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 we invite you to join the Pacific Pride Foundation for its annual beachside festival. The American Riviera® is teeming with activities during the month of August, so we’re here to help you plan in advance for a perfect stay.
EVENTS & FESTIVALS
The event locals and visitors wait all year for—Old Spanish Days Fiesta, celebrating its 100th year in 2024—will host a five-day lineup, including multiple days of mercados (markets), live music, dancing and the highly anticipated El Desfile Histórico (historical parade) featuring hundreds of horses, floats and bands along the scenic Cabrillo Boulevard.
The Pacific Pride Foundation hosts its annual Pacific Pride Festival at the end of each August—which is Santa Barbara’s official Pride Month—featuring an all-day event celebrating the LGBTQ+ community of Santa Barbara and beyond, at Chase Palm Park. With roughly 30 vendors in attendance, explore booths featuring local food, artisans and organizations championing LGBTQ+ rights at this popular Santa Barbara Pride celebration.
Every August, the Santa Barbara Triathlon returns. Revered as one of the most beautiful and challenging courses in the country, the Santa Barbara Long Course race begins 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. The Co-ed Sprint invites triathletes of all skill levels to participate in this mini version of the long course.
In Santa Barbara, the average temperature in August is 77 degrees, providing optimal weather to get out and enjoy the elements. And what better place for you and the family to experience an outdoor adventure playground than one of the most unique enclaves of California? For inspiration for your next vacation, look to this three-day Santa Barbara guide curated specifically for families.
Dive into a thrilling surf session (or lesson with Santa Barbara Surf School or Surf Happens Premier Surf School). Enjoy a leisurely beach picnic at one of these popular beaches with loved ones. Lace up your hiking boots and conquer scenic trails offering panoramic views of the coastline. Or, just enjoy a meal along the shore at these Santa Barbara restaurants on the beach.
Walk through a beautiful garden inside the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History while nearly 1,000 live butterflies flutter freely around you. Butterflies Alive! features a dazzling variety of butterflies including local favorites and exotic tropical species. Learn about the life cycle and behavior of these spectacular invertebrates while observing them up close. The exhibit is included in museum admission and is open through September.
To make the planning process a bit easier, we’ve compiled a list of the top family-friendly hotels and resorts in Santa Barbara during your next stay.
MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT
There’s no shortage of exhilarating concerts to attend in August—especially at the Santa Barbara Bowl, a 4,500-seat, open-air amphitheater nestled in a picturesque hillside of east Santa Barbara, renowned for hosting a wide range of concerts in its scenic, outdoor setting. Here, you can enjoy live music underneath the twinkling night sky by some of your favorite artists.
Granada Theatre and Lobero Theatre have great shows to attend in August, too. Both theaters reign as historic landmarks that double as breathtakingly beautiful venues—take a step inside to see for yourself. August is the last month of the summer to catch a free film at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse. The Free Summer Cinema series features movies from across the decades and is set in the courthouse’s sunken gardens, with the architectural landmark building adding drama to the picturesque backdrop.