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    • Santa Barbara Vacation Rentals Welcomes Film Festival By Revealing Famous Filming Locations

      By Santa Barbara Local | December 31, 2010

      As a true Santa Barbarian, I am very excited that the 26th Santa Barbara International Film Festival, which takes place from January 27 to February 6, will bring movie buffs and celebrities to experience a variety of premieres and panels – as well as all that Santa Barbara has to offer.

      The Film Festival is a great time to take advantage of vacation rentals in Santa Barbara that offer great value and flexibility to better fit various travel lifestyles, needs and budgets. What many people are realizing is that for less than the cost of a hotel room, they can rent a whole Santa Barbara vacation home while enjoying exceptional amenities during their stay.

      “Santa Barbara is a wonderful winter getaway and we look forward to returning in the future,” said Diane W., who recently spent a week in a vacation rental located in downtown Santa Barbara. It was fun to be here during the film festival – a great event.”

      It’s no surprise that Santa Barbara vacation rental guests are often curious about film locations, so I have put together a visitor’s guide to famous filming locations in and around the Santa Barbara area. From popular films like Sideways to It’s Complicated, there are a lot of Santa Barbara locations that crop up in popular movies and TV shows. Last June, the cast and crew of a new film called No Strings Attached set up shop at All Saints-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church and The Biltmore Four Seasons Resort. Billed as a romantic comedy, the film stars Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher and is scheduled for release on January 21, 2011.

      To read more about famous filming locations, visit the Santa Barbara vacation rentals blog at http://blog.sbluxuryrentals.com/

      About Santa Barbara Luxury Rentals
      Santa Barbara Luxury Rentals is your one stop source for high-end, fully-furnished vacation homes in Santa Barbara including private beach houses, California holiday villas, and large luxurious vacation homes. Our luxury rental properties are ideal for romantic vacations, family gatherings and reunions, or wedding parties and wedding accommodations. We also offer pet-friendly vacation rentals on select properties. Our full-service staff and concierge services are available to assist you with all your Santa Barbara vacation rental needs. We strive to create a memorable vacation experience of the highest quality, giving all our guests the utmost consideration and quality service. To view our properties, visit http://www.sbluxuryrentals.com/

      Topics: Holidays and Santa Barabra Vacation Rentals, Santa Barbara Vacation Rentals, Santa Barbara Vacation Tips, Vacation Rentals California | No Comments »

      Film Locations Near Your Santa Barbara Vacation Rental

      By Santa Barbara Local | December 17, 2010

      Santa Barbara vacation rental guests are often curious about film locations, and with good reason. There are a lot of iconic Santa Barbara locations that crop up in movies and TV shows. Read on to find out why Santa Barbara is the setting of choice for so many popular productions and how you can recognize and visit famous filming locations in and around the Santa Barbara area.

      A lot of visitors in Santa Barbara vacation rentals feel a strong sense of familiarity or belonging the first time they explore Santa Barbara. We’re not going to discount anyone’s claims of psychic powers or a past life lived on America’s Riviera, but chances are more like that they’ve seen one of the over 200 different movies and TV shows filmed in whole or in part in Santa Barbara over the last 100 years.

      Don’t leave your Santa Barbara vacation rental in search of locations made famous on the silver screen until you read this full list. You’ve probably seen at least one or more of these popular productions:

      2009 It’s Complicated
      2006 Pirates of the Caribbean III
      2006 There Will Be Blood
      2006 Psych
      2006 The Bachelor
      2006 Top Chef 2, Bravo
      2005 Monk
      2005 Oprah Winfrey Show
      2004 Flight of the Phoenix
      2004 Monster-in-Law
      2004 Sideways
      2003 Hidalgo
      2003 Seabiscuit
      2003 Sorority Life
      2001 The X-files
      2000 Bedazzled
      1999 Double Jeopardy
      1998 Star Trek: Insurrection
      1996 The Long Kiss Goodnight
      1996 G.I. Jane
      1996 Face/Off
      1995 Nixon
      1994 A Walk in the Clouds
      1994 Congo
      1994 Young Indy/Hollywood Follies
      1993 Pelican Brief
      1990 Rocketeer
      1984 Scarface
      1980 The Postman Always Rings Twice
      1978 The Frisco Kid
      1967 The Graduate
      1964 Batman pilot
      1923 The Ten Commandments
      1914 The Perils of Pauline

      It’s Complicated

      The most recent high-profile film to come out of Santa Barbara was last year’s Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin romantic comedy It’s Complicated.

      The film’s director Nancy Meyers chose Santa Barbara for a definite reason that any Santa Barbara vacation rental film enthusiast will be able to relate to. In an interview with Santa Barbara Magazine, Meyers said that “Santa Barbara felt right for so many reasons – the natural beauty everywhere you look, the state of mind I feel when I’m there, the calm…It feels as close to the good life as you can get.”

      It’s Complicated is a beautiful film that seems to show off our fair city to its finest advantage.

      The operative word here is seems. Most of it was shot on a sound stage in Brooklyn in the middle of winter. Only three brief scenes were actually shot in Santa Barbara.

      Sadly, there is no such place as Jane’s luscious and comfy-looking business Village Bakery. The set was built inside Picnic House in Brooklyn. But folks staying in a Santa Barbara vacation rental will be able to find close facsimiles at Jeannine’s or Xanadu (temporarily closed until April, 2011 due to a fire) in Montecito or Renaud’s in downtown Santa Barbara.

      Sideways
      The wine-tasting buddy picture Sideways was a sensation when it was released in 2004. Filmed primarily in the Santa Barbara-adjacent Santa Ynez Valley, it spawned a whole new appreciation for wines (just not Merlot!) from the area, and a cottage industry grew up around people who wanted to retrace the footsteps of the film’s questionable protagonists.

