Welcome the dawn of a new year in an unbeatable destination for all kinds of adventures, from enjoying beachside brunch and bubbles to riding some of the best breaks on the West Coast. January in Santa Barbara presents visitors with the opportunity to ditch the chill of winter and embrace a season filled with afternoons of epic excursions and performances that light up the night. In need of a 2022 reset? The Santa Barbara South Coast also offers dozens of ways to refresh and relax, from soothing spa experiences to green and clean eating around town.

Seasonal tip? Explore the Santa Barbara South Coast at your leisure and choose from 15+ local accommodations offering a 3rd night free when you book a two-night stay. With so many shows to attend and shops to enjoy, do yourself a favor and add on an extra night. 

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Indulge in your breakfast favorites at the Festive Brunch. Photo Credit: Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara

What better start to the New Year than a mouthwatering brunch on the oceanfront cliffs of Angel Oak? The Ritz-Carlton Festive Brunch (through Jan 2) offers up a luxurious 2-hour dining experience, where guests can choose from a selection of sweet and savory delights. Accompanied by sweeping views of the Pacific, the restaurant’s prix fixe menu is guaranteed to fill your belly, and be sure to explore the expansive wine and cocktails list that will enhance your midday meal. Later in the month, join the Santa Barbara Brunch Crawl (Jan 23) in downtown Santa Barbara for Bloody Marys and mimosas galore! Enjoy awesome drink specials and bring a friend or two to revel in the lively State Street Promenade, filled with games, live music and great food to munch on throughout the day.

Still feeling the holiday spirit? Don’t put that ugly holiday sweater away yet! Pearl Social’s pop-up Miracle at the Funk Zone is going strong (through Jan 1), where you can sip on holiday-themed cocktails and enjoy the incredibly festive decor and lights. Continue exploring The Funk Zone neighborhood and beyond by following the Santa Barbara Bubble Trail, an evergreen collection of wineries, bars and breweries offering fizzy Champagne and sparkling wines to enjoy. Taste varietals from all over Santa Barbara wine country (which was most notably recognized as Wine Enthusiast’s 2021 Wine Region of the Year), and purchase bottles to take home and cheers with at a later time.


A Kangaroo at Santa Barbara ZooPlan a trip to the Santa Barbara Zoo in January, and you won’t be disappointed! The Zoo’s newest exhibit, the Australian Walkabout, opens January 8, 2022 and will showcase a number of distinctive Australia-based animals. Watch in amazement as wallabies and Western grey kangaroos frolic, and the larger-than-life emus will graze right before your eyes. Don’t be surprised if these unique species become your kiddos’ favorite!


Some of Santa Barbara’s most mind-blowing productions happen in January, and this year is no exception. Catch The Simon & Garfunkel Story at Granada Theatre (Jan 5), and nosh on a delicious dinner accompanied by belly laughs at The Little Kitchen’s Bear Cave Comedy (Jan 14). Don’t miss Waitress, presented by Broadway Santa Barbara, at Granada Theatre (Jan 18-19).

Revel in the star-studded performances set for this January. Photo Credit: Granada Theatre

Granada Theatre’s iconic marquee will continue to be lit through January, including a night with Ballet Hispánico (Jan 21), the Los Angeles Philharmonic (Jan 28) and “The Diva of Romantic Music” Marisela (Jan 29). Haven’t gotten your fill of showstoppers yet? Head over to Lobero Theatre to catch their inimitable January lineup, including Semele (Jan 14-16), as well as a performance by KT Tunstall (Jan 21), An Evening with Pete Souza (Jan 22), Anaïs Mitchell (Jan 29) and Ty Segall & Freedom Band (Jan 31).


Jumpstart your fitness after the holiday season, and take advantage of the fresh air and ocean breeze that blows through the epic landscape of the Santa Barbara South Coast. Bust out your hiking boots and explore the Best Hikes in Santa Barbara, furry friends welcome as well! If biking is more your speed, the coastal enclave boasts a number of Popular Bike Trails that range from beginner to intermediate, and offer sweeping vistas from various stops. Check out Santa Barbara Adventure Company’s Mountains to Shore Bike Tour for a day full of exercise and sightseeing, accompanied by a knowledgeable guide and unbeatable views.

surfing in santa barbara
Catch some waves at Hendry’s Beach in Santa Barbara. Photo Credit: Gabriela Herman

The best season to surf in Santa Barbara is winter, so wax your board and hop in the water at these Surfing Breaks. The waves are sure to clear your mind and soul. If you want to both hit the beach and focus on your yoga practice, Santa Barbara Beach Yoga offers oceanside classes where you can get your ‘om’ on. Discover myriad more Yoga Classes throughout the Santa Barbara South Coast and you’re guaranteed to find one that fits the bill.


After indulging in holiday cocktails and treats, January is the perfect month for a mind and body reset. Enjoy healthy, nourishing meals via Santa Barbara’s Healthy Places to Eat, featuring popular spots to grab a green juice or a veggie-centric lunch. Shop Wellness throughout town at local boutiques and storefronts offering a multitude of products, ranging from aura-cleansing essential oils and vintage books to luscious houseplants and salt cave spa experiences.

Speaking of spas, the spas throughout the Santa Barbara South Coast deserve an accolade of their own, and you’re bound to find a healing service that hits the spot. Discover the perfect massage or facial at any of Santa Barbara’s Spas to Soothe Your Soul, and welcome in 2022 relaxed and refreshed.

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