If you are considering a visit to Santa Barbara, take a look at the following url:
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This site contains many recent photos of Santa Barbara beaches, the downtown area and special events. This is the fastest way you can be sold on a visit to Santa Barbara, California. This small city has a great deal of charm and character and in no way resembles any other city in Southern California.
Because Santa Barbara attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists all year around, there are more special events, museums, art galleries and theaters than you might expect from a small city with an area population of 200,000. Some of these events are quite unique and distinguished.
Visitors travel from all over California to attend the unique Summer Solstice parade down State Street. The rules of the parade prohibit the participants from using words or commercial items on their floats and costumes and all of the floats must be human powered. The result is a wonderfully creative parade of highly colorful costumes and floats that border on “wild and bizarre”.
Festivals are held throughout the summer celebrating different cultures such as The Irish Festival, French Festival, Festa Italiana and Viva la Fiesta. Each festival features the food, music and culture of the country it honors.
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival features premieres and screenings of independent U.S. and international films. This weeklong film festival is quickly becoming renowned internationally. Santa Barbara has an unbelievable number of movie theaters per capita; there are 14 in the downtown area alone and another 4 within a 15-minute drive.
I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival. During the week leading up to Memorial Day, local artists draw gorgeous chalk paintings on the courtyard in front of the Santa Barbara Mission. During Memorial Day weekend visitors and locals walk among the paintings some of which are spectacular! A local business or organization sponsors each painting and proceeds go to charity.
Top jazz musicians gather right on the beach each year for Santa Barbara International Jazz Festival & World Music Beach.
The Santa Barbara Art Museum is one of the nation's outstanding regional museums featuring artists such as O'Keeffe, Monet, Matisse, and Degas.
The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History is tucked away in a semi rural area. The museum features a planetarium and numerous artifacts from the region’s Chumash Indian history. The museum’s setting is its most interesting feature. Make certain you explore the grounds outside thoroughly where you will find meandering paths through lush natural gardens.
Many other events and attractions can be found at:
If you are on a tight budget, you might consider staying at the Motel 6 located only a block from the beach.