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Santa Barbara - Facts for the traveller, when to go, events

Facts for the traveller for Santa Barbara

When to Go to Santa Barbara

Weather-wise, any time is a good time to visit Santa Barbara depending on what you want to do. Swimming and surfing are more popular in the summer, spring and fall. Winter still holds out the prospect of hiking, although some mountain areas, national forests and parks will be inaccessible from time to time due to heavy snow. The city's many urban attractions - bars and clubs, cafes and restaurants, museums and galleries, and music and theater - are, of course, enjoyable all year round.

Most people visit Santa Barbara in summer (from about mid-May to mid-September) for the beaches and the pleasures of the sea, but be warned: budget accommodations become practically nonexistent in summer and even cheap motel room prices can double or triple. Some places impose a two-night minimum stay during peak season. In general, midweek rates are lower than Friday and Saturday nights.

Santa Barbara Events

Aside from participating in America-wide favorites such as Independence Day (4 July), and Thanksgiving (last Thursday in November) Santa Barbara holds many special events of its own. Favorites include the Paragliding and Hang-Gliding Festival in January; the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in March; the I Madonnari Street Painting Festival in May, where artists create chalk masterpieces in front of the Mission Santa Barbara, with accompanying Italian food and music; and the Lomboc Flower Festival in June. The Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts (PCPA) Theaterfest runs all through June to October, with classical and contemporary theater performances in Santa Barbara and Solvang.

In August the Old Spanish Days Fiesta is held for five days all around Santa Barbara, with mariachi music, two parades, a carnival, Spanish dancing and many, many margaritas. September sees the Danish Days celebration in Solvang, with Danish folk dancing, singing and many, many clogs. The Santa Barbara International Jazz Festival, also held in September, attracts jazz, Latin and world music artists to a three-day party on Leadbetter Beach.

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