Photo Credit: California Wine Fest

As we count down the final days of 2017, the hope and promise of a new 2018 is just within reach. While making a resolution is simple, knowing the tricks of how to stick with one is the age old question. Luckily for you, we’ve outlined a few resolutions for January in particular, that are not only easy to keep, you’ll actually want to.

Let the stress of travel, be a thing of the past

Don’t let the post-traumatic stress of holiday travel deter you from partaking in a much needed after-holiday vacation to Santa Barbara. With the ease of the Santa Barbara Airport, you’re one direct flight away from the sun-soaked beaches of Santa Barbara. With seven daily arrivals from  Dallas, Denver, Phoenix, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles — forget the snow, ditch the traffic, and focus on a blissful experience in The American Riviera®.

Expand Your Mind, By Trying Something New

Celebrating its 4th year, the Raw Science Film Festival comes to Santa Barbara for the first time January 5-7, 2018. Much more than your average film showcase, this three-day festival will honor films on science and technology worldwide. Ring in the new year by expanding your mind and trying something new. This inspiring and educational event will pair films of science with interactive exhibits and engaging workshops. (Think of it as an über-luxurious and sleek science fair you don’t want to miss.)

Beginning on January 5, the festival welcomes attendees to Santa Barbara University Club for a VIP cocktail reception and networking opportunity for some of the greatest luminaries in science, technology and entertainment. On January 6, screenings of winning festival films will be on display at the Lobero Theater starting at 10am through late afternoon. Later that evening, celebrities and robots will shine at a black-tie Awards Ceremony. That’s right, Nobel Prize winner Kip Thorne will roll down the red carpet via Beam robot to present the annual Kip Thorne Gravity Award. January 7, the third and final day of the festival, will showcase a series of workshops at the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum dedicated to bridging the gap between science and media.

Book Your Stay

Treat yourself to the best-of-the-best

This is one resolution everyone can agree on, and should be practiced all year-round. However,  during the month of January, we place special emphasis on enjoying delicious wine as Santa Barbara becomes the epicenter of the California wine world. On Saturday, January 27, 2018, California’s winemaking masters will assemble for the 7th Annual “Winter Wine Classic” presented at the luxurious Fess Parker A Doubletree by Hilton Resort.  This is one ultra-elite, wine-centric gathering you’ll want to savor every sip of. Tickets are limited, so be sure to get yours before they sell out.

Save More, By Traveling More 

Visitors to Santa Barbara can save more by traveling to the Santa Barbara South Coast this January. Picture yourself, glass in hand, soaking up an extra day of sun-drenched relaxation.  New Year’s resolutions don’t get better than this. Simply book two nights and get the third night free or 20% off your reservation at various participating Santa Barbara hotels — from oceanfront resorts to boutique urban retreats.

Once booked, the deal gets even sweeter. Not only will you be saving on hotel costs, we’ll treat you to five exclusive offers to area activities with special Miss Nothing Experience Tokens. Good for use during your stay, explore all that Santa Barbara has to experience with discounts on wine tasting, dinning, shopping, attractions and more

Drink Local and Support Small Businesses

Visit Santa Barbara and The Santa Barbara Independent are proud to host the 2nd Annual Official Drink of Santa Barbara Cocktail Competition. To be held on January 25, 2018 at the historic El Paso Restaurant, local Santa Barbara bars, lounges and restaurants will compete for the honor and title of 2018 Official Drink of Santa Barbara. Attendees of this event will get a first-hand look (and taste) as five area mixologists will compete to create a new signature drink that incorporates locally distilled Cutler’s Artisan Spirits. Competition finalists will mix their concoctions for an esteemed panel of judges, who will declare the winner. Can’t make the event? The winning adult beverage will be available for public consumption at the winner’s place of business throughout 2018.

Visit Santa Barbara challenges mixologists to create a Santa Barbara-inspired cocktail. Photo Credit: Blake Bronstad

Let Yourself Shine

Last but certainly not least, let yourself shine in the spotlight as the glitz and glamour of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival comes to Santa Barbara on January 31, 2018 – February 10, 2018. For eleven days, the bright lights of Hollywood shine on Santa Barbara, bringing A-List actors, producers, directors and filmmakers to honor the best in cinema. You too can rub elbows with Hollywood’s best, during the Opening Night Film and Gala Celebration on January 31, 2018 at 8pm.

Featured January Events

An Evening with Chris Thile

Time: Location: University of California, Santa Barbara

“The most remarkable mandolinist in the world.” Independent (U.K.)“He is, I think, the great bluegrass performer of our time and he is a beautiful jazz player. There just isn’t anything he can’t do.” –…

BJ Miller In Conversation with Pico Iyer

Time: Location: University of California, Santa Barbara

“BJ Miller is passionate in this belief: It’s time for all of us to rethink, redesign and reimagine everything we’ve been taught to think about death.” – Oprah WinfreyDr. BJ Miller is a hospice and palliative care…

Capulina Chisme Caliente


On Sunday, January 14th, the Granada Theatre shows Capulina Chisme Caliente, on its 4K high-definition screen at 3 PM! Starring Gaspar Henaine, Capulina Chisme Caliente tells the story of Capulina, a telephone company employee, who eavesdrops on…

Sketching in the Galleries


All skill levels are invited to experience the tradition of sketching from original works of art in the Museum’s galleries. Museum Teaching Artists provide general guidance and all materials. Each program is open to 10 participants. To…

Telluride Mountainfilm on Tour – Kids’ Showcase

Time: Location: University of California, Santa Barbara

Telluride Mountainfilm returns with a special all-ages program that families can enjoy together! With a mission to educate and inspire audiences about issues that matter, cultures worth exploring, environments worth preserving and conversations…

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