Visit Santa Barbara Presents What’s New in Spring 2014

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There’s always something new in Santa Barbara – check out our list of top 15 new happenings this spring.

Amgen Tour of CA in Santa Barbara, photo by Doug Pensinger, Getty Images

Spring is in the air in Santa Barbara. The highly anticipated opening of the Public Market is just around the corner, the Amgen Tour of California once again races through our beloved city, and May celebrates all thing flowers with National Public Garden’s Month. Read on for more exciting Santa Barbara news.

1) Offering handcrafted, regionally sourced and sustainably made food and wine—the Public Market is part of the Alma del Pueblo mixed-use development in the heart of Santa Barbara. Focusing on local farms and artisanal ingredients, the Market will offer a commissary kitchen that features programs such as cooking classes and winemaker dinners. Opening this spring.

2) Considered America’s largest and most prestigious cycling event, the ninth edition of The Amgen Tour of California returns to Santa Barbara on May 15 for the Stage 5 finish. Sixteen of the world’s top professional cycling teams will compete in a challenging course that includes nearly 700 miles of California highways, roadways, and scenic routes.

3) Hotel Santa Barbara’s all new guest rooms feature classic custom furnishings and contemporary amenities with design details that pay homage to this historic boutique hotel’s rich history. The renovation creates stylish urban retreats within a bustling downtown. Enjoy delicious breakfast in our Mediterranean lobby and free Wi-Fi throughout, and walk to shopping, restaurants and beaches.

4) The Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Carpinteria is getting a makeover! The hotel began a full renovation on the heels of the California Avocado Festival this past October. The "Business Casual" design is in keeping with Carpinteria's small town beach vibe. New rooms are renting now with an expected completion date of April 2014.

5) Chef Ricardo Zarate of Chef Zarate Restaurant Group opened Blue Tavern on State Street in November of 2013. The group’s fourth restaurant, it showcases a natural progression of Zarate’s proficiency for blending cultures. Blue Tavern features quintessential Californian fare, such as pizza, pasta, and grilled meats, envisioned through the culinary lens of a native Peruvian.

6) The Pullman Room at The Lark sets the stage for an evening of memorable dining in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone. The Pullman Room accommodates up to 60 people for a seated dinner or up to 70 people for a stand up reception with custom menu and wine/beverage pairings. AV is available at no extra fee.

7) Nanco Helicopters offers customers an unforgettable experience of a lifetime while keeping safety a top priority. Whether you’re training to become a helicopter pilot or getting an aerial tour of beautiful Santa Barbara, expect the highest level of professionalism and reliability. Soar over Santa Barbara and soak in the unmatched scenery from a new perspective.

8) Cloud 10 Jump Club is Santa Barbara’s Premiere trampoline park for all ages. Come bounce on connected trampolines that go up the walls! Activities include: dodgeball, basketball, jump courts and a trampoline “half-pipe” with a gigantic air bag for soft landings. “Cloud Kid” has a huge 3-story play structure with kid trampolines. Great for parties!

9) The Santa Barbara Clock Tower is home to a 1929 Seth Thomas Tower Clock and the Bisno Schall Clock Gallery. This exceptional gallery is in one of the most magnificent public buildings in the United States—the Santa Barbara Courthouse. Visitors can stand inside a mechanical tower clock, a unique experience and must see attraction.

10) This European-inspired eatery in the heart of State Street offers a slew of specialties that have Santa Barbara buzzing. In just a few short weeks, Apéro has charmed locals, reviewers, and foodies alike. Creative cocktails matched with a simple yet savory shared plates menu set the scene for a great night out on the town.

11) Jansen Photo Expeditions offers unique photography workshops in the Santa Barbara area while teaching guests how to create stunning images with their digital camera or iPhone. Join us for one of our regularly scheduled events in Santa Barbara or the Santa Ynez Wine Country. Private workshops and team building events are also available.

12) A Santa Barbara-based company, Pacific Pickle Works specializes in making the finest quality of pickled vegetable products. All products are hand-packed and feature California-grown produce such as cucumbers, green beans, asparagus, beets, and carrots. Perfect for a tasty appetizer, fun drink garnish, or eating straight from the jar. Sold by local grocers and restaurants.

13) Brothers Restaurant at the Red Barn is an American restaurant inspired by the history of Santa Barbara County Wine Country. Preparing favorite dishes influenced by the Iowan family gardens of their youth, Matt and Jeff Nichols have been serving locals and visitors to the Valley since the opening of the first Brothers Restaurant in 1996.

14) The father and son team of AC4 Fitness has expanded its award-winning health club concept to a second location in Santa Barbara. Recognized by SHAPE Magazine as America’s Eco-Friendliest Health Club, AC4 Fitness is unique in that the kinetic energy created by people using the cardio equipment is converted into electricity that powers the building.

15) As part of National Public Gardens Day on May 10, Santa Barbara is taking the celebration a step further with Santa Barbara Garden Appreciation Month, held throughout May. It will utilize venues including stunning gardens, elegant hotel landscapes, and manicured grounds to explore the area’s wealth and diversity of gardens through special events and activities.

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, 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

Jaime Shaw
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