Treat yourself (and your taste buds) to a Santa Barbara getaway this October, when locals and visitors gather at festivals and culinary takes center stage. Grab a front-row seat as local fishermen kick-off the beginning of lobster season and winemakers rejoice with the success of a fruitful harvest. We invite you to celebrate with reckless abandon this October.
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When visiting Santa Barbara this fall, take the stress out of traveling and fly to the convenient and accessible . With daily, nonstop flights from Denver, Dallas, Los Angeles, Portland, Phoenix, Seattle and San Francisco, arrive in Santa Barbara carefree and just minutes from downtown.
So, in the name of all things delicious, take that extra bite, have one more sip of wine and savor your vacation just a little longer with this list of popular October events and festivals. After all, you deserve it.
SANTA BARBARA ACOUSTIC INSTRUMENT CELEBRATION: SEPT. 30 – OCT. 2
Before the foodie fun of October begins, lend your ears for the . This modern guitar festival invites music fans of all interests to embrace the craft and art of music making. During this festival, various locations around Santa Barbara will host instrumental concerts, master classes, and an Acoustic Trade Show where you can purchase some of the world’s finest handmade instruments directly from the builders.
CELEBRATION OF HARVEST: OCT. 7 – 10
Spend four glorious days frolicking through the vineyards during Santa Barbara Vintners Association’s . Quite literally, this signature fall festival pays tribute to the bounty of the year’s harvest, during which vintners take a break from the vineyards and cellars to pour their wines and share tales.
Throughout the weekend, attend winery events ranging from winemaker dinners to barrel tastings, all leading up to the Festival Grand Tasting on Saturday, October 8. Taste the different varietals of six unique winegrowing areas, featuring nearly 100 wineries that call Santa Barbara County home. In addition, live music, cooking demos and almost two dozen restaurants and food providers will be in attendance to complete the experience.
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SANTA BARBARA BEER FESTIVAL: OCT. 15
Grab your best-buds, it’s going to be one fun fall afternoon of phenomenal micro-brews, food and tunes at the . Attendees will receive a tasting glass and the opportunity to cruise the beautiful grounds of Elings Park, sampling the best brewers in the west. Plus, your ticket purchase helps support two local Santa Barbara nonprofits, so you can feel good about it to boot.
If you’re not in the mood for beer, don’t worry. Wine and cider will also be available for tasting.
HARBOR & SEAFOOD FESTIVAL: OCT. 15
In Santa Barbara, seafood is our specialty. At the first glimmer of sunlight in the Harbor, local fishermen have already been hard at work bringing in their fresh catch from the Santa Barbara Channel. Does the thought of crab, lobster, mussels and oysters whet your appetite? If so, you’re in luck at the Harbor & Seafood Festival. Did you know Santa Barbara sea urchin are a delicacy. Treat your taste buds to freshly cracked uni, before hopping on a free boat ride around the Harbor.
At the , meet the fishermen themselves and get a first-hand look (and taste) as seafood makes it from boat deck to your plate. Bring your appetite! This annual event also happens to coincide with lobster season. Tip: Arrive early before crowds swoop up the good stuff.
SANTA BARBARA CHOWDER FESTIVAL: OCT. 16
A whole festival dedicated to chowder? The is now in its seventh delicious year, where attendees get to relish in savory-goodness as the area’s best restaurants and chefs compete for the title of “Best Chowder in Santa Barbara.” Also in attendance are local wineries and breweries, sampled alongside live music, and both silent and live auctions. Last year’s winner was Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara. Don’t miss out on the crowning of this year’s “Chowder Champ.”