Christmas Time in Santa Barbara – What To Do


‘Tis the season for savory wine pairings, bustling night markets, festive light tours, and of course, holiday parades filled with glee! As the winter days turn brisk and stars poke through the night sky, explore all the holiday festivities Santa Barbara has to offer, ranging from family-friendly and snow-centric fun to romantic candlelit dinners for two. Get ready to make lasting memories with loved ones this holiday season

Nightly Snowfall at Paseo Nuevo, Now – December 31, 2018
As the holiday lights twinkle and caroling songs drift through the shops, watch as the night sky fills with snow at Paseo Nuevo! Every night in the Center Court at 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., snow will fall as kids greet Santa at his workshop. Don’t be surprised if a few snow angels appear on the ground! Please note: No shows on Christmas Day, December 25.
Cost: FREE

Santa at Paseo Nuevo, Now – December 24, 2018
Starting Thanksgiving weekend, head down to Paseo Nuevo for a chance to snap a photo with Santa Claus! He’s making his list and checking it twice, and every child that attends will receive a free gift from Santa. Please note that December 2 and 9 are “Santa Cares” dates, marked especially for children with special needs and would like a little extra time with Santa.
Cost: FREE

Rockstar Trolly Lights Tour, December 6 – 30, 2018
This family-friendly 90-minute tour takes riders all around Santa Barbara through stunning holiday displays and beautifully lit neighborhoods. The trolley can get chilly so be sure to dress warmly! Pick-up is at the Santa Barbara Zoo, and check-in begins an hour prior to your scheduled ride.
Costs: Adults – $27.00, Children 2 -12 – $17.00, Children 2 and under (must sit on lap) – FREE

Una Noche de Las Posadas, December 14, 2018
Una Noche de Las Posadas is a special reenactment of Joseph and Mary’s search for shelter in Bethlehem. The historical procession starts at the Presidio Chapel and continues through De La Guerra Plaza as holiday songs are sung in Spanish. The parade concludes at Casa de la Guerra where tamales, traditional desserts, and hot chocolate are served to attendees. Bring the whole family to this time-honored event.
Cost: FREE

Holiday Lights Tour in Solvang, December 17, 2018
Tour Solvang’s most magically lit neighborhoods and fa-la-la-la in love with this Danish town’s holiday spirit. Hot chocolate and christmas music are sure to accompany the one hour and fifteen minute trolley tour, so don’t forget your carrolling skills!
Cost: $13/Person

Santa Barbara Night MarketNovember 23 – December 29, 2018
Stroll down to Paseo Nuevo Shops & Restaurants to experience Santa Barbara’s first-ever night market. With over 1 million people expected to pass through within the six weeks the market will be open, this exciting pop-up is the perfect place to begin your holiday shopping and spend time with loved ones. Visitors can expect holiday themed décor, live music, carolers, food, beverages, and all the best products the Central Coast has to offer.
Cost: Admission is Free

State Street Ballet’s The Nutcracker at The Granada, December 15-16, 2018
Opera San Luis Obispo Grand Orchestra and Gustafson Dance’s talented students team up with State Street Ballet to bring Clara and her Nutcracker Prince to life in this highly anticipated show. Fantastic musical scores, pristine choreography and gorgeous costumes are just the beginning! There will only be three coveted performances available so don’t miss out.
Cost: $24-104

Santa Barbara Sings at The Lobero, December 16, 2018
“Santa Barbara Sings! – A Free Christmas Concert” is the highlight of the winter performance season, and you have to see it to believe it! The free family-friendly concert features Navidad Nuestra, a folk drama of the Nativity, based on the rhythms and traditions of Hispanic America. The American Riviera Children’s Chorus will debut along with other performers, and the show’s finale includes an audience sing-along of Christmas carols. Warm up those vocal cords and get ready to sing your heart out!
Cost: FREE

The Blind Boys of Alabama Holiday Show at Campbell HallDecember 16, 2018
Gospel titans The Blind Boys of Alabama return to Santa Barbara for their show-stopping holiday gospel, and are joined by Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Ruthie Foster to rock the house. The powerful and uplifting holiday show will include hidden gospel gems, seasonal classics, and originals.
Cost: General Public $35 – $50, UCSB Students (Current student ID required): $15

