Shout it from the mountaintops to the ocean shores, “summer is officially here!” Make a dream vacation to Santa Barbara a reality.
Full of personality but down to earth, July in Santa Barbara offers a vacation full of laid back luxury, guaranteeing you’ll return home revived and refreshed. To ensure we make good on our promise, we’ve put together a list of the best Santa Barbara events happening this July:
This Month's Highlights
The Santa Barbara Fourth of July Celebration returns to the Santa Barbara waterfront with a day of beachfront festivities. From noon to 9 p.m. enjoy Independence Day activities along West Beach, including food, music, fireworks and fun for all ages. To avoid the hassle of finding parking, consider leaving your car and ride a bike (Bike racks are provided and available for use during the event.) or use the Downtown and Waterfront shuttles to arrive in style. Otherwise, Waterfront parking lots will be open, but note that Stearns Wharf will be closed to vehicular traffic from 3 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Get ready to feel like you’re floating on a cloud when staying at Belmond El Encanto. Not only will you walk through paradise when making your way to a private bungalow, but a custom-made initialed pillow will also welcome you and your soon-to-be sweet dreams.
Start the day with breakfast on the terrace overlooking The American Riviera®, followed by treatments at the Spa, and end with an evening dip in the resorts zero-edge pool – you will truly get the ultimate California getaway at Belmond El Encanto. Stay for a long weekend! Let Belmond’s concierge team organize a leisurely Sunday afternoon at the Santa Barbara Polo Fields. Select the posh Polo Lounge or grandstand tickets, partake in local wine and brewery tastings and enjoy the time old tradition of the mid-game divot stomp. Experience ‘the sport of kings’ in all its glory.*
*Sunday Polo Package includes luxury accommodations, two tickets and transportation to the match at Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club, daily breakfast for two ($60 credit) and welcome Bellini for two.
Continue your getaway of laid-back luxury with the California Wine Festival, July 13 to 15. Dress in your summer best and spend the weekend mingling with local winemakers, sampling local cuisine, and tasting ridiculously good wine. With three days of events to choose from, there will be no shortage of fun (or wine!). At the weekend’s pinnacle event, Beachside Wine Festival, taste new wines, discover new favorites and enjoy an afternoon of unlimited fun, food and music along Santa Barbara’s East Beach. For those who don’t want to pick and choose which event to attend, enter the code “SBCVB” to receive 10 percent discount on any ticket or pass.
By the end of this wine-filled weekend, you’ll be singing the tune “Red, Red, wine you make me feel so fine.”
Book Your Stay
Once your thirst for Santa Barbara’s urban wine scene has been quenched, head to the vineyards with Wine Tours of Sana Barbara for a full Santa Barbara wine country experience. Home to over 100 boutique and family owned wineries, let the experts lead the way and plan your next adventure in the Santa Ynez Valley. No need to worry about driving, Wine Tours of Santa Barbara will pick you up, drop you off and arrange three wine tastings, a barrel room tour and picnic lunch. The only thing you’ll need to worry about is what to wear. Remember to bring your camera – Santa Barbara Wine Country is picture-worthy!
Tours prices start at $129 per person. Book two weeks in advance to save $10 per person with the promo code “SBCAWINE”.
Oh la, la! Get ready to do the cancan! For two days (July 15 and 16), Santa Barbara, aka “ The American Riviera®,” will fête all things French with free festivities in Oak Park. The popular festival celebrates French culture with more than 60 booths offering French food (including delicious crepes), wine, art, photography and French conversation. Entertainment includes more than two dozen live music and dance performances on three stages, including gypsy jazz, tango, the Accordion International Music Society of Santa Barbara and the crowd-pleasing Femmes Fatales Drag Revue. The popular Canine Cavalcade costume contest for dogs, finishes the festival — the perfect place to snap Instagram-worthy pix of poodles sporting jaunty berets.
Add a little architecture to your vacation itinerary. Santa Barbara’s character and charm is unmistakable and unlike any other California destination. Red tile roofs and stucco walls are just the start. Add in colorful tile workings and walls covered in blooming bougainvillea, and it’s hard not be mesmerized by Santa Barbara’s beauty.
While admiring the architecture of the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, plan to stay for the evening for some Bond, James Bond that is. Starting in July, UCSB Arts and Lectures will be hosting a series of movies in the Courthouse Sunken Gardens dedicated to the film legend, James Bond. To truly act the part, stopover at Opal Restaurant and Bar for the “Perfect 10” martini before watching the movie under the stars. Tip: Claim your spot early by setting up a blanket.