Santa Barbara in July: Best Things to Do

Ali Sullivan
ITH Photos (66)

Discover the top things to do in Santa Barbara this July! From sunny beach days to exciting festivals, explore the best activities for a memorable summer getaway!


Looking for the best things to do in Santa Barbara in July? This coastal city is full of summer activities that everyone can enjoy. From beautiful beaches to exciting festivals, Santa Barbara has it all. 

santa barbara in july

Things to do in Santa Barbara in July 

July is a great time to explore the outdoors in Santa Barbara. Enjoy the sunny weather at the beach, go hiking in scenic parks, or have a picnic with a view. Santa Barbara also hosts a variety of events in July. From the California Wine Festival to free outdoor movies, there’s always something fun to do. This guide will help you find the best activities to enjoy during your summer visit to Santa Barbara. Get ready for an unforgettable July with ITH Santa Barbara! 


Urban Wine Trail 

The renowned Urban Wine Trail spans two distinctive downtown neighborhoods, each offering unique wines and dining experiences. Kick back, put on some comfortable shoes, and let your taste buds guide you through several days of delightful wine adventures. After all, you’re on vacation in Santa Barbara in July! 


Santa Barbara National Horse Show 

The Santa Barbara National Horse Show is a major tradition in the city. The event is divided into two main segments: the Multi-Breed Show from July 3 to 7 and the Hunters & Jumpers from July 10 to 14.


With over 150 competitors participating, these competitions promise thrilling equestrian displays. In addition to the shows, you can enjoy a range of activities such as the Picture Perfect Pony Photo Opps, guided tours of the facility, diverse food vendors, and more.


Fireworks for the 4th of July 

For a fantastic Independence Day celebration, Santa Barbara’s waterfront is the place to be. The day will be packed with festive, fun, and family-friendly activities featuring free live music and dance performances on the beach.


The highlight of the evening will be a 20-minute fireworks display presented by Garden State Fireworks and sponsored by the City’s Waterfront Department. The fireworks will light up the sky from West Beach around 9 p.m.


Spend a Day at the Beach 

Hitting the beach in Santa Barbara is one of the best things to do in July. With warm, sunny weather, the beaches are perfect for relaxation and fun. You can lounge on the sand, swim in the ocean, or enjoy water activities like paddleboarding and kayaking. The beach atmosphere is great for families, couples, and solo travelers, making it an ideal way to experience the beauty of Santa Barbara in the summer.


California Wine Festival 

Be sure to attend the 20th Annual California Wine Festival (CWF) in Santa Barbara in July, one of California’s largest outdoor wine festivals! The city hosts a fantastic celebration of wine, food, music, and fun right by the beach. As a renowned resort destination, thousands of wine enthusiasts gather for this two-day event, making it one of the most sought-after consumer wine festivals of the year!


Free Summer Cinema 

The Free Summer Cinema is back and better than ever! On Friday evenings in July and August, join the UCSB Arts & Lectures department—and nearly every local in town—for films the whole family will enjoy. One of Santa Barbara’s favorite traditions, this series of free events takes place under the star-studded skies at the tropical sunken garden surrounding the illustrious, historic Santa Barbara County Courthouse.


This year’s film series, themed “Sun, Surf, and Cinema,” will showcase feel-good, beach-inspired movies from various decades and genres. All movies start at 8:30 p.m., right after sunset.


Go Parasailing 

If you are visiting Santa Barbar in July, why not try parasailing? It’s the ideal way to cool off from the summer heat and see the city from a new and higher perspective. 


Check out this article to learn more about Paragliding Santa Barbara! 


Day Trip to the Channel Islands 

Channel Islands National Park, located 22 miles off the coast of Santa Barbara, is a must-visit in July. Known as the “Galapagos of North America,” this chain of five islands boasts over 2,000 unique plants and animals, many of which are exclusive to the islands. The park offers a variety of activities, including wildlife watching, kayaking, SCUBA diving, camping, and island-hopping by boat. 

Be sure to book your stay at ITH Santa Barbara Beach Hostel during your trip to Santa Barbara this July. It will give you the perfect home base for relaxing, exploring, and making new lifelong friends! 








santa barbara in july

Leave a comment