Treat yourself to a getaway to the Santa Barbara South Coast this October, where the arts come alive and culinary delights take center stage. From the first glimmer of dawn to a sublime dinner of fresh local ingredients, the fall season invites you to savor the plentiful bounty of Santa Barbara.
If you’re feeling the need for a quick getaway before the holidays hit, we’ve compiled a list of inspirational activities that will fuel your soul and help hit the recharge button.
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LET’S TACO-BOUT IT
Where better than the Santa Barbara South Coast to celebrate National Taco Day on October 4th? Santa Barbara’s very own Taco Trail will guide you to all of the sweet spots in town, ranging from ultra-authentic holes in the wall to Julia Child’s favorite La Super-Rica. All-day long, enjoy crunchy carne asada tacos at Mony’s, devour mouth-watering shrimp tacos at Rudy’s Fresh Mexican Food, and try the unforgettable bahn mi tacos at East Beach Tacos. Feeling thirsty? Wash down your feast with fresh margaritas at a myriad of hot spots, and try tangy and refreshing drinks including the innovative Bird of Paradise at La Paloma Café, La Casa Margarita from La Playa Azul Café, or La Margarita Sayulita at Flor de Maiz. ¡Vámonos!
Pianos on State
Each October, Santa Barbara’s famed State Street is graced with vibrantly designed pianos that encourage locals and visitors alike to step up to the keys and play a spontaneous tune. Decorated by local artists, colorful pianos will be displayed on designated pads along State Street for the public to play.
If you’re visiting Santa Barbara from October 5 through 22, we challenge you to take a photo of your favorite. Even if you’re simply strolling down State Street, be sure to listen as the sound of music fills the streets of Downtown Santa Barbara. Learn More
LIVE MUSIC UNDER THE STARS*
The famed Santa Barbara Bowl boasts a stacked lineup this October, with performances that speak to everyone’s music tastes. The intimate venue is built into the sweeping Riviera hillside, so you can soak in sunset ocean views with an ice-cold beer while you jam to Van Morrison on October 3. FOREIGNER will perform on October 9 and Brothers Osborne is set to steal the show on October 13. Catch Wilco on October 20, Willie Nelson & Family on October 21, and round out the month with a two-night special from Glass Animals, October 27 and 28.
A NIGHT AT THE THEATRE*
The Granada Theatre is set to host a handful of shows this October, so after you enjoy dinner along the State Street Promenade, head to the star-studded marquee to enjoy Benise on October 1, or An Evening with Los Lobos on October 8. A little later in the month, the Lobero Theatre will present The Wood Brothers on October 12, and then the Santa Barbara Symphony Presents: Kismet, October 21 through 24.
*Please note that for entry to the Santa Barbara Bowl, Granada Theatre, and Lobero Theatres, patrons of all ages (including children 12 years old and younger) must show proof of being fully vaccinated OR supply a negative COVID-19 medical test result (taken within 72 hours prior to each event), along with an official photo ID. Masks are currently required, regardless of vaccination status.
CALLING ALL CLASSIC CAR FANS
Head over to the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club for a glimpse at some truly stunning classic vehicles during the Montecito Motor Classic on October 10. Enjoy the fresh breeze and the polo field’s ocean views while chatting with motor enthusiasts and vehicle caretakers. This free event features family-oriented interactive displays and priceless vehicles that draw audiences of all ages, and benefits local charitable organizations. Learn More
FRESH FISH & FAMILY FUN
While the Santa Barbara Harbor & Seafood Festival is canceled this year due to COVID-19 concerns, you can still celebrate your love of seafood at the Santa Barbara Lobster Festival, October 23, 2021. From 1-4 p.m. on the patio of the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, try gourmet lobster dishes, enjoy live music, and purchase fresh spiny lobster from local fishermen. Space is limited so make sure to book your entry time and put down a deposit for lobster. You can also visit the weekly Fisherman’s market that day for fresh fish, crab, urchin and more, running every Saturday from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. Still feeling hungry? Use our Seafood Lover’s Guide to Santa Barbara and fill your belly with delectable local catch. Learn More
CYCLE THROUGH PARADISE
Are you an experienced cyclist with a desire to see the sights of our slice of paradise? The Santa Barbara Ride 100 on October 23 is the ideal opportunity to discover the beauty of the foothills and the coast while joining like-minded athletes. Peddle through 100 miles of scenic routes around town, including an epic path through Santa Barbara’s famed Gibraltar Road. This challenging section of trail will test your stamina, but your reward is the picturesque vistas for miles. Once you’ve conquered Gibraltar, end your ride at Leadbetter Beach to receive the 100 Mile Finishing Coin. Not an endurance athlete? You can still cheer on participants throughout their ride, and keep up-to-date with route progression. Learn More
Tricks and Treats
The end of October brings Halloween, which means scary frights and spooky nights! From ghost tours, costume parties and themed performances to candy apples and pumpkin-flavored delights, check out Halloween events and offerings in Santa Barbara as they become available here.