Treat yourself to a Santa Barbara getaway this October, where the arts come alive and culinary delights take center stage. From the first glimmer of dawn to the slow swirl of an evening Pinot Noir, October invites you to savor the plentiful bounty of Santa Barbara. If you’re feeling the need for a quick getaway before the holidays hit, our coastal paradise is waiting with open arms and a bottle of wine begging to be uncorked.

Speaking of all things wine…thanks to Spanish Garden Inn, your escape to the world of premium wine just got easier and a whole lot tastier! Conveniently located within Santa Barbara’s historic and vibrant Presidio Neighborhood, this ultra-charming boutique hotel will place you steps away from some of The Urban Wine Trail’s top tasting rooms. Simply book the “Presidio Wine Tour Package” which includes tasting passes to four sip and swirl-worthy tasting rooms. 

We can picture it already, wake up to a complimentary deluxe breakfast to fuel a day of tasting and touring through Santa Barbara’s Presidio Neighborhood and beyond. As you bop from one tasting room to the next, local shops and museums will draw you in at the sight of locally sourced merchandise and one-of-a-kind cultural activities, that can only be found in The American Riviera®. At the end of the day, no need to fuss about dinner plans. Return to Spanish Garden Inn where you’ll be treated to a special, gourmet in-room dinner service. Wine and room service? Sign. Us. Up.  Learn More

The charming, Spanish Garden Inn.

Once accommodations are taken care of, be sure to take advantage of one of the following events that only happen during October in Santa Barbara:

ArchitecTours 2019

From red-tiled roofs and white stucco walls to hundreds of thousands of Spanish tiles, it’s hard to miss what gives Santa Barbara its je ne sais quoi, the architecture. If you love Santa Barbara, then it’s almost certain you’re additionally infatuated with the history and creative design that goes into each and every building. 

Celebrating its 11th year, join ArchitecTours 2019 on Saturday, October 5 for their annual celebration of local architecture and cultural identity. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ticket holders are treated to a self-guided tour of the best architectural projects in Santa Barbara, that’s filled with a rare opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at nine locations from Montecito to Goleta. Before heading to the end of tour party from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. at SBCAST, you’ll leave the self-guided tour bursting with inspiration from the rich examples of history, sustainability, and creativity that enrich our seaside community. Learn More

Ticket prices include both the self-guided tour, ending party and the chance to meet with the architects and design professionals. General tickets $80, Seniors & AIA Members $70, Students $25. 

Harbor & Seafood Festival

In Santa Barbara, seafood is our specialty. At the first glimmer of sunlight in the harbor, local fishermen have already been hard at work bringing in their fresh catch from the Santa Barbara Channel. Does the thought of crab, lobster, mussels, and oysters whet your appetite? If so, you’re in luck at the Harbor & Seafood Festival on October 12. Did you know Santa Barbara sea urchin are a delicacy? Treat your taste buds to freshly cracked uni before hopping on a free boat ride around the harbor. Learn More

Admission to the Harbor & Seafood Festival is free, but be sure to bring your wallet and appetite to purchase food and goodies from local vendors. 

Happening alongside the Harbor & Seafood Festival, the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum and Santa Barbara Vintners will host a can’t-miss Wine & Seafood Pairing. From noon to 3 p.m., ticket holders can taste their way through culinary creations from Santa Barbara’s best chefs using local, fresh-caught seafood, specially prepared with Santa Barbara County wines. Learn More

Advanced Tickets: $30, Day-of Tickets: $40. 

If you can’t make it to either the festival or pairing event, don’t fret. Here’s a list of Santa Barbara restaurants that are perfect for any seafood lover and can be enjoyed at any time. 

Taste of the Santa Ynez Valley 

Continue your culinary tour of Santa Barbara and head to the valley for the inaugural Taste of the Santa Ynez Valley, October 17-20. For four full days, the towns of Los Alamos, Santa Ynez, Los Olivos, Solvang, Ballard, and Buellton will roll out the red carpet for foodies and wine enthusiasts alike to partake in an immersive experience, meant to serve as an intro course to the edible and imbibe-able bounty of Santa Ynez Valley’s burgeoning food, wine, and beer scene. Be sure to mark your calendars for this culinary takeover, as delicious event details continue to be shared. Learn More

For ideas on where to stay, Santa Ynez Valley is located an easy and scenic 45-minutes from Santa Barbara. With the right amount of planning, you can take advantage of driving up for the day, before returning to Santa Barbara in time to fall asleep with the sound of waves crashing in the distance. Learn More

Ride Santa Barbara 100

On October 19, Ride Santa Barbara 100 returns to Santa Barbara bringing world-class cycling to our famed coastline. Delivering some of the most scenic, challenging, and fun cycling experiences, this is the only major cycling event to start and finish at Santa Barbara’s popular Leadbetter Beach. 

Not an expert level cyclist? Don’t you worry. Featuring four routes to choose from, riders of varying skill and experience levels can all find something to enjoy. Starting with a casual 34-mile ride, this is perfect for those looking for a weekend challenge that’s fun and scenic along the way. To make this casual ride even easier, Yamaha will be offering e-bike demos, allowing people to follow behind the 34-mile route riders. The 100-km route is a bit more challenging, featuring both coastal and mountain roads. Next up is the 100-km+, which is only recommended for experienced riders. So avid cyclists take note, this is the endurance building, epic-view filled ride you’ve been waiting for and includes the famous Gibraltar Challenge. For those brave and experienced souls, the 100-mile advanced route featuring the Gibraltar Challenge consists of a grueling 3,000-foot climb in just 7-miles. 

While visiting, riders are encouraged to immerse themselves into the Santa Barbara lifestyle. Located in Downtown Santa Barbara, there’s no better way to do this than booking your stay at Hotel Santa Barbara, the official host hotel of Ride Santa Barbara 100. Learn More

Pianos on State

One of the colorful creations during Pianos on State. Photo Credit: Instagram @s_cugnier

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, more than 12 colorful pianos will be on display at various locations from The Funk Zone to Victoria Street.

If you’re visiting Santa Barbara from October 21 through November 7, we challenge you to visit all locations and 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

Featured October Events

KT Tunstall with opener Charlie Mars


Grammy-nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and world renown for her songs like “Suddenly I See” (used in “The Devil Wear Prada”) and “Black Horse and a Cherry Tree,” Tunstall hails from Scotland, but…

Santa Barbara Vintners Festival

Location: Rancho Sisquoc Winery

Taste wines from over 70 wineries while you meet winemakers and owners who share the details of why our wines are among the most elegant and sophisticated. Santa Barbara Wine Country produces globally recognized wines from one of the most diverse…




In its 14th outstanding season on stage at The Lobero, The ADDERLEY School Advanced Conservatory, is delighted to be performing, the Broadway classic and Tony award winning production, Oliver!Bringing Charles Dickens’ beloved novel to life,…

Charles Lloyd & the Marvels


The tenor giant brings together a fellowship of his favorite musical partners, including guitar luminary Bill Frisell, and master slide guitarist Greg Leisz alongside Eric Harland on drums and Reuben Rogers on bass for a very special…

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