      Santa Barbara vacation rental guest who are fans of this movie often search for “the Sideways Map” which will lead you on a car tour through the movie’s highlights.. Many of the destinations even have a sign bearing the Sideways logo. If you want to travel by bike, the Sideways bike map will help you find the sites.

      Different locations in Santa Barbara Proper
      Santa Barbara vacation rental guests are often curious about film locations, and with good reason. There are a lot of Santa Barbara locations that crop up in movies that aren’t even set in the area. This is because of the profusion of beautiful features in the area that blend so seamlessly into other locales.

      Different locations in the Greater Santa Barbara Area
      Guests at our Santa Barbara vacation rental homes know that Santa Barbara is so much more than just the pretty red roofs of downtown. One of the reasons the region is so popular with filmmakers is its almost infinite variety.

      Faking Santa Barbara
      Sometimes a production may be set in Santa Barbara, but for whatever reason they can’t film there. In that case they may use a few stock footage-establishing shots, like the pier and tower seen in the TV series Psych.

      In the movie I Love You, Man a wedding scene was supposed to have taken place at the fictional El Encanto Spa & Resort of Montecito. It was actually filmed at a private residence on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. Sorry, a Santa Barbara vacation rental concierge won’t be able to make you a reservation at El Encanto, but they’ll be able to find you a nice alternative!

      Sometimes, scenes are shot with certain geographical liberties taken. In The Graduate, the scene of Benjamin driving south to Santa Barbara shows his car heading north through the Gaviota Tunnel, in the wrong direction. Even the Santa Barbara church he banged on during the wedding was nowhere nearby. It is actually located in La Verne, east of Los Angeles.

      Television Loves Santa Barbara
      Moviemakers aren’t the only people infatuated with the area. Its glamour beckons on the little screen, too. Countless TV shows have been set in, had special episodes located in or just mentioned Santa Barbara. There was even a nighttime drama in the ‘80s called Santa Barbara.

      More recently, our fair city has been featured or mentioned in episodes of Gossip Girl, Entourage, Victorious, Beverly Hills 90210, The L Word, Baywatch, Melrose Place, Privileged, L.A. Law, Zorro and Oceans Away.

      Kind of Santa Barbara, but Not Really
      Then there are the productions that are located in places that sound and look suspiciously like Santa Barbara, but are never overtly established as such. The television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a classic example.

      Buffy’s hometown “Sunnydale” is described as being a coastal town, two hours north of Beverly Hills – check. Sunnydale and Santa Barbara are both homes to branch campuses of the University of California. The architecture of Sunnydale looks like Santa Barbara. Both towns abut the Pacific Ocean, and suffered devastating earthquakes between the two world wars. Sunnydale was also described as being the home of the Chumash tribe who were indigenous to Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, and many of the show’s establishing shots were of Santa Barbara.

      Most convincing of all is the fact that on several occasions throughout its seven-year run, characters used maps of Sunnydale that were in fact of…Santa Barbara. Now, we want to assure anyone staying in a Santa Barbara vacation rental that there is no such thing as a hellmouth lurking under our utopian city. But you might want to bring a garlic necklace if you plan to wander around a lot after sunset.

      Santa Barbara’s 100-Year History in the Movies
      2010 marks the 100-year anniversary of a lively and thriving film presence in Santa Barbara. Starting in 1910 the Essanay Film Company made regular visits to Santa Barbara from Chicago in search of better weather and appropriate locations to shoot their wildly popular western genre short films. They were followed in July, 1912 by a permanent western branch of Flying “A” Studios, which was also looking for better weather and relief from the stranglehold of the Edison Trust in the east. They chose Santa Barbara because they could find both urban and rural locations so close at hand.

      Flying “A” took a big hit due to the combined effects of World War I, the flu pandemic and the beginning of the Great Depression. But Santa Barbara was already well established as a choice filming location. In 1923, Cecil B. DeMille shot The Ten Commandments on the sandscapes of Guadalupe (also used in Pirates of the Caribbean III), once again launching Santa Barbara back into the movie vanguard.

      The rest, as they say, is history.

      Coming up Next from Santa Barbara
      The entertainment industry is alive and well in Santa Barbara. Last June, the cast and crew of a new film called No Strings Attached set up shop at All Saints-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church and The Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore. Billed as a romantic comedy, the film stars Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher and is scheduled for release on January 21, 2011.

      There are a lot of famous filming locations to visit. If you want to go out exploring on your own, SantaBarbara.com offers three different itineraries that will lead you through the area, scoping out locations from some favorite high-profile films. And when you’re done for the day, you’ll have a Santa Barbara vacation rental to return home to, living a life the movie stars envy.

      Topics: Santa Barbara Family-Friendly Vacation, Santa Barbara Vacation Rentals, Santa Barbara Vacation Tips | No Comments »

      How Santa Barbara Vacation Rentals Guests Can Get In The Holiday Mood without Snow (Hint: Try Festive Food and Drinks!)

      By Santa Barbara Local | December 17, 2010

      For some guests in a Santa Barbara vacation rental, it’s hard to get into the Christmas mood without snow. (Others are deliriously happy not to have to shovel out their cars.) Fortunately, the rich smell of favorite holiday foods and drinks can transport you into a Currier & Ives moment faster and more comfortably than freezing temperatures. Here are some of our favorite options.

