our santa barbara hotel blog - hotel indigo at the state house


beer tap house santa barbara

Santa Barbara’s brilliantly-named ‘Funk Zone’ is awash with cafes, galleries and shops to explore, but it’s the area’s sublime mix of boutique tasting rooms that really bring life to this funky area. Here are three tasting rooms that you simply should not miss…

1. Lama Dog

Lama Dog Tap Room & Bottle Shop has 20 revolving craft beers and four varieties of wine on tap – as well as a bottle shop full of craft beers from around the world. So in one sitting you could try everything from Boon Oude Lambiek from Belgium and Noble Ale Works Naughty Sauce from California to Fremont Head Full of Dynamite from Seattle and Allagash Saison from Portland. The Tap Room also offers a selection of ‘beer education classes’.

2. Finueroa Mountain Brewing Co

This Funk Zone favorite was founded by father and son team, Jim and Jaime Dietenhofer, in 2010.  With a passion for craft beer, they set out to pay homage to the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley with handcrafted beer and hand-drawn artwork depicting the local landscape on their labels.  They now have six taprooms, with the Santa Barbara one featuring indoor and outdoor tables. All of the brewery’s core beers are on tap and ready "to go" in bottles. Check out the Butterfly Rye Lager or the Blood Orange Summer Squeeze.

3. Brass Bear Brewing

Brass Bear Brewing opened in February 2016 and is located one block from the beach inside the Funk Zone. This is a great spot for quality craft beer (check out the Goldilocks Blonde or the Hopping Grizzly IIPA) and delicious accompanying nibbles (charcuterie board, anyone?) What more could you ask for? 

Located just a block and a half from the beach, the chic Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara hotel is a stylish must for brew-lovers. This European-style hotel blends the historic beauty of the local neighborhood with architectural sophistication and contemporary design to offer hip and affordable accommodation for style-minded food and wine-lovers.

new restaurants santa barbara

1. New SoCo Patio

Winemaker Ryan Carr and his wife Jessica recently expanded their downtown Santa Barbara winery and tasting room, located in an industrial chic 1940s Quonset hut, to offer guests outdoor space with a fire pit. You can expect lots of live music and Thursday night flamenco performances. 

2. Top Chef Style

Top Chef competitor and chef Phillip Frankland Lee of LA’s Scratch|Restaurants and his wife, pastry chef Margarita Kallas-Lee, are launching four eateries in the Montecito Inn. Plans include: Frankland’s Crab & Co, a fast seafood shack; The Monarch, which pays tribute to Central Coast cuisine; Silver Bough, which takes a modern approach to fine dining; and Margarita’s Homemade Ice Cream, which will feature ice cream flavors inspired by pastries. 

3. Mouthwatering Mezcal

The Luna family from Guadalajara, creators of Santa Barbara’s crowd-pleasing Los Agaves Restaurants, has launched an elevated take on Mexican cuisine adjacent to the popular Funk Zone. Santo Mezcal features a contemporary menu that’s rooted in traditional flavors. The focus is on seafood and a mixology program that draws upon an enviable mezcal and tequila collection. 

4. New Funk Zone Patio

The family-owned and operated Shalhoob Meat Company marked its 44th anniversary in 2017 and to celebrate it has opened a casual outdoor dining area in the Funk Zone. It’s a great place to stop and refuel if you’re exploring the Urban Wine Trail. On fall afternoons, try the house-made frosé—a favorite adult slushy.

5. Moroccan Flavors

The Biltmore Santa Barbara is paying homage to its Mediterranean heritage with the opening of its Luna Terrace at the recently-renovated Ty Lounge. Seating up to six guests, this exclusive, eclectic outdoor event space evokes the essence of Tangier with its gorgeous Moroccan furnishings in a rich color palette of red, blue and gold. Chef Marco Fossati creates menus for several elite dining experiences, including ‘Tangier Bottle Service’, private brunch with a Bloody Mary bar, ‘Casablanca Romance’ with champagnes and desserts, and a ‘Moroccan Feast’ featuring traditional mezze small dishes.  

