Next Month in Santa Barbara


As tradition goes, ‘April showers bring May flowers,’ and in Santa Barbara, the truth is undeniable. Wildflowers and lush greenery drape our expansive mountain enclave and longer spring days mean more time for soaking in the Santa Barbara sunshine. We recommend kissing your normal routine goodbye and plan a spring escape to Santa Barbara, complete with these can’t-miss May events and activities:


The 37th Annual Santa Barbara Vintners Festival, May 2-6, 2019.

Calling all wine lovers! The 37th Annual Santa Barbara Vintners Festival (May 2-6, 2019) is an ideal festival for sipping and savoring impeccable Santa Barbara County wine with the winemakers themselves. The pinnacle event, Festival Grand Tasting at Rancho Sisquoc Winery, offers attendees the chance to taste from over 70 wineries, nibble on local farmers market fare, get hands-on cooking experience from chef demos, and sway to live music all day long. If bubbly is more your style, don’t miss out on a seat at the Bubble Lounge, where you can relax on a lush couch and sample sparkling wines from all over. Looking to get the most out of your Vintners Festival experience? Purchase a Vintners Visa, where you will enjoy the hospitality of twelve local tasting rooms (choose from 40+ participants) all throughout the weekend. Come celebrate Santa Barbara wine country and it’s globally recognized wines from one of the most diverse growing valleys in the world. Learn More


The arts and culture scene in Santa Barbara never rests, and that is apparent by the numerous lectures, performances, and shows to see this May. Catch powerhouse Argentina-based percussive dance company Che Malambo at The Granada Theatre (May 1), and celebrated humor writer David Sedaris returns to UCSB Arts & Lectures (May 3). See Dorrance Dance at The Granada Theatre (May 5) and Santa Barbara Dance Theatre will perform at Lobero Theatre (May 8-9). And don’t miss  The Santa Barbara Symphony’s Romeo & Juliet (May 11-12) at the Granada Theatre and Robert Cray Band at the Lobero Theatre (May 17). Learn More

Presented by Goldenvoice, coveted Indie Rock band Florence + The Machine is expected to sell out the Santa Barbara Bowl (May 12-13) for two nights of soul quenching vocals from songstress, Florence Welch. Let the music take over as you move and sway to an electric mix of powerful vocals and mystifying melodies, all under a star-filled Santa Barbara night sky. Doors open at 5:30pm, and you’re going to want to arrive early to catch a special guest performance by Perfume Genius. Learn More


What’s better than quenching your thirst with a cold beer on a warm spring day? At the Buellton Brew Fest (May 4) , release your inner beer master and relish in over fifty craft breweries, wineries and distilleries, exciting lawn games, live music, and plentiful food trucks. Try your hand at meg-sized beer pong, and venture into different territories of libations. The Buellton Brew Fest is chock-full of delicious IPA’s, stouts, lagers, and many more varieties of beer from all around the West Coast and further. Don’t forget a lawn chair or picnic blanket, and plan to settle in for a day of beautiful sunshine, chilled brews, and lasting memories. Learn More


Explore the vast rolling green hills of the valley while running the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon (May 11, 2019), or if spectating is more your preference, cheer on those participating and sip on celebratory wine at the post-race wine garden. Head back down to Santa Barbara at the end of the day to continue the wine tasting at one of the dozens of tasting rooms along the Urban Wine Trail. Looking for a new running route to explore? Try the trails around Douglas Family Preserve or jog beachside along the Cabrillo bike path. Whether you like to run, taste wine, or both, Santa Barbara has you covered. Learn More


Roar & Pour Wine Festival, May 12, 2019 at Santa Barbra Zoo.

Wine tasting has never been this wild! On May 12, 2019, make your way to the beautiful Santa Barbara Zoo for a “Roar and Pour” like never before. For ages 21 and over, this enticing wine event will feature tastings from dozens of local wineries, and guests will be able to sip and stroll through the zoo to see some of their favorite wildlife. General admission includes unlimited wine tastings, train rides and giraffe feedings as well as one commemorative glass, while VIP admission includes early entry, appetizers, animal encounters and one commemorative glass. Dance along to live entertainment and be sure to come hungry, as tasty treats from food trucks will be available for purchase. Learn More


Bring the whole family down to the 19th Annual State Street Nationals Premier Car Show (May 19), and take in the sights of over 300 vintage and modern cars. Food vendors and live music will accompany the vehicles on display, and be sure to wear comfy shoes as the cars will span over ten blocks of State Street. Learn about vehicle restoration from their makers, and cheer on participants as they compete for recognition in the afternoon awards ceremony. Learn More


I Madonnari Street Painting Festival, May 25-27, 2019.

Escape reality as art comes to life during the annual I Madonnari Street Painting Festival, May 25-27, 2019. Palettes of color and culture come together for three days each May at Old Mission Santa Barbara. Watch street painters transform Mission plaza using pastels on pavement to create over 150 vibrant and colorful large-scale images. Return each day to see works of art transform right before your eyes. Learn More

Featured May Events

Buellton Brew Fest 2020

Time: Location: River View Park

Join us at the ninth annual Buellton Brew Fest on Saturday, May 2nd at River View Park. A sell out every year, the Buellton Brew Fest will have 55+ craft breweries, wineries, kombucha, and spirit companies on site! Live entertainment by Will…

The Met: Puccini’s “Tosca”

Time: Location: Hahn Hall

Superstar soprano Anna Netrebko appears in her 16th Live in HD transmission, taking on the soaring title diva of Puccini’s grand melodrama. Bertrand de Billy conducts Sir David McVicar’s evocative production, with tenor Brian Jagde as…

Kesha – The High Road Tour


It’s been an incredible two years since Kesha returned to the charts in 2017 with her critically acclaimed #1 album 'Rainbow’ which earned the singer/songwriter her first GRAMMY nominations and was called "an artistic feat" by…

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I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival


Madonnari, or street painters, transform the Mission plaza using pastels on pavement to create 150 vibrant and colorful, large scale images. We are proud to be the first to bring this romantic festival to the western hemisphere from our sister…

The Met: “Maria Stuarda”

Time: Location: Hahn Hall

A pseudo-historical opera about Mary, Queen of Scots, and her bitter rivalry with Queen Elizabeth I, Donizetti’s drama thrills with intense stand-offs and impressive vocal displays. Soprano Diana Damrau and mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton square…

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