      December 1-31, 2010 — Holiday Gingerbread House: Olsen’s Danish Village Bakery
      Over at Olsen’s Danish Village Bakery, Baker Bent Olsen has once again created an unbelievable 8′x11′x10′ tall gingerbread house. Made with 250 pounds of gingerbread dough, 150 pounds of powdered sugar, and three gallons of egg whites, this holiday abode has to be seen to be believed! While you’re basking in the rich scents of the Danish-Scandinavian bakery, try one of their famous kringles or buy a loaf of their 100th anniversary whole grain pumpernickel bread at 1529 Mission Drive in Solvang. Olsen’s is open 7:00-6:00 on weekdays and 7:00-7:00 on weekends.
      Phone: (805) 688.6314

      December 1-31, 2010 — Ty Lounge Presents: 12 Days of Christmas Cocktails
      The master mixologists at Ty Lounge have concocted “Twelve Days of Cocktails,” and will be serving up the menu of 12 holiday-inspired specialty cocktails during the month of December. Guests can enjoy a combination of modern creations, such as a white chocolate peppermint martini, as well as traditional wintry favorites such as a hot toddy or eggnog. Ty Lounge is located within The Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara and is open from 12:00 noon to 11:00 pm on Sunday, 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm Monday to Thursday, and from 4:00 pm to 1:00 am on Friday and Saturday. It is located at 1260 Channel Drive in Santa Barbara.
      Phone: (805) 565-2261

      December 11, 2010 — Kids Cookie Workshop with Mrs. Claus
      From 2:00 to 4:00 pm., The Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara is offering a fun and creative cookie baking and decorating workshop with Mrs. Claus. Children ages 4-12 and their parents can join one of the resort’s talented pastry chefs in the kitchen, where they will participate in an engaging afternoon of supervised cutting and decorating freshly baked holiday sugar cookies with a variety of colorful icings and garnishes. Cost is $15 per child, reservations are required. The hotel is located at 1260 Channel Drive in Santa Barbara.
      Phone: 805-565-8291

      Once you’ve stuffed yourself with holiday yummies, before you return to put up your feet in your Santa Barbara vacation rental, you’ll want to work off some of those calories with a holiday shopping marathon.

      Topics: Holidays and Santa Barabra Vacation Rentals, Holidays in Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Family-Friendly Vacation, Santa Barbara Vacation Tips | No Comments »

      A Santa Barbara Guide to Unique Gifts and Shopping for Art-Loving Santa Barbara Vacation Rental Guests

      By Santa Barbara Local | December 17, 2010

      If you’re looking for a unique souvenir to bring home from your halcyon Santa Barbara vacation rental, you are in luck. You don’t have to gallery hop (unless you want to). There are many venues in Santa Barbara that bring artists and their masterpieces together with those who want to take them home.

      No stay at a Santa Barbara vacation rental is complete without a visit to the Santa Barbara Arts Collective. The Arts Collective is offering a gift that keeps on giving. Like a wine-of-the-month club (also a great present idea), the SBAC is offering a different print, from a different artist every month for 12 months. They are $50 each and come in a limited edition of 25 prints, so you need to act fast if you want to enjoy art every month.

      Every Sunday many Santa Barbara vacation rental guests enjoy an artsy stroll along the free Santa Barbara Arts & Crafts Show. The show happens every Sunday (contingent upon weather) and on some holidays from 10:00 a.m. until dusk. 300 Santa Barbara artists display their own drawings, paintings, graphics, sculpture, crafts and photography in Chase Palm Park. For more information, please call (805) 897-1982.

      If you get to your Santa Barbara vacation rental on the first Thursday of the month, downtown Santa Barbara galleries keep their doors open late from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. so the public can enjoy local art in a fun atmosphere. Music, demonstrations and refreshments are also offered, not far from Anacapa Villas. For more information, please call (805) 962-2098.

      On Saturdays, Santa Barbara vacation rental guests of all ages will enjoy visiting Art From Scrap at 302 East Cota Street. Art From Scrap holds a family fun workshop every Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for all ages. Children under age five must be accompanied by an adult. The cost is $6. For more information, please call (805) 884-0459.

      If you want to turn your Santa Barbara vacation rental into an artist’s retreat, you’ll need supplies and inspiration. Crimson Holiday, a new local arts and crafts store, celebrated its opening at La Cumbre Plaza with art crafted by 25 Santa Barbara artists. The store has holiday fare plus many perennial pieces. There are plenty of paintings and prints, novelty paintings, three-dimensional art, hats, scarves, handbags, necklaces, earrings, bead weaves, glass and ceramic vases, dishes, plates, tables and chairs, soaps, lotions and scented candles. Children have their own corner with blankets, stuffed animals and doll dresses. Crimson Holiday is open Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Special extended hours during holidays. Call (805) 682-6666 for more information.

      Just down the road from your Santa Barbara vacation rental, the Camino Real ArtWalk in Goleta attracts local and visiting artisans with their handmade arts and crafts, and very often live music. It is located in The Marketplace just 10 miles west of Santa Barbara. Their regular season runs from January through November, with special 2010 holiday dates of November 27 & 28, December 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.

      You can bring your treasures back to your Santa Barbara vacation rental and enjoy them for the rest of your stay. When it’s time to go home again, simply ask the Santa Barbara Luxury Rental concierge to pack and ship them for you so you can bask in the afterglow of your vacation until you return to our lovely, arty community again.

      Topics: Holidays and Santa Barabra Vacation Rentals, Holidays in Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Romantic Getaway, Santa Barbara Vacation Tips, Vacation Rentals California | No Comments »

      Seven Things Santa Barbara Vacation Rentals is Thankful for

      By Santa Barbara Local | November 30, 2010

      When you live in paradise, there is so much to be thankful for. And in the spirit of the holidays, we want to take the opportunity to share some of the things we’re most grateful for in Santa Barbara. We also hope that once you experience all that our fair city has to offer, you’ll be grateful too that you will always have a home-away-from-home when you visit Santa Barbara.

      There’s much to be thankful for this time of year as we gather with friends and family for the holidays. We want to take the opportunity to enumerate some of the things we’re most grateful for in Santa Barbara, an extraordinary and unique place that we’re grateful to call home, which we hope you’ll consider your home-away-from-home.

      Santa Barbara Vacation Rentals Reason to be Thankful #1: The Goldilocks climate.
      I mean, seriously people, does it get any better than this? The Santa Ynez Mountains, our warm southern California sunshine and coastal breezes ensure a temperate, year-round routine of warmer winters and cooler summers that have earned us the nickname “The American Riviera.” No matter where you’re from, the weather is better at your Santa Barbara vacation rental.

