Santa Barbara's Arts and Crafts show is every Sunday. Vendors set up their tables and booths starting at Stearns Warf going a few blocks east along Cabrillo Boulevard. Even if you are not into arts and crafts, it's a great excuse to take a walk along the ocean andtake in the beautiful views of Santa Barbara.
Fiesta is Santa Barbara's own version of Marti Gras. It's a great time for all ages. For a few days in August, Santa Barbara shows off it's Spanish culture. State Street is alive and happening with many happy revelers. It's a really great family get together during the day - but also an awesome place for adults to act like kids with throwing colorful eggs full of confetti at each other. There are also mariachi bands wandering the streets to serenade visitors. The bars are crowded with drinkers starting at 10am. It is quite a party, used to be my favorite time of year when I was in college :)
Every Sunday along Cabrillo Blvd. starting at Stearns Wharf and running East for a couple of blocks is the Santa Barbara Arts & Crafts Show with original handmade artwork by local artisans. You can view items from Animal toys to Zebra paintings. The prices are all up to the artist on location. They display their wares on easels to tables from 10am to dusk.
In Santa Barbara, everything kind of looks pretty and on first sight, this large group of crosses seems to blend effortlessly into the sandy beach. Then you read that each cross represents a soldier killed in Iraq and it takes on a new meaning. It is meant to be a silent protest against the war but others see it as a tribute to the soldiers killed fighting for freedom. Perhaps the most amazing thing is the 500+ crosses are set up each Sunday morning and taken down late in the afternoon. If you are in town on a Sunday, it will be hard to miss as it is right next to the entrance to the pier down on the seaside.
Taking Street Art to another level, the Madonnari Festival has been a Santa Barbara institution since its inception in 1987. Named after the Italian name for street artists, the huge block party features live music, vendors selling Italian food and attracts artists from around the world to the area in front of the Santa Barbara Mission. It is generally held the end of May. We were in Santa Barbara in early June and while the festival was over, the works of art were still pretty fresh and looking good.
During the first week of August SB holds it most famous festival: fiesta or Old Spanish Days. The whole community gets together to celebrate the heritage of the city. Ther are parades, bands playing, carnival type of events, rodoes and extra special parties at the bars. You can also enjoy many beautiful dance performances (ballet, folkloric..) at various locations during the week including the Mission, De La Guera Plaza and the sunken garden at the Courtyard. Check out the website for the event calendar.
The Summer Solstice parade is one parade that everyone looks forward to every year. The event is the largest art festival in Santa Barbara. It is something I can't really explain, it's something that you need to see to believe it. I guess you could compare it to a small carnival or mardi gras parade. The Parade is held on the saturday following Summer Solstice around 12:00 PM. The parade ends at Alameda park, located at the corner of Anacapa and Micheltorena Streets. The following festival at the park includes, live music, children's area and local art.
Forth of July can be very fun in Santa Barbara. The whole community celebrates by going to West Beach to watch the fireworks. From about 5pm to 10pm Cabrillo blvd. closes all traffic coming through. Along the beach there is live music and food. The fireworks start around 9:00- 9:30 ish. Get there early and don't drive your car downtown because you will not find parking after 2pm. The fireworks show is always good!
The 101 Freeway is built over the original El Camino Real, which means “Royal Highway” in Spanish. This historical road is the oldest street in California and used to be just a dusty path. The 21 California Missions were built all along the El Camino Real from San Diego to Sonoma, about 30 miles North of San Francisco hundreds of years ago. The bell pictured is situated in front of the Mission at Santa Barbara and similar bell shaped lamps line the old route of the El Camino Real to honor the California Missions and the original Royal Road.
The first quarter released in 2005 honors California, and is the 31st in the United States Mint's 50 State Quarters® Program. California was admitted into the Union on September 9, 1850, becoming our Nation’s 31st State. Nicknamed the "Golden State," California’s quarter depicts naturalist and conservationist John Muir admiring Yosemite Valley’s monolithic granite headwall known as "Half Dome" and also contains a soaring California condor. The coin bears the inscriptions "California," "John Muir," "Yosemite Valley" and "1850."
