Santa Barbara-Summer Solstice

Also known to many as the hippie parade. I don’t care. It’s cool. I love a parade in general as y’all may have figured out by now but I especially love the Summer Solstice parade in Santa Barbara because their floats are always so beautiful and colorful. The parade itself is a relatively young tradition, maybe only 15 years old or so, but it has grown to be a great tradition in charming Santa Barbara. You can’t ask for a more beautiful location which is right in downtown SB on State Street, followed by a great festival in the park after the parade is over. Every time I have gone it has turned out to be a beautiful day to welcome in the summer season.          

While in Santa Barbara, there are some Bed and Breakfasts worth checking out that I have recommended to people for quite some time. One in particular is The Cheshire Cat, located in a residential area one block off of State Street. It is small and charming with a quiet, neighborhood feel to it. As expected, it has references to the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland but it’s subtle and not overdone in a theme park kind of way. Just simple, elegant, quiet, and lovely the way a B & B should be.       





The other property I have always found to be a little bigger than the Cheshire Cat but also very charming is the Upham Hotel.  Also located just off of State Street, it’s in a residential area offering plush bed and breakfast accommodations. This is a hotel but does not have a big hotel feel to it. It’s still very quiet and does not lack in charm at all.         


If  you’re into good BBQ, one of my favorite stops is the Santa Barbara Chicken Ranch. I know, it sounds like something you might find in the Nevada desert somewhere but they serve up some really great BBQ. Check it out if in the area.          

There is so much in Santa Barbara and the Santa Ynez mountains. This is a really special area that I visit yearly and there will be many more posts because there is so much to do. In the meantime, you can check out more photos from the beautiful Summer Solstice Parade.          

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10 thoughts on “Santa Barbara-Summer Solstice

  1. Oh I love the Summer Solstice parade. Each year they do a fabulous job of creating the most creative floats and putting on a great festival afterwards at the park. It’s usually an incredibly busy time for hotels in SB around this time (early summer) because everyone is getting out of school and enjoying this great weather and traveling, etc. From experience I have always enjoyed staying at the Sandman Inn ( At a great price, I was able to enjoy Santa Barbara at its full potential w/o having to worry about how much I’m paying for my room!

  2. Thanks for the tips! I agree with the post above mine, The Sandman is a great property, but I’m always looking for new places to stay so I will definitely consider checking out one of these bed and breakfasts next time I’m in town! Also, if you like BBQ, Woody’s on Hollister is unbeatable! MMMM…so good.

  3. I love Summer Solstice in Santa Barbara! So colorful and there is so much to do. The parade is absolutely gorgeous and the live entertainment and food later is so great. I always get the henna they have available too! I try and make it out each and every year and you really got some good pictures of it too! Great memories. Whenever I am in Santa Barbara I try and stay at the Sandman Inn ( So affordable and the location is the absolute best!

  4. Such a colorful event and each year they out do themselves from the years prior. The creativity and the time placed into the floats and the even in general is just outstanding and it is an event worth talking about and visiting each year. I’ve sadly only seen the parade once but it was a great experience and my kids really loved it as well! We got out faces painted and enjoyed all the live music. Hopefully we can make it out this year. I’ll be staying at the South Coast Inn ( Right outside of town saving me a bundle!

    • Thanks so much for taking the time to read! I agree, it’s a fantastic event to go to for the entire family. I really enjoy supporting the event because the local schools and businesses get involved and it feels like a community effort. I hope you and your family get to enjoy it next year! 🙂

  5. SUmmer Solstice is right around the corner and there is no better place to spend it than Santa Barbara. Best weather around and the parade and party after are worth a weekend of laughs and fun! My family loves going there whenever we can, all the vibrant costumes and colors are so much fun to photograph and look over later. The South Coast Inn ( is ideal to stay at while solstice is going on. Great pools, nice rooms and an excellently priced.

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