Photo Credit: Santa Barbara Hotel Group

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 Chardonnay, 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.

For those in the mood for romance, Santa Barbara Hotel Group’s five charming hotels make booking your next getaway effortless with the “Romance on the Riviera” package. Leave the planning to the experts, and prepare to be amazed with an unforgettable date night that perfectly pairs “Wine Country Cuisine” and exceptional local wines. To work up an appetite, we’d recommend walking the sun-soaked beaches of Santa Barbara hand-in-hand as the sun sets softly into the distance.

Afterwards, cozy up with deluxe accommodations at any of the five inviting hotels within Santa Barbara Hotel Group. With ideal location throughout town, choose your hotel based on proximity to West Beach, Stearns Wharf, State Street, coastal wineries, and golf courses, all while maintaining the relaxed Santa Barbara vibe. The best part? Waiting in your room will be a bottle of wine and a box of chocolates to keep the romance alive.

Once accommodations are taken care of, we’d recommend taking advantage of one of the following signature events that only happen during October in Santa Barbara:


The grapes have been harvested and wine is in the making. Celebrate the fruits of the Santa Barbara wine industry labor and cheers to a successful harvest during Santa Barbara Vintners’ Annual Celebration of Harvest Weekend, October 12-14.

Spend the weekend frolicking through the vineyards at the Celebration of Harvest Weekend 2018. Photo Credit: Image by Instagram Fan @lesleyannemurphy

Quite literally, this signature fall festival pays tribute to the harvest of the year’s bounty, during which vintners take a break from the vineyards and cellars to pour their wines and share the tales of harvest. During this special weekend, the wine will be flowing and winemakers themselves will be welcoming eager tasters to their wineries, tasting rooms and storefronts for a series of unique wine-centric events throughout the entire Santa Barbara County.

One event in particular that’s not to be missed, the inaugural Solvang Stomp harvest street festival. Entry to this stomping-good-time includes a collector’s souvenir wine glass to taste freely from dozens of Solvang and Santa Ynez Valley’s best wineries and an official souvenir Solvang Stomp foot towel.

This is not your average Lucille Ball wine barrel stomp! In fact, it’s so much better. Drink pink in the I Love Rosé lounge and discover your inner Lucy or Ricky Ricardo by entering the I Love Lucy look-a-like contest. But don’t worry, you’ll get your moment to stomp freshy harvested grapes as they start their journey to wine.

Tip if you’re attending the event: Plan ahead and wear clothing that can get splashed with grape juice.

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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 2 through October 24, we challenge to 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.


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 13. 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.

If chowder in particular is more your style, the Santa Barbara Chowder Festival on October 21 features a cooking competition between the town’s most innovative chefs and restauranteurs for the title of “Best Chowder in Santa Barbara.” Along with live music, wine and beer tasting, and a chance to sample warm, hearty comfort food, proceeds from the cook-off also benefit the Legal Aid Foundation.


Featured October Events

A Kind of Song: Reading with Dana Gioia

Time: Location: Santa Barbara Museum of Art

Join Dana Gioia, Poet Laureate of California, with a cohort of Santa Barbara’s own poets laureate, for a reading and celebration of poetry and creativity. One of the last stops on Gioia’s “poetry road trip” covering all 58…

Last Chance Tournament


The Last Chance Tournament kicks off on Sunday, October 14 at 2:30PM at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club. The Sunday Polo main match check in time is 2:30 pm at the Engel & Völkers Polo Stadium, with the Pony Parade, followed by…

Seong-Jin Cho, piano

Time: Location: UCSB Campbell Hall

South Korean pianist Seong-Jin Cho was thrust into the top ranks of the musical world in 2015 when his flawless, insightful performances earned the Gold Medal at the Chopin Competition in Warsaw. His live album of that competition has reached…

Pet Adoption Day & Fundraiser

Time: Location: DV8 Cellars

Join us on Saturday October 20th for a dog adoption and fundraiser for the Santa Barbara Humane Society. We will be promoting Animal Protection, Adoption and Support by donating 15% of all sales on the 20th to the Santa Barbara Humane Society. We…

Rod Stewart Concert

Time: Location: Santa Barbara Bowl

Two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Rod Stewart has added a concer at the Santa Barbara Bowl.  Come enjoy one of the best-selling artists in the history of recorded music.  His signature voice, style and songwriting have…

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