      We know that for a growing number of travelers, going home for the holidays means celebrating with loved ones at a sunny and exotic home away from home. While snowbirds have always enjoyed heading south for the winter, more travelers than ever are choosing a Santa Barbara vacation rental to get away and enjoy sun-filled beach vacations during the holiday season.

      Santa Barbara Vacation Rentals Reason to be Thankful #2: Exceptional value.
      There are a lot of opportunities to stretch your vacation dollar in Santa Barbara. Vacation rentals in Santa Barbara offer great value and flexibility to better fit various travel lifestyles, needs and budgets. For less than the cost of a hotel room vacationers can rent a whole home while enjoying countless benefits like avoiding the unnecessary expenses of a hotel stay with laundry, internet fees, tips and room service.

      Santa Barbara vacation rentals offer a great way to enjoy the winter sun on a budget. At the five-bedroom Vista Riviera, guests can take in views of the ocean and city and enjoy soaking in the private pool or relaxing in the sauna. They can also take advantage of all the amenities of a luxury hotel including pre-arrival grocery stocking, in-room spa treatments and other concierge services.

      Santa Barbara Vacation Rentals Reason to be Thankful #3: Welcoming smiles.
      Santa Barbara is, at heart, a small city with fewer than 100,000 residents within the city limits. People know each other and bump into acquaintances and neighbors all the time with warm smiles and happy greetings.

      Tourists are just as likely to be greeted like old friends. If you’re staying in a Santa Barbara vacation rental, you’re probably going to be in town long enough to engage in healthy habits like walking to the same café every morning, shopping at a preferred vendor stand in the farmers market, etc. It’s all part of the warm, friendly Santa Barbara culture.

      Santa Barbara Vacation Rentals Reason to be Thankful #4: Mother Nature.
      There are very few destinations that offer as much in the way of stunning nature. You can laze on the deck of your Santa Barbara beach rental watching porpoises play or the winter gray whale migration. You can work up a sweat hiking the Campbell Trail and then enjoy a soak in Gaviota Hot Spring. You can even dress in camouflage and take your binoculars to the Andree Clark Bird Refuge.

      There are meadows, mountains, creeks, beaches, parks, hiking trails, a 65-acre botanic garden designed by noted landscape architect Beatrix Ferrand…. In short, whatever your inner Smokey the Bear desires, you will find it in Santa Barbara.

      Santa Barbara Vacation Rentals Reason to be Thankful #5: The architecture.
      A 1925 earthquake pretty much leveled downtown Santa Barbara, and we have been grateful ever since. The city fathers and mothers took the opportunity to rebuild with stricter structural standards and in relative Spanish/Moorish uniformity, and the result is Santa Barbara’s stunning red-roof district. As you walk through the downtown area you gain a heightened appreciation for the idea of a planned city. Most burgs are a mishmash of wildly divergent architectural qualities and styles, but Santa Barbara’s downtown area almost feels like a movie set, it is so charming and idealistic.

      A lot of the residences, including many of the Santa Barbara vacation rentals, in the area also cleave to the California bungalow style (with a few Victorians thrown in) and the result is a charming walk through California history.

      Santa Barbara Vacation Rentals Reason to be Thankful #6: Festivals.
      If you, like Frank Costanza on Seinfeld, are in search of a “festivus for the rest of us,” you should book your Santa Barbara vacation rental immediately. Our annual festival calendar boasts something new almost every month: Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Santa Barbara International Orchid Show, Earth Day celebration, Santa Barbara Fair & Expo, Cinco de Mayo festival, Summer Solstice Parade, wine festivals, Fourth of July, French Festival, Greek Festival, Old Spanish Days Fiesta, Santa Barbara Sandcastle Festival, California Lemon Festival, Santa Barbara Harbor & Seafood Festival, New Noise Music Conference & Festival.

      Santa Barbara Vacation Rentals Reason to be Thankful #7: Unexpected outdoor delights.
      No matter how much time you spend in your Santa Barbara vacation rental home, there are still many delights to discover. Many people who pass the corner of State and Victoria every day never notice the lovely statue of Sacajawea that is set back from the street. Sacajawea was a Shoshone woman who guided the Lewis & Clark exploration through the western part of the American continent in the earliest years of the 19th century. She was very brave and diplomatic and is credited by many historians as the primary reason for the mission’s success.

      Santa Barbara visitors in the early spring are often pleasantly surprised by the gorgeous profusion of flowering trees in the area. Both leaves and blossoms create a stunning, delicious-smelling canopy wherever you turn.

      There are many beautiful fountains in town. There are notable examples in the dolphin fountain at Stearns Wharf, the mission fountain and the fountain at La Arcada shopping mall. How many more can you find?

      You can tell a city that really loves its artists because they proudly display so much art in public places. There are lovely bronze sculptures tucked away in some unexpected corners like the La Arcada shopping mall and downtown area. As you step from your Santa Barbara vacation rental, keep your eyes open. You never know what treasures you might come across.

      And last but not least, I am personally grateful for all the wonderful Santa Barbara vacation rental guests I get to meet year after year. Once you enjoy all that our fair city has to offer, you’ll be grateful that you will always have a second home away from home.

      Topics: Holidays and Santa Barabra Vacation Rentals, Holidays in Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Family-Friendly Vacation, Santa Barbara Romantic Getaway, Santa Barbara Vacation Rentals, Santa Barbara Vacation Tips, Santa Barbara Wine Country, Santa Barbara live music | No Comments »

      Celebrating the Holidays in a Santa Barbara Vacation Rental

      By Santa Barbara Local | November 30, 2010

      Santa Barbara is a popular holiday destination. Our mild winter weather (average daytime highs are in the mid-60s, but can shoot as high as 90) and world-class cuisine are two of the many reasons it attracts snowbirds and culinary adventurers. Whole families and groups of friends love to convene at one or more Santa Barbara vacation rentals to gather round a crackling fireplace, enjoy a feast fit for a king and toast the outgoing year.

