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.

When visiting Santa Barbara this fall, take the stress out of traveling and fly to the convenient and accessible Santa Barbara Airport. 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.


Before the foodie fun of October begins, lend your ears for the Santa Barbara Acoustic Instrument Celebration. 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.


grassini-family-vineyards-lesleymurphySpend four glorious days frolicking through the vineyards during Santa Barbara Vintners Association’s Celebration of Harvest. 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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Grab your best-buds, it’s going to be one fun fall afternoon of phenomenal micro-brews, food and tunes at the Santa Barbara Beer Festival. 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.


santa-barbara-sea-urchin-seastephaniefishIn 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 Santa Barbara Harbor & Seafood Festival, 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.


A whole festival dedicated to chowder? The Santa Barbara Chowder Festival 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.”

Featured October Events

Incubus with special guest DREAMCAR


Multi-platinum alt-rock icons Incubus announced today that they will return to Santa Barbara Bowl on the heels of releasing their aptly titled eighth studio album, 8, out now on Island Records. Incubus will be joined by DREAMCAR in Santa Barbara on…

Alison Krauss & David Gray


Multi-Platinum artists Alison Krauss & David Gray will be touring together throughout the United States this fall. They will bring their tour to Santa Barbara, CA at Santa Barbara Bowl on October 18 at 7:00 PM. Tickets go on sale Friday, June…

Sarah Jarosz


While still in her early 20’s, Texas native Sarah Jarosz has earned her credibility in the world where contemporary folk, Americana and roots music intersect. Her reputation is built on three fronts—she is a gifted multi-instrumentalist…

Santa Barbara 100


The Santa Barbara 100 takes place in one of the most beautiful and challenging locations in the United States. We offer four distinct courses to suit every cyclist's ability - each course offering a world class Santa Barbara cycling experience.

Artist Talk: Bill Dewey


The final artist talk of the year will be with aerial photographer, Bill Dewey. He has had his private pilot's license since 1981 and bases his aerial photography out of Santa Barbara airport. Bill has been photographing the California landscape…

Ramada Santa Barbara

Nestled amid lush gardens, a fresh-water lagoon, and colorful koi ponds, stay at the award-winning Ramada Santa Barbara during the month of October. Mention Visit Santa Barbara and you’ll receive 20% off all rooms*. To redeem, call direct at 800-654-1965.

*Certain restrictions and blackout dates do apply

Special Offers

When planning your trip to Santa Barbara, let us help to sweeten your stay. From lodging to one-of-a-kind experiences, view our list of special offers. With countless ways to stay and play, each of these offers will give you plenty of reasons to come back again and again.

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