Earth Day has a special connection to Santa Barbara, and each year we celebrate it in grand style! In response to a massive 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, the Community Environment Council was created and hosted the first Earth Day Festival in 1970. Since then, the festival has lead to other Earth Day celebrations around the globe and continues to be a not-to-be-missed community event.
The festival aims for sustainability and producing low amounts of waste - just as our hotel does. Earth Day has inspired us to be water wise, conserve electricity, recycle, and supply eco-friendly toiletries and cleaning solutions. Learn more about our green features here.
Head up to the festival on Saturday, April 18 from 11am-7pm and Sunday, April 19 from 11am-6pm to celebrate our beautiful city and Earth! Alameda Park is a fantastic venue with sunny grass areas and shady tress. Browse the vendors in the Eco-Marketplace, munch on some local food favorites, and talk with the experts about how to Live Green! There will be live music and other performances, sports and recreation booths, a Kids Corner, Green Car Show, and bike valet!
Don't miss this Uniquely Local Santa Barbara celebration!
We’re so excited for the new exhibition at our hotel opening as part of MCASB’s Satellite museum this Saturday! Each year MCASB's exhibitions infuse and enliven our space with stimulating contemporary artworks and this year is no exception. This year's exhibition is inspired by quests and obsessions, such as traveling to remote mountain villages, seaside escapes, and desert oases, and the mysteries and truths that arise during these journeys for medicinal and healing attributes. The artworks address the mythologies and marketplace of natural cures - spiritual, physical, and psychological - at a time when humankind's relationship to the environment is rapidly changing.
Entitled Magic Mountain, after Thomas Mann’s novel, it pays tribute to Santa Barbara's contribution to searching for natural cures. Santa Barbara's history as a spa town started with the discovery of the Montecito hot springs in 1857 when Wilbur Curtiss was led to the springs by a native Chumash. Believing the waters cured him, Curtiss built a bathhouse which attracted travelers and helped put Santa Barbara on the map.
We invite everyone to stop by travel through Magic Mountain and we hope you will join us for the opening this Saturday, March 7, from 6 - 8 pm.
Image caption: Zachary Cahill, USSADREAM, 2014, 9 X 12 in., Watercolor on paper. Courtesy the Artist.
Mural pictured by Rafael Vargas-Suarez.
The MCASB Satellite @ Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara exhibition The Vastness is Bearable ran from January 26, 2013 - February 15, 2015.
In his book, Contact (1985), noted astronomer and science writer, Carl Sagan wrote, “She had studied the universe all her life, but had overlooked its clearest message: For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.” Inspired by this quote and the themes of the book—contact between humanity and a more technologically advanced, extraterrestrial life form—the third annual exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara’s satellite location at Hotel Indigo features artists who contemplate the vastness of the cosmos. Whereas last year’s exhibition looked to the mysteries of the sea, this year’s presentation gazes up, featuring artists whose works reflect human fascination, curiosity, and awe with the universe.
Participating artists include: Rodolfo Choperena, Russell Crotty, Ala Ebtekar, Desiree Holman, Cassandra C. Jones, and Rafael Vargas-Suarez.
Russell Crotty, Milky Way Over Ponderosas, 2001, Ink on paper mounted on lucite, 36 in. diameter, Courtesy the Artist
Desirée Holman, Channeling Aura 2, 2012, Gouache on paper, 30 x 22 inches, Courtesy the Artist
Rodolfo Choperena, Untitled #1, 2013, Archival digital print with mica glaze, 29 x 39 in., Edition of 3, Courtesy the Artist.
Inviting ambiance; exquisite food; exceptional service; even better company. Santa Barbara is a haven for fabulous restaurants, but if you're looking for something extra special this Valentine's Day (or any time, really), there are a few that stand out as some of the most romantic this side of the Pacific.
Bouchon - 9 W. Victoria St.
