Santa Barbara is perhaps best known for Fiesta, a celebration of Santa Barbara’s Spanish heritage that takes place each summer. But Fiesta is just one of the many special events held here. I Madonnari is one of our favorites, turning the Old Mission property into a canvas for talented chalk painters, and the Santa Barbara International Film Festival ought not to be missed.

Santa Barbara’s scenic backdrop, rich history, and wonderful climate make it the perfect setting to enjoy the endless calendar of events. Take a stroll through farmers markets, held almost every day around town, to sample delicious fresh vegetables and nuts and listen to vibrant street music.  Or head to the Courthouse Sunken Gardens with a picnic basket in tow on Friday evenings to watch themed movies throughout the summer. Check out the links below to find incredible music, street fairs, and cultural events happening all the time.

The Best of Santa Barbara Music:

The Santa Barbara Bowl. “The Bowl” is a historical outdoor music venue located at the base of the Riviera. It hosts major performers in an intimate setting, making it a favorite among both Santa Barbarans and the top musicians that stop here to enjoy a day or two in Santa Barbara. Check out their upcoming shows here.

The Sings Like Hell Series. Held at Santa Barbara’s Lobero theater, Sings Like Hell presents mostly off the radar singer-songwriters. The series begins in the fall and is faithfully attended by Santa Barbara’s many music adventurers. A wonderful part of the local music scene, you can find a list of upcoming shows on their website.

Santa Barbara Blues Society. As the oldest running blues society in the country, they bring incredible blues artists to Santa Barbara. Try to catch one of their great shows held at different venues around town throughout the year.

SOhO. A restaurant and music club downtown run by wonderful Santa Barbara locals. Show up for their happy hour on Friday nights or catch a show anytime during the week. The schedule can be found on their website.

Concerts in the Park. During June, July and August, bring a lawn chair or a blanket down to Chase Palm Park on Thursday evenings for free concerts right across from the beach.

Check out the following websites for complete, up-to-date calendars of events: