Photo Credit: J. Wilkes Tasting Room
It’s undeniable that March is one of the most picture-perfect times to visit Santa Barbara with vibrant displays of color found everywhere on our crescent coast, from wildflowers sprinkled on hillsides to sunsets of every hue. Plates of colorful cuisine burst with flavor at a plethora of culinary and wine events happening throughout March in Santa Barbara. Add temperate weather, new wine tasting experiences along the Urban Wine Trail, and a variety of cultural films and activities, there’s no shortage of reasons to visit this spring.
To ensure an eventful and foodie-filled stay, read on to discover why March is the ideal time to visit Santa Barbara.
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Steps from Santa Barbara’s popular Funk Zone neighborhood and within walking distance to the Santa Barbara Waterfront, is the newly opened J. Wilkes tasting room, offering an elevated tasting experience and welcoming place to sip acclaimed wines along the Urban Wine Trail.
Led by industry-leading winemaker Wes Hagan, J. Wilkes wines are rich in history and flavor, representing the pure characteristics of the region. Originally founded in 2001 by Jeff Wilkes, the Miller family has carried on Wilkes’ legacy producing nuanced pinot noir, pinot blanc and chardonnay from Santa Barbara County’s Santa Maria Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA) and other Central Coast AVA’s under the J. Wilkes label.
The J. Wilkes Tasting Room features a small outdoor patio with tables, perfect for savoring a glass of wine and a charcuterie plate while taking in the sights and sounds of State Street. The interior of the tasting room transports you to wine country with a large vineyard mural displayed on the wall, adding to the ambiance while providing tasters with a sense of place for where the grapes are grown. An indoor fireplace creates a cozy corner complementing the tasting rooms modern industrial chic decor, while live music on the weekend entertains visitors. Learn More
Santa Barbara Restaurant Week, February 21 through March 6, 2020 is in full swing, so come hungry and ready to eat and drink your way through The American Riviera®. What’s on our plate? Dozens of the areas must-try restaurants are currently offering delectable and affordable three-course prix fixe dinner options for $25, $35 and $45. From pinot to pints, local tasting rooms are in on the fun too with special wine and beer tasting experiences. If this is a first time trip or one of many, it’s the perfect time to branch out from the usual and try a never before visited Santa Barbara restaurant. Learn More
Whether an oenophile or simply curious about what makes Pinot Noir such an enjoyable red wine, World of Pinot Noir (March 5 to 7, 2020) at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara is both informative and palate-pleasing. Celebrating its 20th year, the event offers connoisseurs of all levels wine tastings, dinners, seminars and parties alongside professional winemakers, renowned chefs, sommeliers and leading wine scholars. If you love wine (especially Pinot Noir), this is one event you don’t want to miss. Learn More
Often called the original “Hollywood,” our seaside town has a rich history when it comes to film. In fact, California’s first movie studio was built in Santa Barbara. Over the years, Santa Barbara has remained a destination for many film-related happenings geared towards film buffs and movie-goers alike to enjoy. Held at The New Vic Theatre, the Santa Barbara Jewish Film Festival, March 11 to 15, 2020, includes five days of exceptional films from around the world on themes of Jewish culture and identity, including a wide range of documentaries, dramas, comedies, and shorts by American, European and Israeli filmmakers. Learn More
Calling all serious foodies! Make travel plans for the inaugural Santa Barbara Culinary Experience, March 13 to 15, 2020, in partnership with the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts. This food and wine extravaganza will be a three-day city-wide epicurean celebration of Santa Barbara’s abundant resources, from farms and ranches to vineyards and oceans, as well as the late, iconic chef and cookbook author Julia Child. Events include regional food and libations tastings, dinners with nationally recognized and local chefs and winemakers, wine and cooking seminars and more. Learn about Julia’s connection to Santa Barbara, review the lineup of events and how to get tickets with this Ultimate Santa Barbara Culinary Experience itinerary. Learn More
Santa Barbara blooms each spring with orchids in every imaginable shape, color, pattern and texture at the Santa Barbara International Orchid Show, March 13 to 15, 2020 at Earl Warren Showgrounds. The theme of this year’s show is “Orchids – A World of Adventure.” Mythical displays and fantastical forests of orchids and other lush greenery will whisk attendees to another world. Now in its 75th year, this three-day exhibition is noted as one of the country’s largest and oldest celebrations of orchids. Marvel at orchid-themed fine art and photography showcasing the work of local and regional artists, visit one of the shows regular demonstration workshops and choose from thousands of orchid plants to take home with you. Learn More