Best Times to Visit Santa Barbara
The best time to visit Santa Barbara is from March to May or from September to November. Temperatures are fairly mild year-round, hovering in the 60s and 70s, but traveling in early spring or fall ensures you won't be fighting crowds and rates will be less expensive. Summer welcomes most of the city's annual events and it's also peak season if you're looking for a beach vacation, but you'll have to contend with more crowds. If you're traveling during the winter months, make sure to pack an umbrella because Santa Barbara sees most of its rainfall between December and February. No matter when you decide to visit, pack layers as the morning and late evening temperatures tend to be much cooler than the daytime highs.
Weather in Santa Barbara
Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center
Winter sees daytime temperatures range from highs in the mid-60s to lows in the mid-40s at night, which is freezing by Santa Barbara standards. This season is also when the city sees most of its precipitation, which means it's not ideal for sightseeing or lounging on the beach. But, this also yields the lowest prices of the year.
Spring is one of the best times to visit Santa Barbara, before the crowds of summer descend on the city. Temperatures are still mild with highs in the upper 60s and the city will see plenty of sun, making it ideal for seeing sights like the Santa Barbara Zoo or the botanical gardens.
With pleasant temperatures averaging in the 70s and hardly any rainfall, summer is peak season in Santa Barbara. This is the time of year when most of the annual events occur in the city, bringing with them more crowds and elevated hotel prices. This is also the time of year locals call "June Gloom" – the foggy season.
Crowds have thinned out by early September, but high temperatures still hover in the upper 60s to mid-70s, making fall a great time to visit the city. Room rates will also have dropped from their summer highs. Just watch out for the Santa Ana winds, which can be strong this time of year.
Popular Times to Visit Santa Barbara
Tourism volume is estimated based on in-market destination search query interest from Google and on travel.usnews.com in 2015-2016. Hotel prices are sourced from a sample of U.S. News Best Hotels rates through 2015-2016.
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