The Christmas Revels: An Irish Celebration of Winter Solstice at The Lobero, December 22-23, 2018
The Christmas Revels: An Irish Celebration of the Winter Solstice evokes the spirit and strength of Irish Emigrants to America in the early 1900’s. The Revels Company is joined by award-winning actors, Irish dancers, vocal soloists, a brass ensemble and a string and wind quartet. The heartwarming and exciting performances showcase classic Irish holiday traditions and prove fun for all ages.
Cost: $15-$79

New Year’s Eve Pops at The Granada, December 31, 2018
Ring in the New Year with the Santa Barbara Symphony! Guest Conductor Bob Bernhardt will conduct popular hits as well as Broadway classics, and aerial performers from Troupe Vertigo make for a rousing show. Make your last show of the year the best, and get tickets before they sell out!
Cost: $39-$119

Five Reasons to Sell Your Home During the Holidays

Photo: © David Papazian – Shutterstock

Do you plan on selling your home in the last quarter of the year? If so, you may want to think about waiting until things settle down a bit. During the holiday season, your schedule will probably be full, and the last thing you need is the hassle of putting your house on the market. But hold on a minute. This could be the perfect time to sell, and here are five good reasons why:

1. Less Competition
Getting a house ready to sell is a lot of work and you probably already have enough to do. This is the main reason there are fewer properties to choose from during the holiday season, but this shortage can be good for people listing their homes. With fewer properties on the market, more home shoppers get to see your house and the odds for a sale increase considerably. A typical buyer’s market can quickly become a seller’s market around the holidays.

2. Emotional Buyers
You may get more for your home around the holidays because of the festive atmosphere. Colorful decorations and lights are everywhere you go. People greet you on the street, and you might even talk about your plans for the holidays with complete strangers. When people are caught up in the season, they are likely to spend more money, making it possible for you to get asking price if it is reasonable.

3. Fewer Browsers
No one wants to show their home to people who are just looking or browsing. Browsers love to nitpick, and they are just wasting your time. On the other hand, if a couple is home shopping during the holiday season, they are giving up valuable time they could be using elsewhere. These people are serious about buying a house and more likely to make an offer.

4. Income Taxes
Buying a home comes with several important tax benefits, and if you buy in December you get the same tax breaks you would if you bought months earlier. Real estate agents understand taxes and make sure potential buyers see the tax advantages of buying now. This can be the deciding factor in a home sale.

5. Faster Closing Times
It may take less time to buy and close on a home later in the year. Since fewer people are submitting applications, loan approval times are shorter. Mortgage companies are not as busy and can process loans quicker. Title companies also have fewer things to do later in the year. If you sell by Thanksgiving, you might even have your money before New Year’s.

Points to Ponder
If you list your property when fewer homes are on the market, you are likely to encounter more serious buyers. Most holiday home shoppers are not there to look. They want to buy now. Many couples are looking for a home to raise kids in and do not want to wait long to close on the sale. The holiday atmosphere works in your favor as do the tax benefits of home buying.

If you’re interested in listing your home over the holidays, contact me today.

Travelers name Santa Barbara as one of the best small cities in U.S.

Santa Barbara is named as one of the “Best Small Cities in the U.S.” as part of the Condé Nast Traveler 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards.
Santa Barbara, which first appeared on the list in 2015, gets more than 7.2 million visitors per year.
More than 400,000 readers took part in the annual survey.
Several Santa Barbara area hotels were named as winners under the survey’s “Top Hotels in Southern California” category, including Hotel Californian, Belmond El Encanto and Kimpton Canary Hotel. In addition, Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara and The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara won under the category of “Top Resorts in Southern California.”
“We’re thrilled to be named a top U.S. destination by Condé Nast Traveler readers and proud to see so many Santa Barbara South Coast hotels and resorts recognized,” said Visit Santa Barbara President and CEO Kathy Janega-Dykes. “Santa Barbara has a way of making travelers feel like they’re in a little pocket of paradise when here. The natural beauty, diversity of activities and attractions, vibrant restaurants and world-class wine country offer visitors an unparalleled quintessential California experience.”
A complete list of winners can be found at


23 Entryways to Welcome You Home

Never underestimate the power of a bold front door


When you welcome guests into your home, your entryway and front door make a huge impact on the overall first impression of your space. 

