Southern California has a particular charm that’s comprised of ocean breezes, coastal mountains, and picturesque towns. That’s one of the reasons Santa Barbara has attracted a vibrant local arts scene. The creatives in Santa Barbara represent the unpretentious, independent, free-thinking painters, sculptors, and artisans who make our city unique. How do you access this influential local scene? The best place to start is at Santa Barbara Art Walk. Here’s all about the favorite city tradition.

What’s What

The Santa Barbara Art Walk is one of the easiest and most enjoyable local happenings for Santa Barbara travelers to enjoy. Every Sunday, and on some Saturdays, about a half-mile of artists set up booths and displays on Cabrillo Boulevard, a beachfront street that runs past the iconic Stearns Wharf, and our own Hotel Milo.

Santa Barbara Art Walk History

Since 1966, this city-run event has brought local artists to the shore to share their work, talk with aspiring artists and admirers, and give guests a selection of creations to consider taking home with them. The original inspiration of the walk—which is also known as The Santa Barbara Arts and Crafts Show—was Jardin del Arte, a historic sidewalk show in Mexico City. With all of the charm of any weekend market, this tradition has offered a nice place for people to walk around, as well as interact with locals, for decades.

The Art

Around 200 Santa Barbara County residents display and sell artwork at the weekly market. Keeping the artists local makes the walk a unique opportunity to get a substantial familiarity with the local culture and scene. Among all of the work, you’ll find things like fine art paintings, large-scale photography, handcrafted jewelry, independently-produced clothes, metal yard sculptures, and much more.

The Neighborhood

Located right down the road from Hotel Milo Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Art Walk on Sundays takes place in one of the best parts of town. From there, you can easily take a stroll down to the end of Stearns Wharf for a look at the water, and some fresh, local seafood. There are also a number of acclaimed restaurants and bars along Cabrillo, and over at the marina. All this considered, starting a Sunday out at the Santa Barbara Arts & Crafts Show leaves you with plenty of options for a delightful weekend afternoon.

For more activities in Santa Barbara, head to our Neighborhood Guide and blog, which we update regularly with the latest from Santa Barbara.