Located just a block and a half from the beach, the chic Hotel Indigo is a stylish must for foodies. This European-style hotel blends the historic beauty of the local neighborhood with architectural sophistication and contemporary design to offer hip and affordable accommodation for style-minded food and wine-lovers.

posted by: Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara on: July 31, 2017 3:14:38 PM
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Santa Barbara beach volleyball

With 100 miles of pristine California coastline to its name, Santa Barbara is a paradise of sandy, white beaches. Known as the ‘American Riviera’, there are countless ways to enjoy summer days on the sand or out on the surf. Here are three of our favourite ways to make the most of a Santa Barbara beach day:


Looking for some volley action? Then check out East Beach, which is a hot-spot for pick-up volleyball games. There are numerous courts available for you to play in. Alternatively, make your way to Goleta Beach. There you’ll find volleyball courts, as well as picnic and grill areas, so you can play all day.


Santa Barbara Harbor is your launching pad for sailing the scenic coastline and the remote Channel Islands National Park. The area has predominant northwest winds that provide the perfect conditions for learning how to sail. There are also some fabulous cruises to try – from party boats to whale-watching. The Santa Barbara Sailing Center is a great place to organize a sailing lesson, charter a boat or take a cruise. Check out its wonderful ‘Sipping on the Sea’ cruise, which features samples from local wineries or breweries to enjoy while you soak up a sunset aboard the Double Dolpin.

SBsail.com paddleboarding



When it comes to Stand Up Paddling (SUP), Santa Barbara is hard to beat! You can enjoy some amazing views of the city, mountains and ocean while having a complete body workout. The Santa Barbara Sailing Centre offers introductory two-hour lessons, but you’ll probably be up and paddling within 30 minutes.

Located just a block and a half from the beach, the chic Hotel Indigo is a stylish and convenient accommodation for beach lovers. This European-style hotel blends the historic beauty of the local neighborhood with architectural sophistication and contemporary design to offer hip and affordable accommodation for trendy-loving beach-goers.

Tanya Aguiniga, Lanose Hallow, 2017, Self-drying Clay, Alpaca fleece, 7.5 x 12.5 x 14in (HWD), Courtesy the Artist and Volume Gallery.
Tanya Aguiniga, Lanose Hallow, 2017, Self-drying Clay, Alpaca fleece, 7.5 x 12.5 x 14in (HWD), Courtesy the Artist and Volume Gallery.
Once again proving its position at the very pinnacle of modern design, the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara (MCASB) is set to unveil another unspeakably cool exhibition on May 21.

Running until August 20th and featuring contemporary furniture, architecture, artworks and objets d’art from an international selection of amazing designers, architects and artists, the Free Play exhibition centers around the idea of ‘play’ as an influential actor in the design creation process.

Here’s the low-down on everything you need to know before you take your stylish self along to MCASB…

1. Who is Curating?

Highly-acclaimed design expert Alexandra Cunningham Cameron is curating the Free Play exhibition. She has been immersed in the design world for more than a decade as a curator, advisor and writer. In her role as Creative Director for Design Miami/, she worked alongside some of the most ground-breaking designers and architects from across the globe, many of whom are included in the Free Play exhibition.

2. What does the Exhibition Look Like?

The design of the exhibition space itself is by the Berlin-based Sam Chermayeff Office. This unique space showcases a labyrinth of personal moments and stories.

Aaron Young, Tire Swing, 2009, Gold plated chain, Used tire, Tire 30 in. diameter, Chain 72 in. length, Courtesy the Artist and Nathalie Karg/Cumulus Studios

Aaron Young, Tire Swing, 2009, Gold plated chain, Used tire, Tire 30 in. diameter, Chain 72 in. length, Courtesy the Artist and Nathalie Karg/Cumulus Studios

3. Who is Exhibiting?

The impressive line-up of creators included in the exhibition features names such as Maarten Baas, Design Miami's 2009 Designer of the Year; Nendo, who was named Designer of the Year by Wallpaper Magazine, Elle Décor and Maison & Objet in 2015; and Snarkitecture, whose installation piece The Beach has been touring globally since 2015.