Chef Greg Murphy works with only the best of the region, crafting his intriguing array of dishes from local and organic farm-fresh ingredients. Fusing French and Californian cuisines, bouchon's menu includes bourbon and maple glazed duck breast, a scallop trio with vanilla risotto, and coriander-crusted venison loin. The wine list is made up exclusively of Santa Barbara vintners, pairing nicely with fine cheeses and a to-die-for molten lava cake. Call 805-730-1160 for reservations.
Ca'Dario - 37 E. Victoria St.
You'd be forgiven for thinking you were in a trattoria in the Old Country. Ca'Dario's Chef and owner, Dario Furlati, was born in Italy and brings true authentic flavour to this popular eatery. Look for classic Northern Italian dishes like spinach ravioli with butter-safe sauce, baked chicken with porcini mushrooms, and grilled veal chop seasoned with rosemary and olive oil. If you're in the mood for something more casual, the neighbouring Ca'Dario Pizzeria offers some of the best pies in the city. For reservations, call 805-884-9419.
The Lark - 131 Anacapa St. (E. Yanonali St.)
Sitting right in the trendy Funk Zone, the Lark is arguably one of Santa Barbara's best restaurants. Housed in the long gone 1920s Santa Barbara Fish Market, the Lark's charming decor is wood-lined and pays tribute to train travel with hints of rustic car parts. The menu is just as impressive, with appetizers such as spicy root vegetable chips and mains like herb-roasted diver scallops with grapefruit, manila clams, celery root, pickled Fresno chiles, and Thai basil. Call 805-284-0370 for reservations.
While you’re in town, be sure to book one of the beautiful and comfortable suites at Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara. Each of our accommodations feature premium plush bedding and European collapsible wall showers, and we also have a variety of packages to choose from, including the Santa Barbara Lovin’—perfect for Valentine’s Day.
We're so excited for our next MCASB-curated exhibition that is in the works! Until it opens enjoy some of our favorite highlights from past, thought-provoking exhibitions at the hotel. Remember our current exhibition, The Vastness is Bearable, is still up for a few more months. Come on by and take a look!
2013 - Limuw: an Ode to the Sea
Zoe Crosher, Transgressing the Pacific: Where Norman Maine Disappeared at Laguna Beach, 2010, Fujiflex archive print mounted on Dibond, 40 x 40 in. Edition of 6 + 2 AP, Courtesy the Artist and Perry Rubenstein Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Virginia McCracken, Off Leash, Boat House, Ship Leave, Skipping Rope in Crystal Waters, and Hector and Lionel Sitting on the Dock, 2012, Mixed media and paper mache, Dimensions variable, Courtesy the Artist
An artwork commissioned from artist Kimberly Hahn.
Kimberly Hahn, Chromatic Variation 1, 2013, Fabric dye, dowel rods, muslin, monofiliament, pain, plywood, and salt, Commissioned by Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, Dimensions variable, Courtesy the Artist
An artwork commissioned from artist Graham Caldwell.
Graham Caldwell, Mansions of the Moon, 2013, Blown glass, shells, wood, shell, and found objects, Dimensions variable, Commissioned by Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, Courtesy the Artist
2012 - Open House exhibition
Alejandro Diaz, Does This Sign Make Me Look Fat? 2009.
Kirsten Stoltmann, I AM SO HAPPY, 2011, Acrylic gemstones and crystals on foam core, 48 x 96 in., Courtesy the Artist; Stephanie Dotson, Drugrugs, 2012, Silkscreen on vellum, 48 ½ x 96 ½ in., Courtesy the Artist
James Van Arsdale, Spinning Star, Spinning Mine, and Spinning Bomb, 2011
Jennifer Nocon, Collective Noun, 2011.
Detail from a commissioned wall drawing by Nathan Hayden.
Nathan Hayden, you are like a dancing constellation (Detail), 2012.
Details of commissioned wall paintings by Saul Gray-Hildenbrand.
Saul Gray-Hildenbrand, Tryst (Detail), 2012.
