August brings some of the best weather and events to the Santa Barbara South Coast. Start the month off strong with one of the Santa Barbara South Coast’s most popular festivals, Old Spanish Days Fiesta, for five days of live performances, authentic food, local artisans and more. Santa Barbara celebrates Pride far beyond the month of June, so join the Pacific Pride Foundation for its annual beachside Pacific Pride Festival. No matter what time of the month you plan your trip to The American Riviera®, there’s an event for everyone to enjoy this August. Read on for more top events and activities.
EVENTS & FESTIVALS
The event locals and visitors have been waiting for—Old Spanish Days Fiesta (August 3 to 7)—is back in full swing with its five-day lineup, including multiple days of mercados (markets), live music and dancing, the Stock Horse Show and the highly anticipated El Desfile Histórico (historical parade). If this is your first rodeo (or even if it’s not) and you’re not sure where to start, heed our guide to Old Spanish Days Fiesta 2022.
Amidst the excitement of Fiesta, there are plenty of other happenings in the beginning of August. First Thursday Art Walk, slated for Aug. 4, is a great way to see the lively downtown Santa Barbara, along with its array of talented artists, musicians and libations.
Nothing illuminates the coastal essence of Santa Barbara quite like the Santa Barbara Sea Glass and Ocean Arts Festival pop-up markets. With multiple pop-ups happening throughout the summer, this month’s event will be held on Aug. 13 at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum. Get your fill on locally made wares inspired by the sea—by the sea.
Drinks at Dusk returns in August for an evening of wine and beer tasting, dancing and local fares at Old Mission Santa Barbara. Join the Franciscan friars on Aug. 18 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the mission’s serene Secret Gardens.
After a two-year hiatus, the Pacific Pride Foundation is back hosting its annual Pacific Pride Festival on Aug. 27, an all-day event celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community of Santa Barbara and beyond, at Chase Palm Park.
On Aug. 27 and 28, the returns for a fully in-person Santa Barbara Triathlon. On Saturday, Aug. 27, the long course triathlon will take place, beginning with a swim at East Beach, followed by a bike course overlooking Santa Barbara, Montecito and Carpinteria and finishing with a run that takes triathletes through the beachfront. On Sunday, Aug. 28, the Co-ed Sprint invites triathletes of all skill levels to participate in the shorter version of Saturday’s official course. On both days, music and refreshments will be available at the end of the race.
Nationally recognized Global Adventure Quest is hosting a scavenger hunt right here in Santa Barbara—starting at Stearns Wharf and ending at Casa de la Guerra—where participants can uncover clues and learn information about Santa Barbara that the average visitor might not get to experience. If that isn’t enough history to indulge in, visit the Rare Earth Exhibit at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, where visitors can learn about the mining history of the American West and how these natural formations occur. This exhibit is running now through Sept. 5.
On select Thursdays this summer, the Santa Barbara Zoo hosts Autism Safari Nights, where parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder can connect as their kids enjoy a bounce house, reading, watching a movie and other sensory activities. Beer, wine and food will be available for purchase at this month’s event, which will be held on Aug. 11.
MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT
There’s no shortage of exhilarating concerts to attend in August. This month’s lineup at the Santa Barbara Bowl includes: Jon Pardi (Aug. 5), 25th Santa Barbara Mariachi Festival (Aug. 6), Rebelution (Aug. 7), Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue (Aug. 13), My Morning Jacket (Aug. 16), Robert Plant and Allison Krauss (Aug. 17), The Head and the Heart (Aug. 18) and Iration and Atmosphere (Aug. 25).
The Lobero Theatre has great shows to attend this month, too. On Aug. 11, see Hot Tuna, a two-man band that specializes in a variety of blues, Americana and rock ‘n’ roll tunes. On Aug. 12, legendary folk band, The Kingston Trio, takes Santa Barbara by storm as they celebrate nearly 65 years of music.
August is the last month of the summer to catch a free film at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse. Put these showings on your calendar for a relaxing evening among the sunken gardens: Moonrise Kingdom (Aug. 12), Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (Aug. 19) and In the Heights (Aug. 26).
The on-the-water festivities continue aboard the Double Dolphin at the Santa Barbara Sailing Center. This month, sip on some refreshing libations and catch some live music on the Music on the Water cruise from Gavin Roy (Aug. 5), John Lyle (Aug. 12), Justin Claveria (Aug. 19) and Ross Harper (Aug. 26). Offered once a month at the Santa Barbara Sailing Center is the Sipping on the Sea cruise. On Aug. 18, ice-cold beer from Topa Topa Brewing Co. will be served at sea.
BOOK YOUR STAY
Extend your trip this August with the Third Night Free promotion this summer where participating Santa Barbara South Coast hotels offer your third night free when you book two nights.