nendo, Manga Chair (22), 2015, Stainless steel, 32 x 17.25 x 18.25 in. (HWD), Courtesy the Artist and Friedman Benda

nendo, Manga Chair (22), 2015, Stainless steel, 32 x 17.25 x 18.25 in. (HWD), Courtesy the Artist and Friedman Benda 

4. What does Ellen have to do with it?

Katie Stout, the 2015 winner of HGTV's show Ellen's Design Challenge and who was recently named to Forbes' 30 Under 30 list, will also be showing a piece that was specially commissioned for Free Play.

5. Where should you Stay?

The perfect choice for a arty getaway, the Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara blends all the historic beauty of its heritage with the architectural sophistication of contemporary design. Offering hip, affordable accommodation for style-minded guests, the hotel is positioned just one block from the beach – an ideal location that borders the legendary ‘Funk Zone’, the city's artistic epicenter.

In Santa Barbara, we’re proud of our diverse history, which spans multiple cultures and centuries. The Chumash, the indigenous people who dwelled in the central and southern coastal regions of California from San Luis Obispo to Malibu and Simi Valley, play the biggest role in Santa Barbara’s history and influence our environmentally conscious mentality to this day. 
With their advanced maritime skills, the coastal Chumash navigated the seas travelling along the coast to the now-called Channel Islands to visit, trade with, and inhabit these regions. Their ocean expertise distinguishes them from most other inland tribes; they invented the tomol, a raft-like boat made of sealed wood planks, with which to trade and travel. The Chumash’s artisan and practical skills, such as intricate basket weaving; creating stone cookware; building tomols, homes, as well as other structures; and finding dietary and functional uses for the region’s abundance of acorns, allowed them to live off the land and sea—hunting, fishing, and making use of its resources. The sea was a vital part of Chumash life, and the indigenous people of our region were deeply spiritual and held many values, such that they built their lifestyle around these cornerstones of their culture: sustainably living off the land and balancing their impact, while also contributing back to nature.
When the Spanish made contact with the region and began to colonize the area, the Chumash population dramatically decreased due to the introduction of devastating European diseases and living under the Mission system. The Spanish’s arrival marked a dramatic shift and threat to the Chumash way of life and culture, which Mexican and American rule further compounded. Though much smaller in population than at the Chumash’s peak, we are fortunate that many descendants still call Santa Barbara home, and we celebrate and support their thriving culture and history today.
We encourage you to explore and experience a bit of the rich Chumash history and culture in Santa Barbara and its environs during your next stay from public art displays mere steps from our hotel to an afternoon painting session offered at a beautiful Chumash-owned vineyard in Santa Ynez! 

By Foot:

Start your exploration of Chumash culture in Santa Barbara at the Syuxtun Story Circle. From our hotel, walk toward Stearns Wharf, turn right and walk along West Beach’s sidewalk where you will encounter an elaborate, twenty-foot, collaborative mosaic of which the Santa Barbara Independent’s Matt Kettmann says, “while based on stories from a millennia-old oral tradition and specific events of the past, [the Syuxtun Story Circle] is full of messages for the present and a symbol of hope for the future.” 
Likewise, step into Chumash history at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum with their “Historic Path” exhibit, which features a Chumash tomol and artifacts that speak of a life at sea. Located at the Santa Barbara Harbor, the Maritime Museum is a few blocks further from the Syuxtun Story Circle.