Francesca Gabbiani, Gold Rush, 2008, Colored.
With its vibrant community, unique flavors, and ranking amongst having the most restaurants per-capita in the country, Santa Barbara is a haven for world-class cuisine. Savor Santa Barbara Food Tours is a guided culinary walking tour dedicated to immerse visitors and locals alike in the lush tastes and sights of the American Riviera.
The three and a half hour excursion combines commentary on Santa Barbara's history, architecture, and evolving food scene while experiencing some of the best eats in town. The stops have been carefully curated to showcase the area’s diversity, and range from family-owned and run Mexican restaurants to fresh local seafood to California's original and finest ice cream. Of course, as the region is coveted for its wine, there will be no shortage of vino to compliment your meal, along with a visit to the Santa Barbara Winery, Santa Barbara's oldest local winery.
The edible and educational adventure is less than two miles long and includes at least two sit-downs, making it accessible for all ages and fitness levels to enjoy. Alert your guide if you have any dietary restrictions or allergies, and Savor Santa Barbara Food Tours will do their best to ensure that you are taken care of. Purchase your tickets now!
Here at Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara, we encourage you to relish in all that Santa Barbara has to offer. Our stylish and cozy suites offer sweeping views, plush bedding, and collapsible glass-wall showers to provide you with accommodation of the utmost comfort. Our warm and multi-lingual staff looks forward to welcoming you.
Santa Barbara might be known as the American Riviera for its spectacular beaches and nightlife but its cultural scene feels more like London, Paris or Sydney. The city possesses a vibrant history as an artists’ colony and is currently home to over sixty unique art galleries. There’s so much to see you won’t be able to do it in one visit, so while you’re here, check out a few of these must see galleries.
The Santa Barbara Museum of Art is one of the nation’s top ten regional art museums featuring painting and photography from Europe, Asia and the United States. From now until August 31, the museum is showing Living in the Timeless: Drawings by Beatrice Wood. Though Wood was mostly known for her pottery, this exhibition focuses on her lesser-known stunning series of drawings completed in provocative New York Dada style. For connoisseurs of Wood’s work and the curious alike, this is a must see exhibition.
Only a few steps from the Santa Barbara Museum of Art is the Artamo Gallery, a modern progressive contemporary gallery showcasing dynamic and thought provoking works by national and international artists. This happening gallery also publishes local poetry through its press, which is available for sale at the gallery.
Finally, for a truly local art experience check out Gallery 113, which exhibits the works of the 500 member Santa Barbara Art Association. Here you’ll get a glimpse of the vibrant local arts scene by taking in paintings, drawings, collages, etchings, sculptures, ceramics and jewelry. Gallery 113 is open seven days a week, excluding major holidays.
The Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara is Santa Barbara’s number one destination for art lovers. We are located one mile from the SBMA and the Artamo, two of the city’s most important galleries. Far from just observing all the excitement, we actively participate in the city’s art scene by hosting an MCASB Satellite Art Space in our hotel! Art lovers, book your room with us today.
Each Spring, the Santa Barbara artist community gathers together to bring vibrant chalk drawings to the Old Mission Santa Barbara grounds for the i Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival.
This year, we were proud to sponsor a square in which to create chalk magic for local contemporary artist Christopher Ulivo. Ulivo drew thoroughout the festival weekend to create an amusing piece showing an interior of a famous monster's house. In the drawing, the Wolfman creeps towards the telescore he helped his father install at the family estate, while meteors streak across the sky. Meanwhile, his father, an aristocrat, absconds with a Ming vase out the window, leaving the house in disarray and to the whims of his troubled son.
Christopher Ulivo is known for his egg tempera paintings and has shown in numerous exhibitions both locally and internationally, including at the MCASB; he currently teaches painting ab SBCC and takes part in an amateur enthusiasts telescope club. To see more of his often humorous and provocative work, visit christopherulivo.com/
The i Madonnari chalk drawings will remain indefinitely in front of Mission Santa Barbara, weather permitting. Stop by and take a look! While you are there, tour the grounds, museum and rose gardens.
