March is undeniably one of the most picture-perfect times to visit Santa Barbara with its countless vibrant displays of color found everywhere on our crescent coast, including everything from wildflowers sprinkled on hillsides to sunsets of every hue. Add temperate weather, incredible music performances and a variety of unique local festivals, there’s no shortage of reasons to visit this spring.

To ensure an eventful and culture-filled stay, read on to discover why March is the ideal time to visit Santa Barbara.

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Spring Has Sprung

March in Santa Barbara means it’s time to take advantage of the myriad outdoor adventures our coastal enclave has to offer. March 20 is the official first day of spring, so celebrate the coming of the new season by getting out in nature with a stroll through Santa Barbara Botanic Garden or Lotusland or a guided tour through the Funk Zone, waterfront or old town Santa Barbara with Santa Barbara Free Walking Tours.

Another draw to the California coast during March is the prime whale watching. Every year between February and May, Pacific gray whales migrate from the warm waters of Baja California, through the wildlife-rich Santa Barbara Channel, and then to the chilled Alaskan coast, making it one of the longest and most incredible migrations of any mammal. With plenty of on-the-water outfitters for those who prefer an adventurous, full day of powerboating, Condor Express Whale Watching offers wildlife excursions year-round while Celebration Cruises taps into the limited whale watching season. SunSwept Sailing, Santa Barbara Sailing Center and Sunset Kidd Sailing offer more laid-back, intimate experiences in wildlife viewing aboard sailboats.

Whether you need a solo springtime reset and refresh, or plan to bring the whole family for a week of relaxation, consider Santa Barbara your activity-filled, spring break destination. 

Live Performances

Live music is blooming this March, kicking off with shows at Lobero Theatre like Judy Collins (March 3), Cat Power (March 6), The Wailin’ Jennys (March 8), Mania: The ABBA Tribute (March 14) and Sphinx Virtuosi (March 15).

At nearby Granada Theatre, performances like Marshall Tucker Band and Jefferson Starship (March 3) Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (March 8), An Oscar Celebration: Favorite Film Clips with Live Orchestra (March 16) and Shen Yun 2024 World Tour (March 23 and 24). Because Granada Theatre is celebrating its centennial year, the theater is presenting a lineup of special performances, including a captivating fusion of jazz and classical music with Antonio Artese’s West Coast Trio (March 26), featuring the renowned pianist’s collaborative performance blending his extensive classical training with jazz influences.

On March 2 at The Arlington Theatre, treat yourself to an evening of folkloric ballet with a live performance of Seraglio, a story about star-crossed lovers in Istanbul.


Between Feb. 29-March 2 at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara, World of Pinot Noir gathers the world’s most respected winemakers, renowned chefs, sommeliers and leading wine scholars in this weekend-long seaside celebration of all things pinot noir. 

Bring the little ones to Princess & Pirate Weekend (March 2-3) at the Santa Barbara Zoo, where all things frogs and amphibians are celebrated. No frog-kissing required.

The 76th Annual Santa Barbara International Orchid Show invites you to stop and smell the orchids on March 8-10, where visitors can admire orchid exhibits ranging from extravagant art installations, show-stopping floral arrangements, stunning photography and, of course, a wide array of exotic orchid displays.

March 16 and 17, foodies are invited to Earl Warren Showgrounds for an evening of casual cuisine from all around the globe (think: Korean barbecue, Mexican street tacos, sushi, lobster noodles and more) at the 805 Night Market.

Lively Libations

Grab your green clothing and head out to one of Santa Barbara’s Irish bars to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, March 17. Tap into the luck of the Irish (and maybe a pint or two of Guinness) and hit the streets of downtown Santa Barbara with the Santa Barbara St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl. If you’d rather skip the crowd but still want to enjoy a cold pint, discover the Santa Barbara South Coast’s extensive craft beer scene, spanning from Goleta to downtown Santa Barbara. Choose from tons of local and imported IPAs, sour beers, porters and so much more. Many of the breweries also offer games, food and live music. 

If you want to keep the good times rolling after the holiday, National Cocktail Day happens to land on March 24, and what better way to celebrate than by sipping on a fruity concoction made with local honey and lavender, or a bourbon-based favorite? Explore numerous and unique watering holes throughout town to find the best cocktails in Santa Barbara.

Featured March Events

Delfeayo Marsalisand the Uptown Jazz Orchestra

March 7, 2025


Jazz at the Lobero presents Delfeayo Marsalis and the Uptown Jazz Orchestra on Friday, March 7, 2025 at 7:30 PM. In 2007, NEA Jazz Master and GRAMMY® Award-winning trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis formed the Uptown Jazz Orchestra (UJO) for the…

Ain’t Too Proud

Recurring daily

March 11 - 12, 2025


The Life and Times of The Temptations is the electrifying smash-hit Broadway musical that follows The Temptations’ extraordinary journey from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Nominated for 12 Tony® Awards and…


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