Hanging out downtown? Stroll over to the 600 block of Garden Street to admire the Chumash sidewalk art in front of 630 and 617 Garden.  While headed north on State Street, take a right on Cota Street and a left on Garden to find these gorgeous paintings underfoot.
Further Afield:
The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History houses an unrivaled collection of Chumash artifacts and an in-depth, year-round Chumash Hall exhibition. Located just behind the mission at 2559 Puesta del Sol, this collection, which explores this culture from the past to the present, is a must see.
Get a glimpse of the intersection of Spanish and Chumash culture at the Santa Barbara Mission. Here, an exhibition of sculptures, created by the Missions’ resident Chumash, which are some of the only and largest sculptures crafted by Native Americans in existence, awaits. The Mountain Lion sculpture located on the south side of the Lavanderia on the Mission’s front lawn is free to view and an exceptional example of Chumash carving skills and style. Remember, when you visit the mission, that the Chumash contributed to much of what you see with their skilled handiwork.
Worth the Drive:
Visit the Painted Cave State Historic Park to view original rock paintings created by Chumash. These early rock paintings are nestled in a cave and depict figures and animals.  Take 101 North to Highway 154, and turn right on Painted Cave Road.  On the left side, look for a cave about “two miles up a steep, narrow road.” – Painted Cave State Historic Park
The Chumash lived in harmony with nature and this mindset continues to influence our city today. In recognition of Earth Day this month and the Chumash’s sustainable practices, celebrate it with a fun, free, and unique event at Chumash Earth Day, located at 100 Via Juana Rd, Santa Ynez, California 93460.
Try winemaker Tara Gomez’s Kitá Wines at her Lompoc tasting room to sample the infusion of Chumash history into wine through stories, subtle notes, and sustainability.  You can also sign up to attend a fun, Santa Ynez vineyard event, such as Paint in the Vineyardwith Kitá at Camp 4 Vineyard on April 29 at 11 am with Gypsy Studios. 

Santa Barbara Art Hotel
100% Yogyakarta, performed at Concert Hall Taman Budaya, 2015, Courtesy Goethe-Institut Indonesien, Photo: Berto Gesit

The Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara is no stranger to providing meaningful engagement with the cutting-edge art of our time, but the museum’s latest scoop surely puts this stylish exhibition space head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to modern interactive video installations and performance art.

Helgard Kim Haug, Stefan Kaegi and Daniel Wetzel - who together make up ‘Rimini Protokoll’, a cutting-edge Berlin-based artist collective - have been working as a team since 2000. Their work in the realm of theater, sound, radio plays, film and installations focuses upon gaining unusual, ground-breaking perspectives on our modern everyday reality.

The Rimini Protocol: City as Stage exhibition is running until April 30, featuring two major works: 100% City - an immersive interactive video installation at MCASB’s main location; and Home Visit USA - a participatory performance taking place at various private residences throughout Santa Barbara County. Both pieces explore self-determined representations in our increasingly globalized world.

The artists are inviting audiences to actively delve into concepts about how we define local community and national identity. Using statistics, political mechanisms and personal stories, the artists are calling attention to how our multifaceted portrayals of ‘place’ are formed.

100% City is an expansive video installation that highlights a series of the artists’ previous performances in 28 cities across the globe. In these performances 100 everyday citizens from each city express their views on integral themes like aging, warfare, migration and relationships.

Alternatively, Home Visit USA is a participatory work in which small groups of people gather together at private homes around Santa Barbara County to experience cultural exchanges with strangers.

The perfect choice for an arty European-style getaway, the Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara blends the historic beauty with the architectural sophistication of contemporary design. Offering hip, affordable accommodation for style-minded guests, the hotel is positioned just one block from the beach – an ideal location that borders the legendary ‘Funk Zone’, the city's artistic epicenter.


For those who are visiting Santa Barbara for the first time, be aware that there is more to this beautiful beach town than well ... the beach! The mesmerizing blue waves and sunny skies often overshadow our majestic mountains, but the rolling hills and high peaks contain some of the most beautiful hiking spots around. If you’re looking for stunning Santa Barbara views and to work up a sweat while you’re at it, we’ve got the inside scoop on three top places to start your adventure. Trust us when we say, the view at the top makes the journey worth it.

Remember to make the most out of your hiking experience by grabbing a picnic basket, filling it with a local Merlot and equally delicious gouda, and enjoying a picnic at the top!

