well as saddles are on display.

South Coast Railroad Museum

300 N. Los Carneros Road
Goleta, CA 93117
805-964-3540
www.goletadepot.org

This museum focuses on the history, technology and adventure of railroading. Its centerpiece is the Goleta Depot, a country railroad stationhouse built by the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1901 during the completion of the Coast Route that joined San Francisco and Los Angeles. The Goleta Depot is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Kids will love the miniature train ride.

Parks

Travel back in time with historic re-enactments, enjoy the beauty of butterflies or just stroll through the largest privately funded park in America, all in the local area. Check your community’s parks and recreation listings to see more of what your local area has to offer.

Chase Palm Park

236 E. Cabrillo Blvd.

Santa Barbara, CA 93101 805-897-1982

Located along the waterfront, Chase Palm Park’s shipwreck-themed playground will enchant children, and the whole family will enjoy the free Concerts in the Park, an annual summer tradition that draws as many as 5,000 people in June, July and August. Before you leave, be sure to check out the antique carousel.

Coronado Butterfly Preserve/
Goleta Butterfly Grove

www.sblandtrust.org/coronado-butterfly-preserve-2 

The 9.3-acre preserve is a protected open space and home to native coastal sage scrub habitat, eucalyptus groves, birds, wildlife, woodlands, meadows and trails linking to the Goleta Monarch Grove, Ellwood Shores coastal bluffs, Santa Barbara Shores County Park, the Devereux Slough and the beach. Monarch butterflies migrate to Goleta Butterfly Grove from November through February and draw many visitors. For directions to the preserve, visit the website.

Elings Park

1298 Las Positas Road

Santa Barbara, CA 93105 805-569-5611

www.elingspark.org 

The largest privately funded park in America, Elings Park offers multiple recreational activities. The 230-acre park contains sports fields, tracks for BMX racers, hiking trails and a number of organized sports activities. It also features one of the premier paragliding and hang-gliding training hills in the nation. The park is host to a number of special events each year, such as the Santa Barbara Beer Fest, a bike festival and an egg hunt.

La Purisima Mission State Historic Park

2295 Purisima Road

Lompoc, CA 93436 805-733-3713

www.lapurisimamission.org 

Home of the La Purisima Mission, the park hosts more than 200,000 visitors each year. The 2,000-acre park is open almost every day for self-guided tours. Park events frequently showcase what life was like during the 1820s, with weaving, pottery and candle-making, blacksmithing, sheep-shearing, leatherwork and more. The park also has 25 miles of hiking trails, a modern visitor’s center and livestock.

Los Flores Ranch Park

6271 Dominion Road

Santa Maria, CA 93454
805-925-0951, ext. 985

www.facebook.com/losfloresranch 

With more than 1,700 acres, the Los Flores Ranch Park is a rare mix of land preservation, recreation and environmental education. As a regional open-space park in the Santa Maria Valley, Los Flores is the first of its kind. There are 8 miles of hiking, equestrian and mountain biking trails. The park is home to a variety of flora and fauna, including jackrabbits, foxes, wild pigs and the occasional bobcat. Group tours and guided nature walks are available.

Ganna Walska Lotusland

Cold Springs Road, near the intersection of Sycamore Canyon Road

Montecito, CA 93108 805-969-9990

www.lotusland.org 

The historic estate of Polish opera singer Madame Ganna Walska, Lotusland is an impressive collection of rare and exotic plants. Walska dedicated more than 40 years to building her dream garden, which now boasts more than 3,000 plants from around the world. Garden categories include aloe, Australian, blue, bromeliads, butterfly, cacti and euphorbias, cactus, cycad, fern, Japanese, orchards, parterre, succulent, theater, topiary, tropical, water, water stairs and cypress allee. Two-hour guided tours are available. Because Lotusland is a public garden operating in a private, residential neighborhood, advance reservations are required for all visits. Residents of Santa Barbara County may visit Lotusland free on 18 days each year.

The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

1212 Mission Canyon Road

Santa Barbara, CA 93105 805-682-4726

www.sbbg.org 

The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is a 78-acre living museum. With thousands of plants on display and 5.5 miles of trails, there’s plenty to take in. Visit the authentic Japanese Teahouse and Tea Garden, walk through redwood trails or check out the Mission Dam and Aqueduct. The garden is also a great place to experience beautiful views of the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Channel Islands. Guided tours are available.

Parks

Vandenberg AFB Living Parks

 

Travel back in time with historic re-enactments, enjoy the beauty of butterflies or just stroll through the largest privately funded park in America, all in the local area. Check your community’s parks and recreation listings to see more of what your local area has to offer.

