Santa Barbara, often depicted by its small stature, is actually full of one-of-a-kind events, festivals and celebrations. This time of year tends to bring out some of the most unique offerings across the county, including some of the following:
Strawberry Festival: Just a bit down the road in Oxnard, the Strawberry Festival draws a large crowd from Santa Barbara. From strawberry-flavored beer, ice cream and sweets to contests, rides and attractions, this is one of the most popular festivals to attend. It doesn’t hurt that it takes place during Spring Time, when the weather is almost guaranteed to be beautiful! Bonus: money raised goes straight to charity! May 21-22, 2016; $12 (General Admission).
I Madonnari Street Festival: Enjoy this beautiful weekend full of sunshine and color, as talented artists take to the Santa Barbara Mission’s walkway in order to produce an array of finely crafted chalk drawings. Pull up a picnic across the street at the rose garden or enjoy a leisurely walk around the large-scale drawings. May 28-May 30, 2016; free.
Zoo Brew: Enjoy beer tastings from over 30 breweries while enjoying the summer atmosphere alongside the Santa Barbara Zoo! One of the town’s most popular events, this often sells out early, but it is fully equipped with merchandise, pub food and, of course, plenty of beer to taste. Many attendees even choose to wear some type of animal print or accessories! June 4, 2016; $55
Summer Solstice: While the day itself is not unique to Santa Barbara, the parade and festival is one unlike anywhere else. Full of live dancing, floats and music, State Street turns into a fantastic parade where sight-seers enjoy the many participants. Wander over to Alameda Park only blocks away to explore booths, food, live music, beer gardens and more. This is great event for the whole family! June 24-June 26, 2016; free.