      There are a lot of delicious options for the fun-loving gourmet. I love grocery shopping in vacation destinations, there’s always something new to try, and being on vacation is a great excuse to chuck the calorie-counter. If you want to do your own shopping near your Santa Barbara vacation rental you can go to a tried-and-true grocery store like Vons aka Safeway, Ralphs or Albertsons. If you’re looking for something a little more high-end or out of the ordinary, check out Lazy Acres Market. It’s not too far from Le Petit Chateau and Ocean Oasis. There’s also Trader Joe’s or Gelson’s, a southern California favorite. Santa Barbara is home to many gourmet specialty shops, too.

      If you’d rather not spend time searching in vain for fresh fennel you can visit the Santa Barbara Luxury Rental concierge site before your visit and fill out a shopping list. Your groceries will be waiting for you when you arrive at your Santa Barbara vacation rental. Just don’t forget your favorite recipes at home. We can’t guarantee that one of our staff members will have a copy of your great-grandma’s secret noodle stuffing recipe (although many of them could whip up a recipe should you need one).

      There are many more dining options for the I-refuse-to-cook-until-I-have-a-migraine-this-holiday Santa Barbara vacation rental visitors. One of our concierges would be happy to help you find the perfect personal chef or caterer to make a memorable meal for you.

      Not so much a gourmet, as a gourmand? There are a ton of delicious options. If you’re a homebody or if someone in your party cones down with a bug (like I did one infamous Thanksgiving), you can order your holiday feast in to your Santa Barbara vacation rental from a variety of restaurants and grocery stores.

      Want to dive into a plate of peeled shrimp instead of turkey? There are dozens of fine restaurants in Santa Barbara that will gladly cater to your culinary whims. Many of them are on or around State Street, particularly handy if you’re staying at a Santa Barbara vacation rental like Anacapa Villas, one block away.

      If no one in your group wants to be the designated driver, there is a list of restaurants we love that are near some of our Santa Barbara vacation rental properties. Brophy Brothers (in photo) is close to Juniper Cottage, Wine Cask is near Anacapa Villas. Your Santa Barbara Luxury Rental concierge can give you more precise recommendations based on your preferences.

      If you do walk to dinner from your Santa Barbara vacation rental, don’t forget a light jacket and umbrella. We can’t promise it won’t sprinkle, but we can promise you won’t need chains or snow tires.

      Topics: Holidays and Santa Barabra Vacation Rentals, Holidays in Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Beach House Rentals, Santa Barbara Family-Friendly Vacation, Santa Barbara Vacation Rentals, Santa Barbara Vacation Tips, Uncategorized | No Comments »

      Santa Barbara Holiday Events to get you into the Holiday Mood in a Santa Barbara Vacation Rental

      By Santa Barbara Local | November 29, 2010

      A Santa Barbara vacation rental is one of the most enchanting places to arrange a stress-free holiday, especially if you let our concierge services elves work their magic. True, we don’t have much snow (the hills to the east get an occasional dusting, but it’s barely visible from downtown). Visitors are often pleasantly surprised at how charming twinkle lights look when they’re artfully draped through swishy-sounding palm fronds, and few folks ever forget the sight of the parade of Christmas boat lights. No matter what your interests, there are many enchanting activities for folks of all ages and interests.

      November 21-December 31, 2010 — Winterfest Celebration in Solvang
      The quaint town of Solvang hosts a month of events, pageantry, and millions of lights in their traditional Danish Christmas Village. Call for information. Phone: (805) 688-6144

      November 28-December 19, 2010 — Trinity Episcopal Church Advent Organ Series
      The church is offering Sunday concerts for the four weeks of Advent from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Phone: (805) 965-7419

      December 1, 4, 11, 2010 — 16th Annual La Arcada Court Christmas Walk
      Listen to strolling carolers and live, local music. Eat fresh popped popcorn and lots of holiday goodies. Get your picture taken with Santa on Dec. 1st from 5:00-7:00 p.m. and December 4th and 11th from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Bring the whole family for holiday fun and merriment. Phone: (805) 966-6634

      December 3, 2010 — 58th Annual Holiday Parade – Miracle on State Street
      Beginning at 6:30 p.m., spectators line downtown Santa Barbara to cheer high-stepping marching bands, fabulous holiday floats, spectacular performance groups, local personalities, and of course, Santa Clause. The holiday prince and fairy officially light up the night with the lighting of the large Christmas tree at State & Victoria streets. Phone: (805) 962-2098 ext. 23

      December 4, 2010 — Rudolph ballet
      Rudolph is the story of a young reindeer with a blinking red nose. This children’s ballet is performed by the students of Gustafson Dance, featuring dancers from the State Street Ballet Young Dancers, the apprentice company to State Street Ballet. It is taking place at the Lobero Theatre at 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Phone: (805) 963-0761

      December 5, 2010 — Brinkerhoff Holiday Block Party
      Come celebrate holiday cheer in traditional Victorian fashion at this “block party” in the historic Landmark District of Brinkerhoff Avenue between Cota and Haley streets 1:00-4:00 p.m. Tour Victorian homes and get an inside view of what Santa Barbara was like 150 years ago. Phone: (805) 966-3979

      December 5, 2010 — Snow Leopard Festival and Sledding at the Zoo
      It’s a winter wonderland beneath palm trees overlooking the Pacific Ocean at the Sledding at the Zoo & Snow Leopard Festival. More than 75 tons of snow are imported to create sledding runs and a children’s play area, and are placed in exhibits for snow leopards, elephants, gorillas, lions, otters and other animals – 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at 500 Niños Drive. Phone: (805) 962-5339

      December 9, 2010 — A Very Mariachi Divas Christmas Show
      Visit the Chumash Casino Resort to see a very special Christmas show of the Mariachi Divas, a unique cultural ensemble that have created an exciting, original style of music called “ranchengue,” a fusion of ranchera and meringue. Phone: (800) 585-3737