These 23 homes boast jaw-dropping entrances that speak for themselves.

Carpinteria | $19,500,000

Presented by Cristal Clarke


This stunning estate is a perfect example of Modernism combined with functional minimalism…and you will see that from the moment you approach the home.

Santa Barbara | $10,250,000

Presented by Kotlyar Team


This Montecito estate boasts dreamy ocean views that can be enjoyed before you even walk through the front door!

Carpinteria | $6,785,000

Presented by McGowan Partners


This Mediterranean architectura-style l home pairs Old World charm with modern-day amenities, and this fairytale-esque entryway is no exception to the design.

Calabasas | $5,750,000

Presented by The Shevins


The stunning curb appeal of this home will lead you into a world of luxury.

Santa Barbara | $4,795,000

Presented by Angela B. Moloney


Formal manicured grounds and privacy hedges surround this exceptional home with stately columns, walkways, custom windows, and a welcoming entry with a graceful wraparound porch. Step inside and enjoy the view looking out!

Santa Barbara | $3,295,000

Presented by Kellie Roche Clenet


This sophisticated Hope Ranch home is in infused with rich character throughout its details, from the stable door to the hardwood and beamed ceilings.

Santa Barbara | $2,999,000

Presented by Michelle Cook & Angie Guiberteau


This Mediterranean-style home is right on trend with the black statement door complete with a black-finished porch light. The glass paneling and iron detail on the door work perfectly to soften this bold color.

Rancho Santa Fe | $2,995,000

Presented by Delorine Jackson


A palatial masterpiece home, designed for luxury andcomfort. The welcoming entryway foreshadows the rich woods, high ceilings and tranquil atmosphere that you will continue to find throughout the interior.

Los Angeles | $2,969,000

Presented by Larry Young


This remarkably chic and traditional home has a glamorous floral-lined entryway to welcome you. Step beyond the front door, and pass through a beautiful courtyard before entering the home.

Santa Ynez Valley | $2,799,000

Presented by Laura Drammer


A custom-designed Spanish villa in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley. Step through the majestic front door and you’ll feel at home in your very own private wine country retreat.

San Diego | $2,300,000

Presented by Kathleen Colbert & Stan Krimerman


This statement black front door provides a trendy and unexpected twist on a beautiful and classic home.

Santa Barbara | $2,299,000

Presented by Laurel Abbott


Mid-Century Modern design lovers’ hearts will skip a beat over this bold and on-trend front door.

San Diego | $1,699,000

Presented by Lucy Kelts


This exquisite home features elegant curb appeal in its prestigious gated community.

Poway | $1,585,000

Presented by Suzanne Kropf


Travel up the long, private driveway and you are greeted with welcoming views of this beautiful custom estate. Time your arrival with sunset, and you are guaranteed a sight to see!

Santa Barbara | $1,549,000

Presented by Marie Sue Parsons


Blending classic Spanish architecture with modern elements, this eye-catching home greets you with a delightful entryway and tasteful interior flooded with natural light.

Escondido | $1,399,000

Presented by Cindy Waasdorp


A beautiful and spacious front entryway, complete with lush landscaping and a trickling fountain to welcome you home.

San Juan Capistrano | $1,199,000

Presented by Veronica Potter


This beautiful and spacious home has been lovingly maintained down to the very last detail, including a custom wrought-iron entry door

Santa Barbara | $1,195,000

Presented by Hitchcock & Associates


The navy-blue paint wash on this front door provides a perfect splash of color to contrast the crisp white walls and neutral stone flooring of this luxurious town home.

Escondio | $1,174,900

Presented by Tom Lux


This welcoming entryway takes you through a natural stone courtyard complete with an elegant fountain.