Chase Palm Park

236 E. Cabrillo Blvd.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
805-897-1982

Located along the waterfront, Chase Palm Park’s shipwreck-themed playground will enchant children, and the whole family will enjoy the free Concerts in the Park, an annual summer tradition that draws as many as 5,000 people in June, July and August. Before you leave, be sure to check out the antique carousel.

Coronado Butterfly Preserve/Goleta Butterfly Grove

www.sblandtrust.org/coronado-butterfly-preserve-2

The 9.3-acre preserve is a protected open space and home to native coastal sage scrub habitat, eucalyptus groves, birds, wildlife, woodlands, meadows and trails linking to the Goleta Monarch Grove, Ellwood Shores coastal bluffs, Santa Barbara Shores County Park, the Devereux Slough and the beach. Monarch butterflies migrate to Goleta Butterfly Grove from November through February and draw many visitors. For directions to the preserve, visit the website.

Elings Park

1298 Las Positas Road
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
805-569-5611
www.elingspark.org

The largest privately funded park in America, Elings Park offers multiple recreational activities. The 230-acre park contains sports fields, tracks for BMX racers, hiking trails and a number of organized sports activities. It also features one of the premier paragliding and hang-gliding training hills in the nation. The park is host to a number of special events each year, such as the Santa Barbara Beer Festival, a bike festival and an egg hunt.

La Purisima Mission State Historic Park

2295 Purisima Road
Lompoc, CA 93436
805-733-3713
www.lapurisimamission.org

Home of the La Purisima Mission, the park hosts more than 200,000 visitors each year. The 2,000-acre park is open almost every day for self-guided tours. Park events frequently showcase what life was like during the 1820s, with weaving, pottery and candle-making, blacksmithing, sheep-shearing, leatherwork and more. The park also has 25 miles of hiking trails, a modern visitor’s center and livestock.

Los Flores Ranch Park

6271 Dominion Road
Santa Maria, CA 93454
805-925-0951, ext. 985
www.facebook.com/losfloresranch

With more than 1,700 acres, the Los Flores Ranch Park is a rare mix of land preservation, recreation and environmental education. As a regional open-space park in the Santa Maria Valley, Los Flores is the first of its kind. There are 8 miles of hiking, equestrian and mountain biking trails. The park is home to a variety of flora and fauna, including jackrabbits, foxes, wild pigs and the occasional bobcat. Group tours and guided nature walks are available.

Ganna Walska Lotusland

Cold Springs Road, near the intersection of Sycamore Canyon Road
Montecito, CA
805-969-9990
www.lotusland.org

The historic estate of Polish opera singer Madame Ganna Walska, Lotusland is an impressive collection of rare and exotic plants. Walska dedicated more than 40 years to building her dream garden, which now boasts more than 3,000 plants from around the world. Garden categories include aloe, Australian, blue, bromeliads, butterfly, cacti and euphorbias, cactus, cycad, fern, Japanese, orchards, parterre, succulent, theater, topiary, tropical, water, water stairs and cypress allee. Two-hour guided tours are available. Because Lotusland is a public garden operating in a private, residential neighborhood, advance reservations are required for all visits. Residents of Santa Barbara County may visit Lotusland free on 18 days each year.

The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

1212 Mission Canyon Road
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
805-682-4726
www.sbbg.org

The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is a 78-acre living museum. With thousands of plants on display and 5.5 miles of trails, there’s plenty to take in. Visit the authentic Japanese Teahouse and Tea Garden, walk through redwood trails or check out the Mission Dam and Aqueduct. The garden is also a great place to experience beautiful views of the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Channel Islands. Guided tours are available.

Shopping

From malls and major department stores to unique boutiques and souvenir shops, there’s something for every taste and budget.

Certified Farmers Markets

The Santa Maria Valley’s abundant agriculture means that its certified farmers markets are close to the source. Farmers markets take place in downtown Santa Barbara at Santa Barbara and Cota streets, in Goleta at the Camino Real Center, in Solvang at Copenhagen Drive and First Street, and in Montecito on Montecito Coast Village Road. Hours vary based on season. Visit www.sbfarmersmarket.org for times, locations and more information.

Downtown Santa Barbara

www.santabarbaradowntown.com 

The Historic Arts District of Santa Barbara offers fine dining, major retailers and intriguing specialty shops. Meander through outdoor paseos, landscaped plazas and along brick-lined sidewalks as you make your way from shop to shop. There are hundreds of shopping and dining options, with free, convenient public parking.

