Best of Santa Barbara® 2021 Out and About
Dance club â¢ University evening
Wild cats show
The Wildcat Lounge team has experienced a vibrant resurgence in nightlife since it reopened. They write that their favorite thing about being the best dance club and having the best college party is “just to see people laugh and socialize together and DANCE!” They add that “we have all been through so much. Many of our clients have multiple jobs. When they don’t need to get up at 7am the next morning for work or school, they need a night to relax and have fun. We all do! “
Finalist (dance club): restaurant and music club SOhO
Finalist (College Night): Zodo’s Bowling & Beyond
Place to listen to live music
Santa Barbara bowl
Eric Shiflett of the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation writes that “we are touched and in awe of the heartfelt support that all of Santa Barbara County has shown as we were grim and inoperative.” With massive upgrades to facilities and an incredible array of shows, the Bowl has come back stronger than ever as the best place to listen to live music, not only in Santa Barbara, but quite possibly anywhere.
Finalist: SOhO Restaurant & Music Club
Sullivan Goss, an American gallery
Owner and curator Nathan Vonk says Santa Barbara is a great place to run an art gallery because it’s “a community of art lovers, who are curious, genuine and engaged.” He thinks the best part of what he does is “connect with people for the love of art”, and that even includes the out-of-town client who was so busy he took the plane to Santa Barbara airport, said staff at Sullivan Goss. meets him there with a painting that interests him, decides he doesn’t want it and resumes a flight less than an hour later without leaving the airport.
Finalist: Santa Barbara Gallery of Fine Arts
Santa Barbara Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum âseeks to connect people to nature for the betterment of both,â and it does so not only by welcoming visitors of all ages to the museum and the Sea Center, but also by providing a platform. -form for scientific research. Santa Barbara is a wonder of biodiversity and, therefore, the Natural History Museum “is dedicated to the study and education of the unique ecosystems of the Santa Barbara region”. This means that just as nature never stops, the museum is also moving forward with new programs and approaches, recognizing that ‘the needs of the community will also change as the environment around us changes. “. An important aspect of this effort is to âwork with other museums to do more climate change education in the communityâ.
Finalist: MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation
[See Sporting Life: Dance Studio]
Ensemble Theater Company
Thanks to actor John Tufts and a Greek writer named Homer, the artistic director of the Ensemble Theater Company, Jonathan Fox, recorded one of the biggest digital-only theater drought hits of the pandemic with An Iliad. Even better news arrived this fall, when post-vaccine COVID case levels in Santa Barbara plummeted to the point that it was possible to return to the live theater. An exciting live performance lineup awaits you at The New Vic, where Santa Barbara’s only Equity Theater continues to provide high-quality productions of great plays.
Santa Barbara Symphony
After putting on a stellar digital season showcasing some of the best, most thoughtful and engaging content from any classical ensemble in the country, the Santa Barbara Symphony is delighted to be back in Granada. In response to the question “what does being the best mean to you?” The Symphony provided us with one of the best answers: “Better” means that the community of Santa Barbara recognizes our impact, that our leadership and our community collaborations are valued and that we are an indispensable part of the fabric of Santa Barbara. Don’t miss their spectacular season opening collaboration with State Street Ballet on Kismet, coming October 23-24.
Finalist: Ensemble UCSB Middle East
[See Drinking: Beer Selection on Tap]
Restaurant / Bar to watch sports
Finney Craft House
Finney’s Crafthouse provides the perfect environment for watching sports. Multiple flat screens suitable for all big games, plenty of comfortable seating with great sight lines, great food, and a menu big enough to satisfy everyone. And did we mention the “craft beer spoken here” policy? Well, it is in full effect. Owner Greg Finefrock wants everyone to know that Finney’s intends to continue winning this category, saying, âWe are thrilled to be recognized as a destination location for attending sporting events. Did I hear someone say âWorld Seriesâ?
Finalist: Press room
Whale watching excursion
The Santa Barbara Canal is one of the few places in the world where whale watching is in season all year round. Thanks to the extraordinarily dynamic refueling area, the passengers of the Condor Express can expect to see dozens of whales virtually any time of the year, including summer and winter. Condor Express Captain Dave Beezer enjoys his job, citing the great enthusiasm of the people who come to whale watching with him. In particular, he would like to thank all those who voted for the Condor Express in that category, and âthe regulars,â those who, like Dave, have come to know cetacean celebrities as likable as Scarlet over the years.
Finalist: The Double Dolphin, Santa Barbara Sailing Center
SB Tour Company
Land and sea routes: Land shark
Land & Sea Tours office manager Dany Levine writes that after the long and tense quarantine period, it was great to hear the phone ring again and answer calls from the “many familiar voices” seeking to reserve the Land shark, adding that what was “best of all” was “to be included again in the many weddings, birthdays, reunions and team building events that had been postponed during the long shutdown.” If your only experience of the Land shark hear it before you see it, the time has come to get on board. Pirate costumes are encouraged.
Finalist: Santa Barbara Adventure Company
Hendry Beach (Arroyo Burro Beach)
With so many stunning beaches to choose from, our readers chose Hendry’s Beach for its unparalleled scenic beauty, dog-friendlyness, and overall vibe of carefree Californian bliss. Rarely referred to by its proper name, Arroyo Burro Beach Park, Hendry’s is owned and operated by Santa Barbara County, which keeps it in pristine condition. Locals who go back quite far may call it ‘the pit’, but whatever name you give it make sure you like it – there aren’t many beaches that are this beautiful. If you’re tired of not being able to park, consider this funny anecdote: the MTD Mesa / La Cumbre # 5 bus stops there more than a dozen times a day.
Finalist: Butterfly Beach
Place to watch the sunset
Thanks to the unusual transverse orientation of the California coast here in Santa Barbara, Butterfly Beach can claim to be a good place to watch the sunrise or sunset. In addition, Malibu or La Jolla! Add to the magnificent view a charming promenade that leads from the Coral Casino to the spectacular Bluff cycle path, and âscenicâ doesn’t begin to describe it. Whether you arrive early or stay late, Butterfly will cheer you up.
Finalist: Hendry’s Beach (Arroyo Burro Beach)
Family fun place
Santa Barbara Zoo
The Santa Barbara Zoo does its best to provide its guests with everything they need, including internet access. This is the only way to explain the fact that the response I received to the news that they had won the Family Fun Spot category came from Pauline, an 11 month old African lion cub. Pauline says the best part of her job is âSleeping. And leaping. And play with my dad! Pauline goes on to thank everyone who voted for the zoo, adding that in her words, “I’m not a ‘lion’ when I say all my animal friends and I appreciate you!”
Finalist: MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation
Arlington General Manager Karen Killingsworth said that, as after the long stop, this award âreassures us that our visitors have been positively impacted by their experience at Arlington. This is the best we can hope for, and of course they will want to come back for another visit. Our doors are always open to them! Looking ahead, she cites the renovation of the Arlington courtyard as part of a long-term strategy designed to offer more ways to enjoy this historic location in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara.
Finalist: SBIFF Riviera Theater
Fiesta of the old Spanish days
Closing a century of celebrations, Old Spanish Days shows no sign of giving way to our city’s many great annual events. For five days in August, Santa Barbara is transformed into a dream of New Spain, a dream reflected in the eyes and the appetite of Fiestas, young and old. From the steps of the mission to the sunken gardens of the courthouse, the sounds of rejoicing rise to proclaim the completion of another year. Whether you can’t wait to witness the equestrian parade again or just want to score a churro and relax, Fiesta is a time when we can all slow down and enjoy the special place we call home.
Finalist: Summer Solstice Parade