The romantic i Madonnari festival stems from a sister festival in Grazie de Curtatone, Italy and is the first of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. This family-friendly even benefits the nonprofit arts education program, Children's Creative Project.
The word “festival” comes from the Latin word for “feast”. And while not every festival centers around the consumption of food, they are indeed feasts: feasts for the eyes, feasts for the ears, feasts for the senses.
Typical of any costal Californian city, summer in Santa Barbara is filled with the sights and sounds of celebration. But more than most, Santa Barbara is host to a diverse and exciting variety of large-scale festivals every summer. Here’s a list of some of the annual events happening in Santa Barbara over the next few months:
Italian Street Painting Festival | May 24 – 26
Watch as the pavement of Santa Barbara streets is transformed into pastel masterpieces by Madonnari, or “street painters”. More than 150 large scale works will be created over the course of the weekend, with the goal of benefitting the Children’s Creative Project in support of performing arts education at local schools.
Paddleboard Race & Ocean Festival | June 7
Presented by Tommy Bahama, this sun-soaked event attracts thousands of spectators to the Santa Monica Pier for a high-speed paddleboard race, live entertainment, beer gardens, fun activities and much more.
French Festival | July 12 – 13
Celebrate Bastille Day by immersing yourself in French culture at this vibrant festival featuring food & wine, live music, dancing, arts & crafts, and even a poodle parade! Admission is free (the crepes and escargot are not).
Old Spanish Days | July 30 – August 3
Now in its 90th year, the Old Spanish Days Fiesta is a beloved local tradition commemorating Santa Barbara’s rich Spanish heritage. Immerse yourself in authentic food, music, art and dance at parades, marketplaces, concerts and much more.
If you’re planning to visit Santa Barbara for these or other festivals this summer, stay on historic State Street at the Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara, just steps from the beach, the pier and best of Santa Barbara.
Do you dig car free travel? Our hotel is located steps from stunning beaches, historic Stearns Wharf, the trendy funk zone, and bustling downtown shopping district making it a perfect car free get-away. A eco-friendly vacation begins when you travel via Amtrak California and stay at our green hotel, which is conveniently located right next to the Amtrak Train Station.
Now going green to Santa Barbara is a little greener and even more affordable! Thru May 17, Amtrak California is offering 30% off fares* and we offer a complimentary cocktail at Blue Tavern! Book direct through Amtrak onlinewww.AmtrakCalifornia.com/VIP30/ and to receive your car free stay discount with the hotel mention you traveled car free at the front desk when checking in or when calling to book your room.
Santa Barbara is a great place to explore on foot and is bike friendly as well! We offer two complimentary bikes that are available on a first come basis for those looking to explore the city at a faster pace. Nearby bike paths along the bird refuge, beachfront, and up State Street begin right outside our door.
Before heading out on a long walk or bike ride, take advantage of our self-serve water bottle refilling station, which provides complimentary filtered water.
Did you know that Santa Barbara is the birthplace of Earth Day? In honor of the city’s legacy and commitment to the environment, Santa Barbara features one of the largest Earth Day celebrations. These festivities are a great place to boost your knowledge about ecology and sustainability. Book Saturday, April 26 (11am-7pm) - Sunday, April 27 (11am-6pm) to catch Earth Day this year. A stroll up State Street to gorgeous Alameda Park is all you need to find yourself at the informative and fun Earth Day Festival. http://sbearthday.org/get-to-earth-day
Fill your next stay in Santa Barbara with positive and intimate experiences when you explore our lush and beautiful landscape car free. We hope you’ll join us soon!
*This offer is valid until May 17, three-day advance reservations required, and some blackout dates. Offer good Monday thru Thursday and Saturday. For complete terms visit www.AmtrakCalifornia.com/VIP30/.