      December 10, 2010 — Art From Scrap Holiday Open House and Celebration
      Join us for an evening of merriment and ornament making. Enjoy mulled wine and appetizers. Shop at our Reuse Store for holiday gifts. Take a last look at the Retro Muse exhibition and meet the artists at Art From Scrap 5:00-7:00 p.m.  Phone: (805) 884-0459

      December 10-12, 2010 — Santa Barbara High School A Capella Choir and Madrigals Holiday Concerts
      The Santa Barbara High School Madrigals and A Capella Choir, will be performing beautiful, traditional Christmas/holiday music from around the world daily at 7:00 p.m. at Saint Anthony’s Chapel on the grounds of San Roque School. Phone: (805) 868-9101

      December 10-23, 2010 — Trolley of Lights Tour
      A 90-minute trip in a trolley around Santa Barbara shows off the best of the area’s holiday lights. Tours leave from Wheel Fun Rentals at 22 State Street, nightly at 6:30 pm. Reservations are required. Phone: (805) 965-0353

      December 11-12, 2010 — Miracle on 34th Street, the Musical
      Based on the 1947 Academy Award winning film, now re-imagined as a musical, this delightful, family-friendly production restores our belief in the spirit of the season and features traditional holiday songs we all know and love at the Granada Theatre. Phone: (805) 899-2222

      December 12, 2010 — Annual Parade of Lights
      Beginning at 3:00 p.m. with a Santa’s village event at the City Pier, then a visit from Santa with holiday music and 10 tons of snow for kids to play in. Judges, along with thousands of spectators, will cheer on 30-50 boats decorated to the theme of “Silver Bells & Winter Swells.” A fireworks display will follow the boat parade. Phone: (805) 963-0611.

      December 12, 2010 — Una Noche de las Posadas
      Las Posadas (The Inns) is the time-honored reenactment of Joseph and Mary’s search for shelter in Bethlehem. Join in this rich cultural tradition, experiencing first-hand the way in which Santa Barbara’s earliest Spanish and Mexican residents celebrated Christmas with song and food. Takes place at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park & Casa de la Guerra at 7:00 p.m. Phone: (805) 965-0093

      December 12-13, 2010 — The Nutcracker at the Arlington
      Santa Barbara Festival Ballet brings you the Nutcracker, supported by a live, full symphony orchestra. The performances feature all the surprises of the traditional Nutcracker with giant mice doing battle with toy soldiers, dancing snowflakes and waltzing flowers. Phone: (805) 963-4408

      December 17, 2010 — Community Christmas Carol Sing-along & Wassail Party
      Celebrate the season at Trinity Episcopal Church by joining voices in singing favorites and new carols interspersed with the poetry of Diane Wyman at the Community Christmas Carol sing-along & Wassail Party. A holiday favorite for twenty-seven years. 7:30-9:30 p.m. Phone: (805) 965-7419

      December 18, 2010 — All Wrapped Up: The Art of Giving (Holiday Gift Workshop)
      This one-day workshop at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. offers a unique art experience for children to gain inspiration from three original works of art in the museum’s collection and create hand-made cards, prints, ornaments, and more. Students will draw, paint, print, collage and sculpt artful gifts to share with friends and family. Phone: (805) 884-6441

      December 18, 2010 — California Christmas Bird Counts, Santa Barbara County
      Birders all over the country are tromping into the wilds to help with the annual National Audubon and Cornell Lab of Ornithology Christmas bird count. Participants are assigned to teams based on their bird identification skill level and endurance. Compilers and participants can sign up to be an Audubon California Volunteer. Phone: Rob Denholtz at (805) 684-4060

      December 18-19, 2010 — The Christmas Revels: In Celebration of the Winter Solstice
      Santa Barbara Revels annual theatrical holiday production celebrates the Winter Solstice, featuring the music, dance, stories and traditions of Victorian England. At the Lobero Theatre – Saturday 3:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m., Sunday 3:00 p.m. Phone: (805) 963-0761

      December 18-19, 2010 — West Coast Ballet Presents “Nutcracker”
      This eternal Christmas story will come to life complete with falling snow, dancing sweets, magical dolls, waltzing flowers, fighting mice and, of course, the Sugar Plum Fairy. The intimate setting of the Center Stage Theater provides the perfect opportunity to fully appreciate the lavish costumes and special effects for which West Coast Ballet is known, making this production a “Gem” of a Nutcracker. Phone: (805) 963-0408

      December 18-19, 2010 — La Pastorela
      La Pastorela is Santa Barbara’s oldest and most beautiful Christmas tradition. Dramatizing the epic battle between good and evil, the play invokes elements of spectacle, comedy and fantasy. This version of the Pastorela is conducted in Spanish. Phone: (805) 965-0093

      December 19, 2010 — The Nutcracker – State St. Ballet
      Share the holiday magic of adventure, fantasy, romance, and the triumph of good over evil. Set to music by Tchaikovsky and performed in the opulent setting of The Granada, the Nutcracker’s story enchants as never before. Join us for this traditional holiday favorite featuring State Street Ballet with the students of Gustafson Dance. Phone: (805) 899-2222

      December 31, 2010 — New Year’s Pops Concert – Santa Barbara Symphony
      Richard Kaufman, Pop’s Concert Conductor Extraordinaire, returns to Santa Barbara to conduct the Santa Barbara Symphony’s New Year’s Eve Pops Concert, “Night on the Red Carpet.” It’s the movies, it’s the music, it’s the greatest movie music ever on The Granada stage. Phone: (805) 899-2222

      There are many, many other exciting holiday events occurring in the area. What are some of your favorites? Don’t see anything here tempting enough to lure you out of your Santa Barbara vacation rental? Check back soon. Next month we’ll be covering mouthwatering holiday food and drink events.

