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A visit to Santa Barbara in the summer will be a magical one filled with happy moments, exciting adventures, and opportunities to bask in the wonders of the California sun. There are no sunsets anywhere else on Earth as magical as ours. In addition to the standard sightseeing trips, beach days, and delicious meals that will be remembered for years to come, our summer festivals are designed to ensure that all visitors get to experience all of our favorite Santa Barbara things to do. If your summer travels are going to bring you to Santa Barbara and a stay in one of our luxurious Paradise Retreats vacation homes, here’s a list of some of our favorite summer festivals that shouldn’t be missed while you’re here!

Summer Solstice Celebration

The arrival of summer is always an occasion to celebrate, in our humble opinions, and for three days in June (the 22nd, 23rd, & 24th) most Santa Barbara residents will agree. The Summer Solstice Celebration is a showpiece of everything summer. From parades to music to arts and crafts to food trucks, this exciting and colorful festival held at Alameda Park is the most magical way of welcoming the sultry days of sunshine and excitement.

California Wine Festival – Santa Barbara Things to do

You may or may not have heard, but our little piece of paradise is famous for its wines and wineries, and the California Wine Festival, held July 19 through the 21st, allows you to learn which wine goes best with sunshine and the sea. Spoiler alert: They ALL work with the beach! Held steps away from one of the most beautiful beaches in the county, ticket prices start at $40 for a one-day designated driver special and top out at $190 for a 3-day VIP Gold All Events Pass that will allow you to experience every event offered. From wine tastings to wine pairings, this festival will change the way you look at wine forever!

Old Spanish Days Fiesta

As the end of summer grows near, we celebrate our Spanish heritage with a fiesta that has been an annual event since 1925. Held on August 1st through August 5th in various places throughout the city, the opening festival (La Fiesta Pequeña) starts the party right with flamenco dances on the steps of the Old Mission Santa Barbara. Continuing with parades, live music, rodeo performances, and tasty tacos, tamales, and enchiladas, this festival is both colorful and exciting!

A Sight for Sore Feet

After a day or more of of enjoying the various Santa Barbara things to do, your tired feet will be thrilled to have a chance to soak in the pool of your Paradise Retreats luxurious vacation escape! Pour a glass of wine you bought at the California Wine Festival, heat up that tamale from the Old Spanish Days Fiesta in the fully equipped kitchen, or simply sit back and watch the sun set over the ocean from the patio. Your travels have brought you to paradise; now it’s time to reap the benefits. Reserve yours today!

Santa Barbara gets a lot of attention for its weather and beaches, but perhaps not enough is focused on its amazing wine scene. Wine is a major part of the city’s culture, from the vineyards and wineries to the tasting rooms and wine bars. There are many unique things to do in Santa Barbara CA and you can find the best selections of wine that you will find anywhere. If you are looking for a charming place to enjoy some amazing wines, you should check out some the best wine bars in the city listed below.

Les Marchands Wine Bar and Merchant

You can find this amazing wine bar and merchant in the charming neighborhood called the Funk Zone in downtown Santa Barbara. Here, high ceilings and cozy décor act as a wonderful compliment to an amazing list of wines. You can find countless wines from local wineries, as well as ones across the world. Sit down for a glass or get a bottle for the road!

Wine + Beer

The purpose of this market is not veiled by a cryptic name. It is simply a place for lovers of beer and wine to come and celebrate their favorite drinks. You can find amazing lists of drinks, but the cool thing about this market is it consists of multiple shops and restaurants in the same building. This, paired with long tables, provides the feeling of a real community.

Municipal Wine Makers

This lovely wine bar in the Funk Zone offers one of the best opportunities to get acquainted with the local wine scene, and it is a bustling scene. Enjoying some glasses of delicious wine on the patio and then taking a very short walk down to the beach results in a night well-spent in beautiful Santa Barbara. And you never know when they might hold special events featuring professional chefs and charming vendors. Check the schedule on their website to find something special.

Intermezzo – Things to do in Santa Barbara CA

Not only does Intermezzo offer an amazing selection of wines, but a full food menu. It offers the chance to get everything you need in one awesome stop! There are countless local wines on tap, which you can enjoy in the charming dining room, the front patio, or by the fire on the back patio. There is something for everyone here.

These are just a few of the most notable wine bars in the city, but this list in no way sums up all of the things to do in Santa Barbara CA. While staying in your Paradise Retreats vacation home, do some exploring throughout the city to find the bar that you will fall in love with!