San Marcos | $1,099,000

Presented by Lisa Betz


From the welcoming archway entry to the well-kept landscape, this home is the epitome of curb appeal.

San Diego | $849,000

Presented by Joel Blumenfeld & Matt Greene


This beautiful home boasts extreme attention to detail throughout the residence…and this eye-catching doorway is no exception!

San Diego | $638,000

Presented by Steve Solomon & Tim Orlowski


This Point Loma town home knows how to make an eye-catching entrance!

San Marcos | $598,800

Presented by Kacey Smith


The custom-made front screen door adds an extra touch of character to this charming home.

23 Entryways to Welcome You Home


National Campaign

The 2018 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices #GoodToAsk campaign celebrates the questions that move us, inspiring potential buyers and sellers to move from “making do” to “making it happen.” Cinematic videos such as Pinky Swear showcase the positive emotional transformation undergone by buyers and sellers at various life stages, thanks to the guidance of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network agents.

Organize and Decorate Your Home for the Season

Good organization makes life flow and is also good for the soul. You might have done spring cleaning earlier in the year, but fall is another ideal time to give your home a tune-up.

As you begin thinking about the upcoming holidays, you might find yourself sifting through cupboards for fall décor, dinner dishes, and silverware. Get a head start on your organizing by using the following methods to tidy your drawers and cupboards.

Pull out fall tablecloths, napkins, candles, and other décor.

Clean and organize your kitchen cabinets.

Restack your glasses, and bring your fall/winter-colored mugs to the front.

Decorating for Fall Is Fun
Changing the colors, fabrics, and themes of your home décor adds a sense of adventure.

Change over summer décor both on your front porch and indoors.

Put away summery toss cushions and throws in beach tones, and bring out autumnal ones in leaf tones.

Put away summery flower arrangements, and create fall-themed ones.

Change over your door wreath and have your pumpkins or gourds handy for decorating the front porch.

8 Reasons to make the move to Santa Barbara, CA


The charming city of Santa Barbara is located between the steep hills of the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. It’s a popular tourist and resort destination, but why visit when you can live here full time? From the beautiful weather and Spanish culture, to the frequent festivals and delicious dining, there are countless reasons to call Santa Barbara home.

1. The weather
The warm California climate gives you a free pass to enjoy the great outdoors 12 months out of the year. That means year-round barbecues, picnics, beach walks, kayaking, surfing, and other outdoor activities.

2. The Spanish history and culture
Everywhere you turn you see nuggets of Santa Barbara’s rich cultural history and Spanish heritage. There are plenty of historical places to explore, like the Old Mission Santa Barbara, one of 21 missions in California’s Historic Mission Trail, or El Presidio, the last of four military fortresses built by the Spanish. The Spanish Revival architecture is one of the city’s greatest charms.

3. Health: it’s a lifestyle
The people of Santa Barbara probably run and hike more than just about anyone you’ve ever met. And can you blame them? With the sunny weather and perfect temperatures, you can’t help but get outside. Whether you’re soaking up the sun on East Beach, hiking Gaviota Peak, or paddle boarding along the coast, you’re going to be having so much fun you won’t even know how many calories you’re burning.

4. Geography
A little bit of this, a little bit of that—that’s basically the nature of the Santa Barbara geography. This beautiful and historic city is nestled between the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountain range and the Pacific Ocean, giving you the best of both worlds when it comes to mountain peaks and shorelines. Just ask any Santa Barbarian—there’s something for everyone here.

5. Local festivals and celebrations
Festival fever runs high in Santa Barbara. You’ve got just about any festival and celebration you can think of here. The Santa Barbara International Film Festival, the Old Spanish Days Fiesta, the Avocado Festival, Rods & Roses, and First Thursdays are just a few of the local events found in the city. That’s not even counting some of the more traditional celebrations, like Fourth of July and movie nights at the courthouse.

6. Wine and dine
Santa Barbara has the highest number of restaurants per capita of any other city in the country. And if that’s not enough, wine country is just over the hills. Santa Barbara produces some of the state’s favorite wines, though. Take a trek through the city and you can find numerous wineries and tasting rooms to pop in and do a little taste testing for yourself.

