Summertime in Santa Barbara is magic.
Say what you will about how crowded our little city gets or how the lack of parking is just the worst; summer in this city is the best, and the number of events that one could attend here are easily unmatched by other cities of a similar size.
Try as I might, it’s nearly impossible to hit up every cool, hip event that happens during the summer months, and every year I say, “I’ll do that next year for sure!”
This year I actually intend to stay true to my word and am sharing my summer plans that are on and off the beaten path.
Swirl & Sip
Why wine taste indoors when you can wine taste on the rooftop terrace of the Canary Hotel, 31 W. Carrillo St., while the sun sets?
Sip and savor from five rotating Santa Barbara County winemakers every third Wednesday of the month, June through September, 5:30-7:30 p.m., while you nosh on small bites from C’est Cheese and enjoy live music by Catalina Esteves.
Cost: $35 per person. Tickets can be purchased at Finch & Fork the night of the event.
Summer Nights on the Roof
While you take in the view and tap your toes to the beat, sip on Finch & Fork’s signature craft cocktails like the smoky and savory Habla Nada or fruity and sweet Pine Royal.
Cost: $20 per person. Click here to purchase tickets online.
Summer Movie Nights
Pack a picnic and spread your blanket out under the stars with a glass of wine at Kalyra Winery’s Santa Ynez estate tasting room, 343 N. Refugio Road, then sit back and enjoy the show.
Every second Saturday from June to October you can enjoy a free family-friendly movie after watching the sunset behind the vineyards.
Yoga in the Vineyard
The good vibes start at the lazy hour of 11 a.m., though you should show up early to set up your mat and chat about the winery’s exquisite vino.
Afterward, practice a new mantra of “Namaste stay right here” and complete your time in the vineyard with a refreshing tasting flight.
Cost: $25. Tickets can be purchased online at yoga instructor Cori Lassahn’s website.
Hip Sips Sunday Concert Series
Sip and sway to the music at Solvang’s Lincourt Vineyards, 1711 Alamo Pintado Road, every Sunday afternoon through Oct. 30, from noon-3 p.m., to the styled tunes of local and far away.
The afternoon wouldn’t be complete without enjoying a glass of their seasonal summer sangria or traditional still wines.
Let the rhythm and frosty brews at M.Special Brewing Company lull you into a totally relaxed state before heading back into the workweek, mon.
Every Sunday until Sept. 4 you can enjoy your slice of paradise in the sunshine with a tasty beer in hand.
My top recommendation? Check out the American Brown Ale that boasts perfectly toasty notes.
M.Special is located at 6860 Cortona Drive, Building C, in Goleta.
Summer Movie Nights
If you haven’t heard, Los Alamos is quickly becoming as cool as the other side of the pillow with tasty, locally sourced eats and hip wine tasting rooms like Municipal Winemakers’ second tasting room, at 425 Bell St., and whisper of a place in front of The Alamo Motel.
Head way off the beaten path and stay up late with every other Saturday night to watch a classic 1980s film.
Screenings will start at 8 p.m. every other Saturday until Labor Day.
Summer Concert Series
Santa Maria may be way off the main road for this city mouse, but it has definitely been worth the trek to Presqu’ile Winery, 5391 Presquile Drive, to enjoy a monthly concert experience in the pristine amphitheater while sipping well-balanced wines, noshing local food truck eats and moving to the music.
Concerts are held May-September. Doors open at 5 p.m.
Cost: $15 per person for admission, $10 for wine club members.
Summer Shrub Flight
Wine is fine, but “shrubmosas” (mimosas made with shrubs) are better. Not sure what the hype’s all about? Head over to Wandering Dog Wine Bar, at 1539-C Mission Drive in Solvang, to find out.
Sample a three-flavor summer shrub flight of peach basil, raspberry mint and strawberry ginger from Broken Clock Vinegar Works any day of the week between June 21 and Sept. 21.
Cost: $10 per flight or $5 with the purchase of a bottle of shrub to go.
— Tara Jones leads Eat This, Shoot That! and welcomes reader tips and ideas for future columns. She can be reached at [email protected]. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.