      Topics: Holidays and Santa Barabra Vacation Rentals, Holidays in Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Family-Friendly Vacation, Santa Barbara Romantic Getaway, Santa Barbara Vacation Rentals, Santa Barbara Vacation Tips, Uncategorized, Vacation Rentals California | No Comments »

      Santa Barbara Vacation Rentals Reveals Top Things to be Thankful For in 2010

      By Santa Barbara Local | November 29, 2010

      As the end of 2010 draws near, many people will be reflecting on the past year and its challenges and triumphs. For many travelers, this may include gratitude for lost luggage found, for GPS technology on road trips, or free Wi-Fi at a destination.

      Truth is, as travelers look ahead to 2011 and a slowly rebounding economy, many travelers are truly grateful that they can afford to travel at all.

      If you know where to look, there are a lot of opportunities for travelers to stretch their vacation dollar in Santa Barbara. As the economy is recovering, vacationers continue to take advantage of vacation rentals in Santa Barbara that offer great value and flexibility to better fit various travel lifestyles, needs and budgets.

      Enjoy a vacation home (like Mykonos, pictured here) away from home in Santa Barbara

      For less than the cost of a hotel room, vacationers can rent a whole Santa Barbara vacation home while enjoying countless benefits – like avoiding the unnecessary expenses of a hotel stay like laundry, internet fees, tips, and room service.

      Enjoy your stay at Santa Barbara with a luxury rental such as Ocean Oasis - right on the beach!

      In addition to exceptional value, Santa Barbara vacation rental guests have much to be thankful for including temperate climate year-round, as well as the area’s stunning nature and architecture plus world-class events and festivals that are held locally.

      My family and I feel so privileged to live in such an extraordinary and unique destination, and in the spirit of the holidays, we wanted to take the opportunity to share some of the things we’re most grateful for in Santa Barbara.

      We also hope that once travelers experience all that our fair city has to offer, they’ll be grateful too that they will always have a second home away from home when they visit Santa Barbara.

      To read more about the top things to be thankful for, visit the Santa Barbara vacation rentals blog at http://blog.sbluxuryrentals.com/

      About Santa Barbara Luxury Rentals
      Santa Barbara Luxury Rentals is your one stop source for high-end, fully-furnished vacation homes in Santa Barbara including private beach houses, California holiday villas, and large luxurious vacation homes. Our luxury rental properties are ideal for romantic vacations, family gatherings and reunions, or wedding parties and wedding accommodations. We also offer pet-friendly vacation rentals on select properties. Our full-service staff and concierge services are available to assist you with all your Santa Barbara vacation rental needs. We strive to create a memorable vacation experience of the highest quality, giving all our guests the utmost consideration and quality service. To view our properties, visit http://www.sbluxuryrentals.com/

      Topics: Holidays and Santa Barabra Vacation Rentals, Holidays in Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Vacation Rentals, Vacation Rentals California | No Comments »

      Reasons to Explore Santa Barbara’s Burgeoning Music Scene Steps From Your Santa Barbara Vacation Rental

      By Santa Barbara Local | October 29, 2010

      Music lovers return to their Santa Barbara vacation rentals year after year because music of all kinds is deeply embedded in the local culture. And no matter what your musical tastes are, there’s a good chance the Santa Barbara music scene can cater to them.

      It takes a very cosmopolitan community to equally support such divergent endeavors as the Music Academy of the West http://www.musicacademy.org/ which supports and molds classically talented youths, and the New Noise Music Conference & Festival http://newnoisesb.com/ that introduces and encourages up and coming popular music talents and has been deemed the West Coast’s answer to Austin’s south by southwest.

      Additionally, as Santa Barbara is located in between Los Angeles and San Francisco, many artists who are poised for greatness make the Santa Barbara music scene one of their stops before heading for the bright lights of the big city. Both locals and Santa Barbara vacation rental guests alike enjoy supporting the burgeoning music scene. In fact, many people flock from all over the country to book a Santa Barbara vacation rental so that they can catch their favorite artist or group in performance at an intimate local venue.

      Here are our top reasons for exploring the local music scene, designed to help music lovers get the most out of their Santa Barbara vacation rental stay.

      Reason #1 to Enjoy Santa Barbara’s Burgeoning Music Scene: Santa Barbara natives are all over the Top-40 charts.

      Gone but not forgotten are the hometown artists who have hit the big time. Toad the Wet Sprocket, Katy Perry and Hawaiian surfing singer and eco-friendly pop artist Jack Johnson are some of the local kids who have made good.

      For those who want to catch the next big thing, the local paper the Santa Barbara Independent (http://www.independent.com/bands/) regularly asks readers to name their favorite local bands, including everything from 2 Faced to Zach Madden in 31 different genres from acoustic to world.

      Reason #2 to Enjoy Santa Barbara’s Burgeoning Music Scene: There’s something for everyone.

      In addition to sporting gorgeous Santa Barbara vacation rentals, Santa Barbara is home to dozens of clubs offering jazz, pop, rock, house, hip-hop, etc. There’s definitely something for everyone close to your Santa Barbara vacation rental. Remember, we’re a college town, and the kids in Goleta have a low boredom threshold, so they all flock to State Street on the weekend.

      If you’re looking for a young and hip scene with fresh performers, you might want to check out Live Culture (http://liveculturelounge.synthasite.com/) in the Paseo Nuevo mall. If you’re seeking a more laid-back and grown up atmosphere, try SOhO www.sohosb.com. If jazz is your raison d’être, keep an eye out for the UCSB Arts and Lectures Jazz Series (https://artsandlectures.sa.ucsb.edu/), which has featured gifted luminaries like Wynton Marsalis and Ornette Coleman.

      Check the local entertainment listings or ask your Santa Barbara vacation rental concierge to help you find the perfect venue for you.

      Reason #3 to Enjoy Santa Barbara’s Burgeoning Music Scene: We are a world-class classical music destination.