7. Distinct neighborhoods
The neighborhoods of Santa Barbara each come with their own charm and feel. You’ve got the small-town beach charms of Carpinteria and the vibrant heartbeat of State Street in Downtown Santa Barbara. But you can also wander through the beautiful Riviera, which resembles the Mediterranean coast of France, or traipse to the top of the Mesa and take in all the scenic views. Each little pocket has its own unique character.

8. Education
The city is constantly investing in and churning out some of the country’s brightest young professionals. University of California Santa Barbara is a public research university with faculty that include six Nobel Prize laureates, one Fields Medalist, 29 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 31 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences—and more. And if that isn’t enough to knock your socks off, Santa Barbara City College is renowned as the No. 1 community college in the nation.

4th of July in Santa Barbara

Fourth of July is right around the corner so put on your most patriotic outfit and join in on the fun. From back yard BBQ’s to beach parties, there is something for everyone. Here are just a few exciting happenings in Santa Barbara that you can partake in:


Stearns Wharf Merchants Association Live Music and Fun

Enjoy live Music beginning at 11:00 a.m. and hang out and enjoy the festivities until the City’s fireworks show begins at 9 p.m. where visitors will have one of the best views in Santa Barbara. While waiting for the fireworks show to begin, the wharf offers many attractions including live music by Tequila Mockingbird and others along with face painting; ice cream, sherbet, candy, popcorn, fudge, and cotton candy; jewelry, hats, leather goods, art, crafts, gifts, toys, shells, mineral, and fossils; wine tasting; bait and tackle along with fishing gear rentals; palm reading; fresh fish, shellfish, steaks, prime rib, fish and chips, burgers, cocktails, exotic tropical drinks, and more! You can even enjoy a child-friendly water taxi ride and interactive Sea Center museum.

4th of July Art Show

Visit the Old Mission Santa Barbara (2201 Laguna Street) for a special 4th of July Art Show and view 80 incredible artisans for one of the largest and longest running art shows in California! Grab a bite to eat and enjoy the sights and sounds of this long running art show. Free parking and admission! 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit for more information.

4th of July Parade

The 55th Annual 4th of July Parade begins at 1:00 p.m. at Micheltorena Street, proceeding down State Street to Old Town Santa Barbara, concluding at Cota Street. Over 175 agencies will parade to a patriotic theme for the community to enjoy. This event is coordinated by the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation. Contact www.pcvf.orgor (805) 259-4394 for more information.

4th of July Sunken Gardens Concert

Another community favorite is the free Annual 4th of July Concert held at the Santa Barbara Courthouse Sunken Gardens starting at 5:00 p.m. The concert features the Crown City Brass Quintet performing songs of America with Music by John Philip Sousa, Scott Joplin, Leonard Bernstein and more. Bring your beach chairs and blankets for this Santa Barbara tradition brought to you by the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation. More information may be found at

Santa Barbara City College 4th of July

Santa Barbara City College is proud to host a family-friendly 4th of July viewing at their Main Campus. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy views of the fireworks show at the Santa Barbara Waterfront. Food Trucks will be on site from 4 – 8 p.m. Guests are welcome to bring their own food, but please be advised that no alcoholic beverages, barbecue grills, or fireworks are allowed on campus or in parking lots. Campus rules regarding alcohol and smoking will be enforced. Viewing areas will be located on the West Campus Great Meadow and the East Campus Winslow Maxwell Overlook. For more information, including a map of the campus, click here.

These Colors Don’t Run

The 5th Annual “These Colors Don’t Run” event will take place at the Veterans’ Memorial Building on Sunday, July 8th (12 p.m. – 7 p.m.) with a South Pacific theme. The day will feature live music, dancing, special performances, a military car show, an art show, silent auction, pinup show, unique patriotic and tropical drinks, kids games, BBQ, and sunshine. Event benefits Santa Barbara volunteer-run veteran groups. For all the details visit


While celebrating your independence, don’t forget to thank a veteran!

Wishing you and yours a happy and safe 4th of July!