For one afternoon, more than 100 Santa Barbara vintners, restaurants, and purveyors of food showcase their wares across the green expanse of Buellton's River View Park. The festival also features attractions ranging from a farmers' market and botanical garden to an art show, as well as live music on outdoor stages. A range of events, such as cooking and barrel-coopering demonstrations, add to the festivities.
Hand-thrown ceramic vases, custom-stained glass lamps, blown glass, and textiles. The Craft Festival's 200 booths boast the handcrafted bounty of artisans from seven western states. The festival, which takes place semi-annually in Reno and Las Vegas, sources strictly local work—you won't see anything imported or mass produced along its aisles. Instead, you'll find artists who are passionate about their craft, whether it's creating unique jewelry, custom painting T-shirts, or painting works of art.
Every year the Central Coast Oyster & Music Festival invites the West Coast to shuck and jive through a day of art, spirits, music, and oceanic treasures. Voted No. 4 on Fox News's list of Top 10 Oyster Festival to Celebrate National Oyster Day, this event pairs endless flavor with entertainment for mollusk lovers and first-time shuckers alike. Here are a few of the highlights:
The Food: Fresh oysters anchor eats from local eateries such as The Brat Shop, Giovanni's Fish Market, and The Pairing Knife—all pairing with a ready array of beers, cocktails, and wine.
The Art: Admire the curious structures of SpinCycle (best known for their installations at Burning Man) and eye-popping artwork from Bamboo DNA.
The Festivities: Chill out in the Aphrodisiac Lounge, see who wins the “The Big O” of Central Coast Chef Award.
The Music: Fans of The Byrds and The Beach Boys will dig the self-declared California Soul of The Mother Hips while the Vokab Kompany mixes hip-hop with EDM, the B-Side Players bring the Latin grooves, Trevor Green Band jams on didgeridoos, and Dead Feather Moon fuses rock, psychedelic blues, and alternative country.
The Central Coast Renaissance Festival turns back the calendar to 1585, when Queen Elizabeth I reigned over England, William Shakespeare was just hitting the London theater scene, and lords and ladies dallied about in their finery. You'll meet them all throughout the re-created village populated by costumed historical figures and common folk alike.
Along with stoic soldiers and members of royalty performing historical re-enactments, entertainers roam the grounds, dazzling onlookers with singing, dancing, juggling, and falconry—a skill originally popularized by the Elizabethan play series England's Got Falconers. More than 50 craftsmen offer their wares, ranging from hand-thrown pottery to swords to jewelry, helping you live like a true renaissance man or woman.
And that's just on day one. On day two of the festival, they flip the script with Be a Pirate Day. Folks will dress in their most elaborate pirate get-ups and learn to sword fight and use pirate lingo beyond "Arrrrr!" at Buccaneer Boot Camp. There's even a pirate ship, which guests of all ages are welcome to tour.
If it's thrills you're after, we got plenty! With exciting rides for all ages, Santa Barbara County Fair in Santa Maria is your best choice for a family outing.
Parking is plentiful, so guests can feel free to bring their vehicles.
Every May, the Salinas Valley Fair brings the community together to celebrate the spring, experience thrilling carnival rides, and participate in livestock competitions. Visitors get a chance to see champion cows, hogs, and goats from across the region and enjoy opportunities for wine tasting and rides on the ferris wheel.