La Arcada

1114 State St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93101 805-966-6634

www.laarcadasantabarbara.com 

Constructed in the Roaring ’20s by famed architect Myron Hunt, La Arcada offers a unique shopping experience. Dine in some of the area’s top restaurants, and stroll through art galleries and retail boutiques amongst tile-lined walkways, fountains and sculptures.

Solvang

www.solvangusa.com/things-to-do/shopping 

There are more than 150 one-of-a-kind shops in this pedestrian-friendly village known as the “Danish Capital of America.” Boutiques offer antiques and collectibles, Danish imports, arts and crafts, furnishings, gourmet gifts and toys.

Shopping

Vandenberg AFB Living Shopping

 

From malls and major department stores to unique boutiques and souvenir shops, there’s something for every taste and budget.

Certified Farmers Markets

The Santa Maria Valley’s abundant agriculture means that its certified farmers markets are close to the source. Farmers markets take place in downtown Santa Barbara at Santa Barbara and Cota streets, in Goleta at the Camino Real Center, in Solvang at Copenhagen Drive and First Street, and in Montecito on Montecito Coast Village Road. Hours vary based on season. Visit www.sbfarmersmarket.org for times, locations and more information.

Downtown Santa Barbara

www.santabarbaradowntown.com

The Historic Arts District of Santa Barbara offers fine dining, major retailers and intriguing specialty shops. Meander through outdoor paseos, landscaped plazas and along brick-lined sidewalks as you make your way from shop to shop. There are hundreds of shopping and dining options, with free, convenient public parking.

La Arcada

1114 State St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
805-966-6634
www.laarcadasantabarbara.com

Constructed in the Roaring ’20s by famed architect Myron Hunt, La Arcada offers a unique shopping experieance. Dine in some of the area’s top restaurants, and stroll through art galleries and retail boutiques amongst tile-lined walkways, fountains and sculptures.

Solvang

www.solvangusa.com/things-to-do/shopping

There are more than 150 one-of-a-kind shops in this pedestrian-friendly village known as the “Danish Capital of America.” Boutiques offer antiques and collectibles, Danish imports, arts and crafts, furnishings, gourmet gifts and toys.

Sports and Recreation

Whether you’re a spectator or star participant, there is a bundle of recreational opportunities for any sports lover in Santa Barbara County.

Butterfly Beach

Montecito

Consistently ranked as a favorite among both locals and visitors, Butterfly Beach is one of only a few that face west (instead of south) affording spectacular sunsets as well as incredible views. Its location in the midst of an exclusive neighborhood makes for interesting people-watching. To act like a local, keep your cool if you spot resident celebrities like Oprah or Ellen DeGeneres strolling the sand. Be prepared: There are no public facilities. Butterfly Beach is across from the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara (1260 Channel Drive).

East Beach

East Cabrillo Boulevard and Milpas Street

Santa Barbara

East Beach features palm-shaded lawns that border a long, sandy beach and a central location. Facilities include a beach house, snack bar, volleyball courts, a children’s play area and a bike/rollerblading path.

Figueroa Mountain

Figueroa Mountain Road 805-925-9538

Enjoy panoramic views of the San Rafael wilderness and the Santa Ynez Valley. Dramatic wildflower displays in springtime include California poppies, purple shooting stars, chocolate lilies and scarlet Indian paintbrushes. There are also picnic areas, family campgrounds, catch-and-release fishing in Davy Brown and Manzana creeks, and hiking and riding trails. The mountain’s recreation area lies 30 minutes north of Los Olivos and can be reached by Figueroa Mountain Road or Happy Canyon Road.

Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Complex

1065 Guadalupe St.

Guadalupe, CA 93434 805-343-2455

www.dunescenter.org 

The Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes are among the largest intact coastal dune ecosystems on Earth. Enjoy hiking, biking, whale watching, guided walks and special events. The complex boasts the highest beach dunes in the Western U.S., with some dunes as tall as 500 feet.

OstrichLand USA

610 E. Highway 246

Solvang, CA 93463 805-686-9696

www.ostrichlandusa.com 

Get up close and personal with ostriches and emus — feeding them is unique treat and fun for the whole family. You can also pick up fresh eggs, frozen meat, jerky, feather dusters and other ostrich/emu-related products from the gift shop.

Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition

506 E. Haley St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93103 805-845-8955

www.sbbike.org 

A countywide bicycling advocacy organization, the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition has crafted do-it-yourself bike rides for your enjoyment. Visit the website to take advantage of local knowledge for information such as distances, viewpoints and maps.