1. Lizard’s Mouth

 As one of the more playful hiking trails in the area, Lizard’s Mouth offers boulder climbing while taking in beautiful views for those in the mood to explore! This hike is less than a mile and moderately strenuous. Just take care to follow the trail, wear solid hiking/running shoes, and watch your step as you make your way over the small slopes. Once you arrive to the boulder area, feel free to explore the mini caves, hop from boulder to boulder, and get in a great cardio workout as you weave in and out of the trails.

Trail Head: Head up highway 154 and make a left on West Camino Cielo. Follow the winding road for roughly three miles. The trailhead will be on the left-hand side just a few hundred feet before the Winchester Gun Club. If you reach a point where the road becomes unpaved, you’ve gone too far. Otherwise, park on the side of the road, get out there, and enjoy a sunny day of rock scrambling!

Link to trail map: http://www.hikespeak.com/trails/lizards-mouth-santa-barbara/

2. Romero Canyon 

Located in Montecito, this hiking trails receives 5 ruffs from canine companions. Though not too steep, this trail consistently gains elevation on a gradual incline for roughly three miles. At the beginning of the trail, the lush trees and plants provide a thick blanket of shade, but as you continue the climb, you’ll notice the blue sky peeking through the trees with less shade as you near the top. Since there are many different sub-trails on this hike, you can decide which way you want to go on the spot, but looking at a map ahead of time is beneficial. Once you reach the three-way fork near the top of the trail, we recommend making a right and following the trail back to your car. That loop is roughly six miles, however, as soon as you turn right, the trail changes from an incline to a gradual decline for the rest of the way, letting you enjoy the magnificent views during your descent.

Trail Head:  Hop on 101 South, and exit on Sheffield Drive. Keep in mind this is a left lane exit. Make a left to go under the bridge, and make an immediate right. Follow the wind up the road and make a left on East Valley Road and an immediate right on Romero Canyon road. Follow Romero Canyon road until you reach the fork, then make a right at the fork. Turn right on Bella Vista road, and keep driving for a quarter of a mile. Once you reach the stream crossing, park the car on the side of the road. The trail begins at the metal gate on the dirt road.

Link to trail map: http://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/romero-canyon-trail

3. Tangerine Falls

Don’t be fooled by the name. Although there used to be a waterfall during the days of abundant H20 in Santa Barbara, it has all but dried up at this point in time. We, also, haven’t found any tangerines. However, don’t let that deter you from exploring Tangerine Falls. This trail is the perfect place to work out your glutes due to its steep incline. There are two ways you can start this hike. At the trailhead, you’ll notice a path on the left that begins with a gradual incline through the trees, and a trailhead on the right that automatically begins with a steep incline. We recommend starting on the right-hand side and working up a sweat as you quickly gain altitude. Don’t worry, the hike to the top is no more than a mile and a half; but, once you reach top, the sweat will be worth it. While taking in stunning views of Santa Barbara and its environs, you’ll be glad you made the trip. When you are ready to head back down, follow the dirt road for a quarter of a mile and make a left on the first trail you see on the left-hand side. This trail descends gradually, so that you can enjoy the beauty of the trees and plants around you. You’ll even cross a cute little stream, which provides a relaxing space in which to take in your surroundings.

Trail Head: Take 101 South, and exit at Olive Mill Road. Make a left, and keep following the road as it turns into Hot Springs Road. Make a left on Mountain Drive. Drive one mile and park your car once you hit the stream crossing. When you see the Cold Springs Trail, you’ll know you’re in the right place!  

Link to trail map: http://www.hikespeak.com/trails/tangerine-falls-in-the-los-padres-national-forest/

Safe Hiking Pro Tips:

-Make sure to bring lots of water for you (and your pup) and drink it often.
-Give yourself enough time and daylight to complete the trail.
-Bring a flashlight just in case the sun starts to set.
-Wear solid running or hiking shoes.
-Make sure to take breaks if/when needed.
-Bring a map! Not all trails have cell phone reception.
-Don’t hike by yourself. Go with at least one other person.
-Don’t stray from the trail. Sometimes it is easy to get lost.
-Wear sunscreen to protect your skin from the Santa Barbara sun.
-Bring snacks!
-Tell a friend where you’re going hiking, so that way someone knows of your location.

