Posted October 2, 2014

Santa Barbara Fall Festivals Celebrate Local Bounty


Santa Barbara Wine Country

Is it autumn already? Weren’t we just cheering fireworks displays, working on the tan (with maximum SPF, of course), and watching reruns of Mad Men? Well, all good things must come to an end — unless of course you’re in Santa Barbara, CA, where a sunny Mediterranean climate and ridiculous amount of food, wine and wonderful prevail all year long. Because on America’s Riviera, fall just means it’s time to enjoy the abundant harvests from area farms and vineyards, as well as the seasonal catch from the shimmering Pacific right next door.

You could always search out all this delicious bounty on your own, but why stress it? A full lineup of Santa Barbara fall festivals makes it so simple (and so much fun), with seasonal parties and gatherings where you’re invited to nibble, nosh, sip, savor and just enjoy the good life. The following is a list of some of our don’t-miss faves, perfect whether you’re craving freshly caught lobster or a crisp Sauvignon Blanc. Better yet, pair them up, Santa Barbara–style.

Canary Hotel Santa Barbara

Canary Hotel rooftop lounge.

And speaking of pairings, the perfect perch for your Santa Barbara stay is located just off State Street in the heart of the city. The Canary Hotel is the perfect complement to the region’s gracious, sun-filled lifestyle, featuring 97 guestrooms and suites accented with Mediterranean touches like four-poster beds and wood floors. It’s also where you’ll be indulged with Kimpton-style service including upgraded suites amenities like seasonal small bites conjured by our Finch & Fork chef James Siao, and fresh French-press coffee brought to your door every morning. Then there’s the daily free wine hour where you can sample local favorites before heading up to the rooftop pool area to drink in the sunset views.

October 2014

FInch & Fork Scallops

A month can hardly contain all the delicious and enjoyable offerings served up by Santa Barbara, but the organizers of come pretty darn close. The month-long event features exclusive prix-fixe menus, specialty tastings, behind-the-scene exclusives, cultural performances, foodie film screenings (including a 10th anniversary screening of Sideways), and secret menu items and libations you can unlock with passwords.

California Avocado Festival

Oct. 3–5, 2014


Photo: Flickr Creative Commons/ThreeLayerCake

2014 marks the 28th year the city of Carpinteria, located just down the road from Santa Barbara, has celebrated its avocado abundance with a free family-friendly celebration. Held the first weekend in October, the festival features contests and displays like “Biggest Avocado” and “Best Guacamole,” as well as arts and crafts, a kids’ block party, and four stages hosting more than 75 musical acts.

Celebration of Harvest Festival

Oct. 10–13, 2014

Toasting Women

Photo: Celebration of Harvest Festival

This weekend-long celebration of the vine is where hard-working area vintners let their hair down, open their cellars, and pour it on. It’s a great opportunity to chat with winemakers face-to-face in their tasting rooms all around Santa Barbara County, discover new varietals, and enjoy some delicious culinary pairings served-up by local purveyors. Don’t miss the Grand Tasting event held at historic Old Mission Santa Inés in Solvang.

Santa Barbara Harbor & Seafood Festival

Oct. 11, 2014

Santa Barbara Harbor Seafood Festival

Photo: Flickr Creative Commons/Damian Gadal

Santa Barbara’s scenic harbor is the setting for this annual festival celebrating the region’s abundant ocean resources and maritime history. Coinciding with lobster season, local fisherman and vendors will be on hand offering fresh local lobster, crab, prawns, albacore, clam chowder, fish tacos, and other tasty seafood specialties. Local artisans selling their creations, informative displays and live music round out the popular event.

Santa Barbara Beer Festival

Oct. 18, 2014

Beer Drinkers at the Santa Barbara Beer Festival

Photo: Santa Barbara Beer Festival

Yes, Santa Barbara does suds, too. Held at Elings Park, the Santa Barbara Beer Festival brings together top craft brewers from up and down the state, live music, local food purveyors, and an extra helping of Santa Barbara good vibes.


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