Built in 1936 with federal funding from the Depression-era WPA, the Santa Barbara Bowl was originally designed to serve as an annual performance venue for Fiesta. Imagine one hundred horses with costumed riders carrying torches and descending from the Riviera into this beautiful amphitheater. The original construction included a wooden revolving stage that was destroyed by a flood during an El Nino winter in 1939. It was replaced by a concrete stage that was used until the end of the 2001 Concert Season. Cracked and falling apart, the Bowl rebuilt the stage, dressing rooms and new restrooms (all located under the stage) using the same structural specifications as freeway overpasses. This stage will soon house a permanent pavilion where the Bowl Foundation will present a diverse array of musical entertainment.
The Granada Theatre is proud to be the home of the area’s finest performing arts companies - Opera Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Symphony, CAMA, State Street Ballet and Santa Barbara Choral Society. The venue is also a favorite stop for UCSB Arts & Lectures’ events on tour as well as Music Academy of the West’s Summer Festival Concert Series and the ever popular Broadway Series. Additionally, 2011 saw the launch of the exciting new Granada Theatre Concert Series. Every month the Granada Theatre showcases popular entertainers, such as The Moody Blues, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, and world famous comedians. A dynamic array of outside presenters also bring top-level productions on tour to The Granada Theatre.
The Santa Barbara Symphony is a highly respected symphony orchestra, performing great works with passion and excellence. They are an indispensable partner to their community, providing enrichment through inspiring concerts, music education programs and access for all.
Los Angeles based Metropolitan Theatres Corporation has been a privately held company owned by the Corwin family since 1923. Metropolitan currently operates a diverse collection of historic properties and state-of-the-art multiplexes among its 19 theatres and 96 screens in California, Colorado, Idaho, Utah, and British Columbia. Metropolitan is focused on achieving its next generation growth plan through new development, theatre acquisitions, and providing theatre management services.
Today, the Museum’s 60,000 square feet include exhibition galleries, a Museum Store, Cafe, a 154-seat auditorium, a library containing 50,000 books and 55,000 slides, a children’s gallery dedicated to participatory interactive programming and an 11,500-square-foot off-site facility, the Ridley-Tree Education Center at McCormick House.
With 80 years of success laid as our foundation, the Santa Barbara Historical Museum begins another decade by continuing to work toward our mission of building a future worth remembering, and we look forward to the opening of the permanent John Edward Borein Gallery in Summer 2013.
At opal restaurant and bar, the entire dining room staff is available to take care of each table. The goal is to not only to give you exceptional service, but also to serve you in a manner that is warm and engaging, and properly nuanced to your mood and situation. To that end, we hire people with a heart who genuinely care about giving you the best possible experience.
For over 30 years, the Condor, and more recently, the Condor Express have been a part of the Santa Barbara waterfront. Captain Fred Benko started Sea Landing in March of 1973 as a charter service offering sport fishing, diving, harbor cruises, and limited whale watching. At that time the Pacific Gray Whale population was very endangered and estimated to be only 8,300 animals. Fortunately, with time, this number grew and by 1985 the herd was over 15,000 individuals. It was about that time, that the Condor began offering whale watching full time. Cruises aboard the Condor were called Condor Cruises for many years.
Widely regarded as a model botanic garden, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is a living museum and a member of the American Alliance of Museums, dedicated to research, education, and conservation of California native plants.
It has become apparent that the long-term use of toxic pesticides, fungicides and chemically-based fertilizers can pollute water sources, destroy soil ecosystems and harm people and animals. Lotusland’s horticultural staff have extensively researched other solutions to pest and disease control. As a result, all materials now used in the garden are certified organically-based and the least harmful alternatives available.
Founded April 21, 1782, the Santa Barbara Royal Presidio was the last in a chain of four military fortresses built by the Spanish along the coast of Alta California, then a wilderness frontier. Others had been established at San Diego, San Francisco and Monterey. Padre Junípero Serra, well known for his leadership in founding the California missions, blessed the site of the Santa Barbara Presidio four years prior to the establishment of the Mission of Santa Barbara in 1786. El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park encompasses much of the original Presidio site and is located in modern downtown Santa Barbara at the intersection of Santa Barbara and East Canon Perdido Streets.
Founded in 1787, the La Purisima Mission land holdings once covered nearly 470 square miles. Bordered by the Santa Maria River in the North and the Gaviota coastline in the South, the land was home to the Chumash people and Spanish settlers. The mission was best known for its hides and blankets, and at its peak inhabitants herded as many as 24,000 cattle and sheep.
For almost 160 years this site has been the home of local government and a place of civic pride and celebration. Visitors from around the world come to see the courthouse, mural room and grounds. Hundreds get married in the Mural Room or in the Garden every year. The County Board of Supervisors caused the construction of this, now historic courthouse in 1926, after the smaller Greek-Revival courthouse was damaged in an earthquake of the previous year.