 The Funk Zone brings modern living to Santa Barbara. The best place to stay in Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone is where The American Riviera celebrates modern food and tastes. Full of fun and funky boutiques and tasting rooms, the Funk Zone will liven up any trip to Santa Barbara and make it sing with food, shopping, and one of a kind experiences.


Les Marchands is a beacon of taste run by citizens of the world who LOVE wine and good food.  Famous for their bar, and their wine and charcuturie pairings, Les Marchands is expanding into brunch so that you can start your day with truly amazing cuisine.


Sharing a space with Funk Zone mainstay The Wine Collective, Helena Avenue Bakery is devoted to making artisanal breads and pastries the right way. Every item on the menu is handmade and utterly delicious, whether you pick a hearty loaf of sourdough or a croissant that is as buttery and flaky as it is light. Helena Avenue also has a Picnic Counter so that you can find the perfect accompaniment to your trip to the beach.


Wine is elegant and refined, but sometimes what you really want is a cold glass of beer. Lama Dog is here to fill that gap. A perfect space to sit with old friends or to make new ones, Lama Dog offers 20 diverse beers on tap and features a revolving cast of speciality bottles, so that you can find the perfect accompaniment to a sunny afternoon in Santa Barbara.

A refined trip to Santa Barbara deserves a refined stay. The Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara--One of USA Today’s Top 10 Art Hotels--is the perfect complement to the wine, artisanal foods, and shopping you’ll find in the Funk Zone and beyond. Book your stay today!

Santa Barbara Art Hotel
assume vivid astro focus, àngeles veloces arcanos fugaces, 2014, Roller disco installation at Faena Art Center, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Courtesy the Artist. Photo: Carolina Bonfanti

Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara
(MCASB), which is located just a short walk, drive or bus ride away from our cozy, boutique hotel, brings intriguing art installations to town. This August, that trend continues, as the museum opens its doors for an incredible, interactive exhibition called avalanches volcanoes asteroids floods.

Created by colorful New York/Berlin-based artist collective assume vivid astro focus (avaf), avalanches volcanoes asteroids floods’ runs from August 14th through January 1st of 2017 at MCASB.

This installation examines “our collective anxiety around natural disasters” by creating an engaging and tactile experience for museum-goers. This will be accomplished through the use of an array of multi media, including printed rugs, hanging fabric, theatrical backdrops, wall coverings, and more. Guests are encouraged to meander through this stimulating setting and interact with it by laying on the ground, listening to music, “rearranging elements, and creating their own performances using the provided materials and environment.” This looming addition to the museum will be like few others before it.

Check out this ground-breaking exhibition for yourself on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 11:00am to 5pm, Thursdays from 11:00am to 8:00pm, and Sundays from noon to 5:00pm (the museum is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays). Admission to the museum is free, though donations are welcome.

You'll need a comfortable home base for any exploration of Santa Barbara’s incredible art scene, and there is no better choice than our gorgeous, boutique hotel. With a selection of
chicly decorated rooms, a range of convenient amenities, and a prime location in the heart of Santa Barbara, we’re sure we can make your visit a special one. We look forward to welcoming you to town!

Santa Barbara boasts a robust Mexican-American community, whose culture and influence permeates our town. From our famed tacos to mariachi masters and more, our city’s riches include a plethora of experiences from México, a country of which California was once a part. Though California joined the United States in 1850, our ties to México remain strong; one of our Sister Cities is Puerta Vallarta, MEX, and each year Santa Barbara hosts friends and does exchanges with representatives from this popular vacation getaway spot.

Start by delving into large collections of Mexican folk art, ranging from pre-hispanic to current day, including artifacts such as Talavera from Puebla and Alebrijes from Oaxaca at Casa Dolores. The Botiller Adobe—the only remaining two-story adobe in the city—houses this museum, which is also known as the Center for the Study of the Popular Arts of Mexico. Explore every part of the house to appreciate the history that resides within.