      The Santa Barbara music scene has a reputation as being southern California’s premier locale to find stellar classical talent. No matter whether your senses soar to the sounds of Verdi or Vivaldi, there are many venues to choose from and many Santa Barbara vacation rentals close by.

      The Community Arts Music Association http://www.camasb.org/ offers two series of classical concerts, the International Series at the Granada Theatre and the Masterseries at the Lobero. The Lobero http://www.lobero.com/ also has a wide variety of entertainment with music concerts and jazz.

      The Music Academy of the West http://www.musicacademy.org/ is an intensive training workshop for classical artists. They offer student concerts throughout the summer in opera, orchestra and chamber music.

      Camerata Pacifica www.cameratapacifica.org is a chamber music group that performs monthly concerts of old favorites and new pieces.

      The Santa Barbara Opera www.operasb.com has three performances a year, and does music education for children in the community.

      The Santa Barbara Choral Society www.sbchoral.org offers several outstanding concerts a year and some overseas performances.

      The Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra www.sbco.org offers five concerts during the season with world-class soloists on different instruments.

      The Granada Theater is the home of The Santa Barbara Symphony www.thesymphony.org and its many diverse concerts, behind-the-scenes talks and performances. The Santa Barbara Youth Symphony also offers concerts at The Lobero.

      Reason #4 to Enjoy Santa Barbara’s Burgeoning Music Scene: All of the up and coming popular artists stop here.

      The crème de la crème always make sure a stop at the Santa Barbara music scene is on their tour schedule. Most established hot acts can be caught at the Santa Barbara Bowl http://www.sbbowl.com/. Those on the upswing can often be found perfecting their gigs at one of the many clubs downtown.

      Reason #5 to Enjoy Santa Barbara’s Burgeoning Music Scene: We have a wide variety of international cultural music.

      The Santa Barbara Bowl, the Granada www.granadasb.org and Arlington http://www.thearlingtontheatre.com/ offer cultural performances and concerts. But the best places to catch these acts are the smaller clubs. You can find anything from Taiko drumming to Tango music to while away your evening hours. If you get a Santa Barbara vacation rental near downtown, you can enjoy clubbing without having to worry about needing a car to get back to your Santa Barbara vacation rental.

      UCSB http://www.music.ucsb.edu/ also offers a lot of performances (many of them free) of both local and visiting talent with an international bent.

      Reason #6 to Enjoy Santa Barbara’s Burgeoning Music Scene: You can find the very best in musical theater here.

      The Arlington Theater offers traveling musicals, opera simulcasts, spoken word entertainment, and some concerts. There are also smaller local dinner theaters that offer fun and inventive theater.

      There is so much to see and listen to in Santa Barbara. The possibilities are endless. No one visit can possibly cover all of the musical outlets, so it is imperative that you plan ahead. As soon as you’ve booked your Santa Barbara vacation rental, check out a local events calendar like this one http://www.santabarbaraca.com/things-to-do/calendar-of-events/music/ to start planning your musical journey. Whether you’re in town to hear Puccini, The Black Crowes or a Brazilian dance band, you’ll find something to wow you, and lure you back for more.

      Topics: Santa Barbara Family-Friendly Vacation, Santa Barbara Romantic Getaway, Santa Barbara Vacation Tips, Santa Barbara live music, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

      Enjoy Local Live Music Venues During Your Stay at a Santa Barbara Vacation Rental

      By Santa Barbara Local | October 22, 2010

      If you’ve booked your Santa Barbara vacation rental for this year, then you probably already know that some of the best bands and performers from across the street and across the globe regularly perform in Santa Barbara.

      Santa Barbara is home to countless clubs, theaters and other places for music appreciators of all stripes to explore. Regardless of where your Santa Barbara vacation rental is located, chances are, there’s a world-class musical venue right nearby. Here are some of our favorites.

      If you love fine food and music, then SOhO is the place to be. Gourmet food and a New York ambiance set this jazz club apart from the competition.

      The walls in the intimate Velvet Jones are all black and white images of artists. It’s generally viewed as one of the best up-close-and-personal music venues in Santa Barbara. This place is so classic they even have a Pacman machine upstairs.

      Whiskey Richards is a sexy-grungy, cozy club with some of the best drink-mixers in southern California. Pool tables and dart boards make it especially appealing to the post-college but not-quite-yuppies crowd.

      A favorite among locals, funky Muddy Waters is known for an indie vibe, comfy couches and stellar talent roster. Cash only, and the nearest ATM is a block away.

      If your tastes run a little more to the conventional, then the 2,000+ seat Arlington Theatre must be at the top of your list of music places to check out. Featuring everything from opera simulcasts to The Black Crowes live and in person, the Arlington offers a constant variety of fresh and traditional spoken and sung entertainment.

      Nothing compares to an evening at the Santa Barbara Bowl where you can sit back sway to the tunes of everyone from Bob Dylan to Alicia Keyes. Concerts happen rain or shine and poking your neighbor with an umbrella is discouraged so dress appropriately for your al fresco music event.

      Recently reopened after a multi-year, $60 million renovation, The Granada Theatre is an elegant space where you’re likely to find Disney’s Beauty and the Beast hanging out with Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, Taiko drum artists rubbing shoulders with ballerinas, and cellists who are perplexed by Mummenschanz.

      Your stay in a Santa Barbara vacation rental won’t be complete until you’ve experienced the Santa Barbara music scene. Book your trip now, before all the other music lovers get the best deals.

      (Mention The New Noise Santa Barbara Music Conference & Festival November 4th-6th, 2010 for a deep discount on your Santa Barbara vacation rental.)

      Topics: Santa Barbara Family-Friendly Vacation, Santa Barbara Romantic Getaway, Santa Barbara Vacation Rentals, Santa Barbara Vacation Tips, Santa Barbara live music, Uncategorized, Vacation Rentals California | No Comments »

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