it's always sunny in santa barbara
santa barbara is widely recognized for having the best weather year round, and we couldn't agree more. with our warm winters and coastal vibes, there's no place more ideal to spend the holiday season. read for a taste of santa barbara's december musts!
outdoor celebrations: holiday parades + festivals
as the holiday season nears, santa barbara takes full advantage of our amazing weather and prime location. Come and enjoy the holidays as we celebrate all over our beautiful beach town - you wont want to miss these festivities.
When: Friday, december 1st | where: state street, from sola to cota
Officially kicking off the holiday season, this signature Downtown Santa Barbara event brings a colossal contingent of high-stepping marching bands, fabulous holiday-themed floats, spectacular performance groups, local personalities, and our amazing Grand Marshal, Noah Wyle! The Holiday Prince and Fairy, selected from winning artwork best capturing the parade theme, lead the parade and light up the street on their way down the parade route.
when: sunday, december 10th | where: santa barbara harbor & waterfront
At 5:30 p.m. the annual boat parade begins with approximately 30 boats motoring, sailing, and paddling the Santa Barbara Coastline to the theme of Hollywood Holidays. Judging takes place at Stearns Wharf and boats are awarded donated cash and prizes in five categories. Best viewing locations include Stearns Wharf and the breakwater. Then visitors enjoy a fireworks show after the parade, ending their night with a bang.
solvang julefest parade
when: saturday, december 2nd | Where: Downtown solvang
Along the route of the annual Solvang Julefest Parade. More than 400 participants and 50 + entries march, trot, cruise and stroll along festively decorated Mission Drive, Copenhagen Drive and adjacent streets. Thousands of spectators from near and far enjoy the parade as well as free, post-parade visits with Santa in Solvang Park.
Santa Barbara's Historic theater district
Home to the granada theater, the lobero, and the ensemble theater company at the new vic, the historic theater district provides world-class programming and access to the performing arts to diverse and passionate audiences.
santa barbara waters
Whether you're looking to surf, lay out and relax, tale the dog out for a run, or play volleyball with the kids, Santa Barbara beaches are home to some of the best activities for the whole family.
From late December through early February, Pacific Gray Whales migrate south to breed in the warm Mexican waters. A large number of these southbound whales travel through the gap between Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa Islands.
Enjoy the invigorating (and romantic) thrill of a glorious Santa Barbara Beach Horseback Ride in this acclaimed private or semi-private 90-minute excursion. Two ride options available.
water sports + activities
Kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, surfing, and much, much more
The SB Adventure company is committed to creating unforgettable adventures of the highest quality, focusing on the natural beauty of the surrounding countryside and coastal waters. Our knowledgeable and friendly guides offer exceptional service and share with you a side of the Santa Barbara area few visitors ever get to experience.
Learn to sail, charter a sailboat, rent a variety of small sail or power boats or escape on award-winning Liveaboard Instructional Sailing Vacations to the world-famous Channel Islands National Park.
Choose from a wide variety of public cruises and see oceans of marine life and spectacular coastline views.
eateries with outdoor seating
enjoy santa barbara's beautiful weather and gorgeous views while tasting foods from the area's best restaurants and chefs.
Jeannine’s is part of the fabric of Santa Barbara and strives daily to provide a place where people can enjoy one-of-a-kind pastries and nutritious food every day.
Three locations: Montecito, Downtown, and Uptown
With panoramic ocean and island views across Montecito’s Butterfly Beach, guests will enjoy a contemporary Italian menu showcasing fresh California ingredients. The expansive terrace features Italian marble, indoor fireplaces, an outdoor fire pit and a retractable glass roof further create the indoor–outdoor dining experience.
Zaytoon - the hidden oasis in the center of Santa Barbara. A place where you can experience fresh and tasty Lebanese cuisine. A garden you can enjoy with your special guests. Experience the sounds of waterfall, the glow of little lights and the warmth of fire.
Located in a 19th-century citrus packing house, The Stonehouse features a relaxing lounge with full bar service and a separate dining room with crackling fireplace and creek side views. Guests can dine under the romantic gaze of Southern California's stars on the ocean view deck--a wood-burning fireplace and heated stone flooring provide year-round comfort.
Boathouse at hendry's beach
The Boathouse at Hendry's Beach, featuring exquisite dining and Santa Barbara's most spectacular ocean views. Stop by for fresh seafood and the best happy hour anywhere.