Visit Santa Barbara Presents What's New in Winter 2013

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Mosey on over to Santa Barbara for festivities and new experiences that are sure to spice up the winter season.

Visit Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Santa Barbara International Film Festival

The impending winter months don’t mean hibernation is necessary in Santa Barbara— if anything, they mean getting out of the house to experience all of the new and exciting events and activities that are being offered. Catch an Uber ride to a show in the newly renovated New Vic or Lobero Theatre or a flick during the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. The choice is yours, but don’t miss the top 15 Santa Barbara happenings this winter, listed below.

1) Coinciding with the Film Festival each year (January 30 – February 9), Film Feast ensures there will be plenty of award-winning cuisine for all in between film festival happenings. Local restaurants offer prix fixe menus that are guaranteed to please an array of palates over eleven days of festival fun, while hotels provide lodging offers.

2)    With newly renovated rooms, The Fess Parker – A Doubletree by Hilton Resort invites you to enjoy Santa Barbara’s most perfect beachfront location. Light and airy ocean hues decorate the new rooms and corridors, with crisp white drapes to catch the sea breezes from your balcony or patio. Don’t forget the delicious chocolate chip cookies.

3)    Film fanatics will flock downtown this year from January 30th through February 9th for the annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF). The pass-based festival will draw celebrities, fans, and industry professionals alike to utilize all Santa Barbara cinema has to offer with events and film screenings held in the historic theaters lining State Street.

4)    Since the lights went down in June, we’ve been working hard preserving and enhancing the historic Lobero Theatre, California’s oldest continuously operating theatre, for its own encore performance. New seats offer more legroom and better sightlines than ever before, and improved airflow and enlarged restrooms guarantee this will be the most comfortable season yet.

5)    Ensemble Theatre Company (ETC) will debut its 2013-2014 season starting December 5th in the recently renovated “New Vic” located at 33 West Victoria Street. This intimate, contemporary, 300-seat theater will not only serve as the permanent home for Santa Barbara's professional theater company, but will also serve a rich variety of performing arts organizations.

6)    Grassini Family Vineyards is the only tasting room in Santa Barbara utilizing the cutting-edge Coravin technology to provide an enhanced tasting experience, pulling wine from the bottle without actually opening it. This means that for $30, guests are able to taste selections of library and reserve wines which are not normally available to taste.

7)    Uber, the technology platform that connects riders to safe and convenient transportation with the tap of an app has formally launched in Santa Barbara, its first ever non-metropolitan US city. Currently available in 20 countries, Uber continues to expand globally and locally, providing a fast, cashless, and easy alternative to taxi and bus transportation.

8)    C’est Cheese Part Deux, opening early 2014, will be a side-by-side café and marketplace. The two work synergistically and “feed” each other, with the café using cheeses and cured meats from the marketplace—and the marketplace selling delicious items made from scratch in the café kitchen. Cheese tastings and cooking classes will begin as well.

9)    The annual Parade of Lights celebrates the holiday season with a lighted boat parade off the coastline of Santa Barbara. This year’s parade is Sunday, December 8th and the boats will be decorated to the theme “Rock’n Roll’n Holiday.” Festivities begin on Stearns Wharf and end with a fireworks show following the boat parade.

10)    Whole Foods Market, Santa Barbara recently opened The Buzz Hive, an intimate beer and wine eatery serving Tri-County beers on tap and local wines by the glass. Customers can dine on fresh-made local dishes and a portion of proceeds will go to the Santa Barbara Beekeepers Association (SBBA) and its Sweet Start beekeeping internship program.

11)    Telegraph Brewing Company has opened their new tasting room housed in a renovated World War II-era Quonset hut in Santa Barbara’s industrial zone east of downtown. Featuring an eye-catching translucent façade, the tasting room showcases Telegraph’s unique take on craft beers that reflect the spirit of the American Riviera and California’s early brewing pioneers.

12)    Head over to La Cumbre Plaza on December 4th from 5 to 7 pm for Santa Paws. Don’t miss the chance to get the whole family in on the fun and dress up the pets to pose with Santa for pet photo night! Santa will set up his Winter Wonderland near Macy’s and Pottery Barn.

13)    Recently opened, Crazy Good Bread Company in Carpinteria is bringing exotic and delicious bread to the Central Coast and beyond. Fun combinations like Lavender Walnut, Lemon Country loaf, and Orange Chocolate spice up the classic bread menu. Every loaf is made fresh with quality ingredients and can be shipped anywhere in the United States.

14)    John Divola: As Far As I Could Get is a project led by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art (SBMA) through January 12 and shown simultaneously at SBMA, LACMA, and Pomona College Museum of Art. It is the first solo presentation of John Divola’s work, a photographer who enjoys merging photography, painting, and conceptual art.

15)    The newly opened Santa Barbara Guitar Bar is jamming to the beat of the Funk Zone. A Guitar Bar unlike any other guitar shop around, a gallery-like display of guitars on the walls and bar and lounge set up makes guitar-buying as comfortable as it gets. Demo rooms and lesson spaces are also available.

Featured on the cover of Travel + Leisure in May 2013 and voted Best Getaway by L.A. Times Readers’ Choice Awards in 2012, Santa Barbara is located just 92 miles north of Los Angeles and 332 miles south of San Francisco, on the Pacific coastline. Visitors can arrive via scenic Highway 101, train, bus or by flying into Santa Barbara Municipal Airport or Los Angeles International Airport. For travel and accommodation information and to request a free copy of the official Santa Barbara County Visitors Magazine, contact Visit Santa Barbara at 800.676.1266, 805.966.9222, tourism(at)santabarbaraca(dot)com or Visitor information is also available at the Visitor Center, 1 Garden Street (at Cabrillo Boulevard).

Stay informed about Santa Barbara news with our Media Center, press releases and blog, Just getting to know Santa Barbara? The Media Field Guide is a great place to start. Planning a research visit? Use the Press Trip Request form to get the process started. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for daily updates, and visit our Mobile Site for on-the-go information about dining, wine, accommodations, events, attractions and more.

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Michelle Rodriguez
Visit Santa Barbara
(805) 966-9222 Ext: 112
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