No other city does summer like Santa Barbara! We’re already one of the best cities for year-round outdoor activities, but summertime is arguably THE most fun time to visit the American Riviera.
Not sure what to do in Santa Barbara this summer? We’ve put together a list of our top 10 favorite things to do and see this summer in downtown Santa Barbara and beyond.
Kick Off Summer At The Solstice Parade
Celebrate the start of summer with the city’s largest arts event including the weird, wild, and eclectic parade of dancers and performers on State Street. The parade begins at 12pm, June 26, on State St. & Cota St. and ends at Alameda Park.
Catch An Outdoor Flick In The Sunken Gardens
Pack a picnic, grab a blanket or a chair and settle in for a (free!) classic film under the stars at the Santa Barbara Courthouse’s Sunken Gardens. The flick starts when the sun goes down and seats go fast! (Local’s Tip: put down your blanket in the morning to save your spot.)
This year’s series will be the James Bond films, starting Wednesday July 5.
Rock Out To A Concert In The Park
Rock out to top cover bands like The PettyBreakers, The Hollywood Stones, and more every Thursday this summer, starting July 6, in Chase Palm Park by the beach.
Camp (And Surf) at Jalama
There’s camping and then there’s camping on the beach. Pitch a tent at Jalama Beach and listen to the waves crash at night. During the day, get your tan on just steps from your “home”, surf the waves or visit the Jalama Beach Store & Grill to chow down on a famed Jalama Burger.
Relax With Yoga On The Beach
Unwind, breathe, and relax during a beachfront yoga class with Mike Lewis on Sunday mornings. Forget the serious yoga classes you’ve taken before. Come ready for fun, laughs, and a great ocean view! For all you sleepy heads: Don’t worry. Classes start at the reasonable hour of 11:30am at Leadbetter Beach.
Learn How To Surf The White Water
Hey, ladies (and gents)! Get your tan on in a different way this summer and learn how to hang ten with an iSurf lesson. Lessons are semi-private, private or booked by group and include wetsuits and surfboards.
Go Blueberry Picking At Restoration Oaks
Head up the road, 30 miles north of Santa Barbara, for a visit to Restoration Oaks where the blueberries are field fresh, natural, and never sprayed with chemicals. They say on a good day you can pick up to 2.5 pounds of blueberries in 15 minutes. That’s a whole lotta summer to savor!
Grand opening is May 20 and runs until the blueberries are gone.
Kick Up Your Heels During Fiesta
Fiesta is our city’s version of Mardi Gras! August 2-6 our city will be rife with special dance performances, parties, and Mexican and Spanish food stands celebrating our rich history. The festivities are kicked off Wednesday night at the Santa Barbara Mission and followed by the largest horse parade in North America on Friday, plus dancers and confetti eggs as far as they eye can see!
Sip & Cheers At The California Wine Festival
3 days. 250 wines. 70 wineries. Ocean view. Need we say more?
The CA Wine Fest is July 13-15 at Chase Palm Park. Click here to get tickets!
Tailgate At A Polo Match
Stomp the divets and toast with bubbles at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club every Sunday, May-October. Tickets are available for sitting in the stands, but we prefer to be on the field, dahlings. Pull your ride into the far side of the fields and join the hootenanny of fancy tailgaters with a decadent BYO spread.