Spring is in full swing with activities for the entire family—almost as plentiful as the poppies that blossom on nearby Figueroa Mountain. As the birthplace of the modern environmental movement and Earth Day in 1969, Santa Barbara pulls out all the stops to celebrate Mother Earth this month. From horseback riding, biking and hiking amongst the wildflowers to getting out on the water in a kayak or on a paddleboard, choose from a variety of healthy outdoor adventures. Feel the gentle spring breeze and savor the region’s bounty with an al fresco dining experience or wine tasting along the Urban Wine Trail.
Explore the Santa Barbara South Coast at your leisure and choose from nearly 20 local accommodations offering a third night free when you book a two-night stay. With so many outdoor adventures to experience and epic shows to see this April, do yourself a favor and stay an extra night.
EARTH DAY 2023
Santa Barbara proudly retains the title of “birthplace of Earth Day,” and there is no shortage of ways you can show your gratitude for the planet. Honor our home and learn more about how we can help heal Mother Earth at one of the west coast’s largest and longest-running Earth Day celebrations, the 2023 Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival, where you can converse with impactful climate leaders, boogie to musical performances, admire local art installments, connect with eco-conscious exhibitors—all while learning how to combat climate change.
You can also discover ways to eat and drink green by visiting farm-to-table and vegan/vegetarian restaurants or sipping sustainable wines from local vintners. If you feel like bringing Santa Barbara back to your home kitchen, see these five plant-based recipes curated by chefs that helm the kitchens at some of Santa Barbara’s most beloved restaurants.
Santa Barbara Zoo is hosting Earth Day at the Zoo to educate visitors on the impacts of climate change. Parks and gardens burst with vibrant colors this time of year, so take your lunch to one of the many shady spaces in town and listen to the soothing buzz of insects and singing birds. Enjoy live music and picnic in the garden at the ethereal Lotusland; the peaceful escape will bring you gratitude for our planet and inspiration for the future.
And finally, while visiting don’t be afraid to pay it forward (eco-style) and pick up a piece of trash or two from the beach. Santa Barbara hosts many organized beach cleanup efforts, but you can make any day spent by the sea a beach cleanup day.
SPRING INTO arts, culture & events
Perched in the Santa Barbara foothills, overlooking downtown and the expansive ocean, Santa Barbara Bowl’s highly anticipated 2023 concert season begins in April. The intimate 4,500-seat outdoor amphitheater is simply a breathtaking venue. Before dancing the night away, take the opportunity to sip on a pre-show drink on the upper terrace, featuring a 270-degree sunset view of Santa Barbara. First up is The Chemical Brothers (April 16), then FKJ (April 19). To round out the month, Tyler Childers makes his first-ever Santa Barbara appearance on April 26. Be sure to check the scheduled lineup as more concert dates are announced.
Santa Barbara lights up with more show-stopping performances throughout April, and the marquees are just the beginning. At iconic venues around downtown, catch Mason Jennings at SOhO Restaurant & Music Club (April 1), globally recognized jazz group Wynton Marsalis Quintet at Granada Theatre (April 4) and Elton Dan & The Rocket Band at Lobero Theatre (April 12).
Not finished with the plentiful Santa Barbara arts and culture scene? Lucidity Festival, a transformational arts and music festival, takes place from April 7-10 at Live Oak Campground in the hills of Santa Barbara. The festival invites attendees to celebrate The Great Synthesis—10 years of expression and community.
Discover your next favorite restaurant in town during Santa Barbara Restaurant Week between April 14-23, where all participating restaurants will be presenting exciting and unique pre fixe menus. With so much to savor, be prepared to head home with a full belly and a happy heart.
Santa Barbara Fair & Expo at Earl Warren Showgrounds (April 26-30) welcomes the whole family to experience thrilling carnival rides, live music, games, farm animals and—perhaps the star of the show—the can’t-miss fair food.
NEW HOTELS IN SANTA BARBARA
New to Santa Barbara, Courtyard Santa Barbara – Downtown recently took over the former La Quinta Inn on State Street. With sleek and modern finishes, spacious and inviting rooms and an epic view of downtown Santa Barbara to boot, the convenience of this property is not one to overlook. Courtyard Santa Barbara boasts not only a shiny new place to stay during your next vacation, but a new and delicious place to eat—Saint Remy. Inspired by the flavorful cuisine found across the Mediterranean, Saint Remy takes a unique spin on what you might think of hotel dining.
Drift Santa Barbara, another newly opened hotel in the heart of State Street, is where coastal cool meets Baja California. With thoughtfully curated rooms that take a rather minimalistic approach, the level of detail that went into the design shows even in the in-room robe selection. Start your day with a coffee from Dawn Café, the hotel’s creative coffee nook, and end with a nightcap at Dusk Bar, where your tastebuds will run wild with any agave-forward cocktail on the menu.
For more inspiration on where to stay during your next trip to Santa Barbara, check out these other hotels on State Street.