Santa Barbara Golf Club

3500 McCaw Ave.

Santa Barbara, CA 93105 805-687-7087

www.playsantabarbara.com 

Open from dawn to dusk, daily 

This public course offers affordable golf for everyone at its 18-hole regulation par-70 golf course with sweeping views of the Santa Ynez foothills and the Pacific Ocean.

Santa Barbara Zoo

500 Ninos Drive

Santa Barbara, CA 93103 805-962-5339

www.sbzoo.org 

Come to see giraffes, elephants, California condors, penguins and more. The 30-acre Santa Barbara Zoo is home to more than 400 animals and also hosts special events such as the Thanksgiving Day Pumpkin Smash, where elephants, gorillas and other zoo animals get a chance to play with pumpkins. Or maybe you’d like to see the animals romp in snow during the Snow Leopard Festival? More than 80 tons of snow is brought in, not just for the animals but also for sledding runs!

Sports and Recreation

Vandenberg AFB Living Sports and Recreation

 

Whether you’re a spectator or star participant, there is a bundle of recreational opportunities for any sports lover in Santa Barbara County.

Butterfly Beach

Montecito

Consistently ranked as a favorite among both locals and visitors, Butterfly Beach is one of only a few that face west (instead of south) affording spectacular sunsets as well as incredible views. Its location in the midst of an exclusive neighborhood makes for interesting people-watching. To act like a local, keep your cool if you spot resident celebrities like Oprah or Ellen DeGeneres strolling the sand. Be prepared: There are no public facilities. Butterfly Beach is across from the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara (1260 Channel Drive).

East Beach

East Cabrillo Boulevard and Milpas Street
Santa Barbara

East Beach features palm-shaded lawns that border a long, sandy beach and a central location. Facilities include a beach house, snack bar, volleyball courts, a children’s play area and a bike/rollerblading path.

Figueroa Mountain

Figueroa Mountain Road 805-925-9538

Enjoy panoramic views of the San Rafael wilderness and the Santa Ynez Valley. Dramatic wildflower displays in springtime include California poppies, purple shooting stars, chocolate lilies and scarlet Indian paintbrushes. There are also picnic areas, family campgrounds, catch-and-release fishing in Davy Brown and Manzana creeks, and hiking and riding trails. The mountain’s recreation area lies 30 minutes north of Los Olivos and can be reached by Figueroa Mountain Road or Happy Canyon Road.

Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Complex

1065 Guadalupe St.
Guadalupe, CA 93434
805-343-2455
www.dunescenter.org

The Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes are among the largest intact coastal dune ecosystems on Earth. Enjoy hiking, biking, whale watching, guided walks and special events. The complex boasts the highest beach dunes in the Western U.S., with some dunes as tall as 500 feet.

Marshallia Ranch Golf Course

Off Highway 1 between Lompoc and Santa Maria 805-606-6262
www.30fss.com/golf

With spectacular views from Vandenberg Air Force Base, this 18-hole, par-72 course is among the top golf courses in the military. It has hosted Air Force and professional golf events. Ocean winds and frequent patches of ice plant make this course challenging.

OstrichLand USA

610 E. Highway 246
Solvang, CA 93463
805-686-9696
www.ostrichlandusa.com

Get up close and personal with ostriches and emus — feeding them is unique treat and fun for the whole family. You can also pick up fresh eggs, frozen meat, jerky, feather dusters and other ostrich/emu-related products from the gift shop.

Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition

506 E. Haley St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93103
805-845-8955
www.sbbike.org

A countywide bicycling advocacy organization, the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition has crafted do-it-yourself bike rides for your enjoyment. Visit the website to take advantage of local knowledge for information such as distances, viewpoints and maps.

Santa Barbara Golf Club

3500 McCaw Ave.
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
805-687-7087
www.playsantabarbara.com

Open from dawn to dusk, daily

This public course offers affordable golf for everyone at its 18-hole regulation par-70 golf course with sweeping views of the Santa Ynez foothills and the Pacific Ocean.

Santa Barbara Zoo

500 Ninos Drive
Santa Barbara, CA 93103
805-962-5339
www.sbzoo.org

Come see giraffes, elephants, California condors, penguins and more. The 30-acre Santa Barbara Zoo is home to more than 400 animals and also hosts special events such as the Thanksgiving Day Pumpkin Smash, where elephants, gorillas and other zoo animals get a chance to play with pumpkins. Or maybe you’d like to see the animals romp in snow during the Snow Leopard Festival? More than 80 tons of snow is brought in, not just for the animals but also for sledding runs!

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