General Vallejo's Sahumandor (perfumer. Maker unknown, Mexican, c. 1823-43. Pure silver. Gift of Pearl Chase. Courtesy of the Santa Barbara Historical Museum.

Check out the Santa Barbara Historical Museum’s “The Story of Santa Barbara: Santa Barbara Under Mexican Rule” exhibition to brush up on our history as part of Alta California. Of particular note is General Vallejo’s chair and several oil paintings of notable persons. Considering that this exhibition is permanent, feel free to stop by at your leisure during their open hours.

The Buenaventura Pico Adobe, located at 920 Anacapa Street on the grounds of El Presidio de Santa Barbara, is a Mexican-period adobe. View the exterior of this historic structure to get a sense of our city in the 1830s under Mexican rule.

While Fiesta–our famed festival, which runs from August 3–7—is known as Old Spanish Days, many of the sights, sounds, and tastes you will experience are Mexican in origin.

Courtesy of Old Spanish Days- Fiesta

Catch Las Noches de Ronda, a nightly celebration taking place from August 4–6, 8 pm, at our Santa Barbara County Courthouse sunken gardens, which features many of our residents performing traditional dances. Of particular note are the Mexican Folklórico dances, a style of dancing which features colorful costumes, heel stomping, and references to folk tales.

Take part in the heart of Fiesta as you stroll through the colorful el Mercado de la Guerra, located in de la Guerra Plaza downtown. Tacos, tamales, and fresh fruit await the hungry traveler. Mexican crafts and souvenirs, such as dresses, Lucha Libre masks, sombreros, and more are available for purchase. Live entertainment, often featuring Spanish-language vocals and local acts, starts in the morning and continues well into the evening. Acts will be announced in late July. For more information, click the link below!

 Courtesy of the Santa Barbara Mariachi Festival

The 21st annual Santa Barbara Mariachi Festival returns to the Santa Barbara Bowl on August 6th.  Co-founded by prominent Mexican-American city leaders Salud Carbajal and the late Alberto Pizano, the mission of the festival is to promote and preserve the tradition of mariachi music. Mariachi music was developed in the 19th century in México and often features stringed instruments, trumpets, and vocals; distinctive decorative costumes; and rhythms similar to polkas and waltzes. By bathing in the beautiful mariachi melodies, you will also support advocates for creating a brighter future for Santa Barbara’s Latino youths, as this festival also serves as a non-profit organization that provides educational scholarships to Latinos in our midst.

While La Super-Rica, a taquería lauded by Julia Child and recently immortalized by Katy Perry in her song “This Is How We Do,” is perhaps our most well-known eatery, a multitude of other tasty Mexican restaurants flourish here.  

If you’re looking for authentic Mexican food to enjoy during your stay, pop into one of downtown’s hidden gems and an award-winning taco shop: Lilly’s Taquería. Here, explore the world of tacos, including more adventurous options such as labia, cabeza, oja y mas (Beef lip, head, eyes and more) as well as more typical meat offerings and vegetarian option for the herbivores.

Can’t fathom a stop in Santa Barbara without some Mexican Food on Milpas?  Try Los Agaves.  Indulge your taste buds with their specials such as Molcajetes to Mole Enchiladas or simple tasty fare such as fajita burritos or taquitos and tacos. A local favorite, this Mexican restaurant has a short wait at peak times, but it’s well worth it!

Maria Rendón's "Snowman"

Upon returning to the hotel, we recommend contemplating artworks by local resident and México City native, Maria Rendón. Her contemporary, abstract paintings explore “the impression of what is not there” and “what is there” and how transitory our world is.  Be sure to see her piece “Snowman” which cascades down from above our stairway as part of our MCASB “Shift, Stretch, Expand: Everyday Transformations” exhibition.

For those who would like to read news in Spanish, Santa Barbara’s bilingual paper El Latino is available online.

We hope you enjoy experiencing Santa Barbara’s Mexican-American culture!