In 1849, the year before California gained statehood, the family of 11-year-old John Muir emigrated from Scotland to the United States, settling in Wisconsin. In 1868, at the age of 30, Muir sailed up the West Coast and landed in San Francisco. He made his home in the Yosemite Valley, describing the Sierra Nevada Mountains as "the Range of Light… the most divinely beautiful of all the mountain chains I have seen." He devoted the rest of his life to the conservation of natural beauty, publishing more than 300 articles and 10 books that expanded his naturalist philosophy.
The 20-member California State Quarter Commission was formed to solicit design concepts from California citizens and to review all submissions. The Commission forwarded 20 design concepts to Governor Gray Davis’s office for further consideration. From these, five were chosen as finalists and sent for final review to the United States Mint. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger chose the final selection from this group of five. The four other design concepts considered included "Waves and Sun," "Gold Miner," "Golden Gate Bridge," and the "Giant Sequoia" design. The Department of Treasury approved the "John Muir/Yosemite Valley" design on April 15, 2004.
Santa Barbara is home of many 'Firsts.'
Multiple Listing idea, Lockheed Aircraft, Movie Studio, one of four sites to start the Internet, Sambo's restaurants, GOO (Get-Oil-Out) Group started to combat Oil Spills and my Cartoon Character, Missy WQ, soon to be launched. Will add more 'firsts' later.
P.S. Oprah sold her place in Florida and moved to Santa Barbara. see photo of her home under renovation.
It is pretty easy. We are a very laid back kinda people. We have a big influx of students but they don't really count as locals..:) So if someone is acting like an ass and is young. You can put 2 and 2 together.
Nothing really starts downtown till after 9:00PM.
Local police are helpful & curtious. Pretty much act the way you wanna be treated. As it is in most places.:) Kick back Bro and toss some back.
The access path along the beach is the most popular place in town to skate and is suitable for all abilities. The path stretches from Ledbetter Beach, past the picturesque Santa Barbara Harbor, and around the Bird Refuge. At opposite ends are East Beach Grill and Ledbetter Cafe, great places to relax and refresh.
IV is the college spot or village and the densest place in the county. It is 12 miles (at end of Los Caneros). Warning every year someone dies by falling into the ocean off the cliffs while partying - the quota is done for this year, ARGH!, so your safe! Right.
Bring plenty of money or find a place to crash first!
You cannot sit on the sidewalks, beg, nor sleep outdoors nor in cars (that tourist-middle-Americaa-Disneyland-dollar thing.)
Many of the workers for the 'Disney industry' - apologies to Walk and Michael Eisner because I do love Disneyland, but just turning your whole town into one 'culturaly' sucks - they live while you sleep in your $200 dollar a night rooms, 4 to a bedroom in tiny houses (but we like it so don't feel guilty - just let them know you 'like the california culture elsewhere though of nude beaches and 'Homeless who drink' adding 'character' other than Juan Cabrillo, Fiesta Parades, Red Neck Sheriffs, Almighty Bible Belt/middle America Clean Tourist Dollars (2% of the tourists who even come here) and the Missionaries. (ARGH!) - they have though allowed on Saturday afternoon because it is at least for now hundereds yards from any tourist busness that makes real money a 'drum circle' in palm park on the ocean (across from the horses that go round and round.. car..). This is where new hippies (boomers from the boomers, burn homemade sage sticks and play drums and other things you pound on and dance bouncy style in long dress or practically more loose things when it is warm.
Also 'Shorts for guys' rule during the day but not at night when going out except at Fiesta (first full weekend in August) or maybe you can get away with it at Solsice time. This later is because it is okay to party so much all day that no one has time to go home in the early evening to change and come back .. besides it is quite warm.
All of these pages are (C) 2001 and beyond by Greg of and at Agde at virtualtourist.com
Other places to visit in Santa Barbara are of course the Old Mission, founded the day of Santa Barbara in 1786. Also the County Courthouse, built on Spanish style, the Presidio or the Jose Lobero Theatre. From the hills above the town you can enjoy beautiful views of Santa Barbara and the ocean.