Photo Credit: Becky Davis Photography
July brings a vibrant atmosphere filled with festivals and endless sunshine, creating abundant opportunities for lifelong memory-making in The American Riviera®. With an average high-temperature of 78 degrees in July, take to the beach to embrace seaside relaxation and enjoy endless on-the-water fun. Indulge in the finest local wines at annual festivals and along the Urban Wine Trail. As the sun sets, relish in the melodies of an outdoor concert or find solace under the night sky at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, where free movie nights and star-gazing await.
Begin the month with a city-wide Fourth of July celebration, an eagerly anticipated holiday in Santa Barbara, with festivities that promise nothing less than breathtaking spectacle. Needless to say, Santa Barbara has you covered when it comes to signature events and summertime fun.
ANNUAL EVENTS & FESTIVALS
It wouldn’t be Fourth of July in Santa Barbara without watching the annual fireworks display by the sea. Each year, the City of Santa Barbara regales locals and visitors alike with an epic night time firework performance along the waterfront, accompanied by a series of festive events to celebrate Independence Day at Stearns Wharf, including a historical cannon firing, face painting, live music and more.
Enjoy some of the best wines California has to offer at the annual California Wine Festival. Held each July, this two-day event starts with a Sunset Rare & Reserve Tasting event at Chase Palm Park’s Carousel House, followed by a full day of beachside tastings, music, food and shopping at Chase Palm Park.
Locals and visitors alike enjoy the annual Free Summer Cinema series presented by UCSB Arts & Lectures, a free outdoor cinema series on Friday evenings offered each year in July and August. The film series features movies from across the decades and is set in the Santa Barbara County Courthouse’s sunken gardens, with the architectural landmark building adding drama to the picturesque backdrop. Insider tip: Come prepared and arrive early. Blankets can be set out as early as 12 p.m. day of and attendees are encouraged to pack a picnic and bring movie snacks to enjoy during the film.
July in Santa Barbara wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the beloved 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.
With such stunning outdoor adventures awaiting in The American Riviera®—the only issue is choosing what to do first. Take a scenic hike on one of these popular Santa Barbara hiking trails, venture out to the pristine Channel Islands National Park or learn to surf at one of Santa Barbara’s beginner-friendly surf breaks.
July in Santa Barbara means there are bound to be prime wind conditions, so if you’re feeling adventurous, soar to new heights with Santa Barbara Parasail or set sail out on the calm waters of the Santa Barbara Channel. Opt for these other activities along the waterfront to make the most of your visit to this seaside city this summer.
For more inspiration for your next July Santa Barbara getaway, heed this three-day guide curated especially for nature-lovers. It’s the perfect time of year to hit the great outdoors, after all.