from Calendar of Events on Slow Down, See More from Favorite Fall Events & Festivals Worth the Travel, from the Editors from Southern California Calendar of Events, Fairs & Festivals: Fall on Slow Down, See More
Photo by Monterey Jazz Festival, Meredith Truax

Samara Joy

  • By Alison Plummer

The Fall calendar is packed with events and festivals on California’s Central Coast.

Enjoy beer, wine, and food in Montecito, and chill to the sounds of the legendary Monterey Jazz Festival. October brings colorful scarecrows to Cambria and San Simeon, while Santa Barbara celebrates produce with both the Vintner’s Festival and the Seafood Festival.


Special Events on California’s Central Coast: Worth the Detour


Lotusfest: Wine & Beer Festival 
September 16, 2023, Montecito (Santa Barbara)

A public botanical garden since the early 1990s. Central Coast wine, beer, and food at Lotusland, a nonprofit, 37-acre garden in the hills of Montecito. Proceeds help maintain the garden.

Monterey Jazz Festival
September 22-24, 2023, Monterey

66th Annual: The festival delivers jazz, blues, and folk — from legends including Charles Lloyd and Herbie Hancock to 2023 Grammy winner Samara Joy.

Cambria Scarecrow Festival
October 1 – October 31, Cambria (the San Luis Obispo area)

15th Annual: Weird, wonderful, and whimsical. Spot creative scarecrows in and around the seaside villages of Cambria and San Simeon for this fun annual festival.

Santa Cruz Open Studios
October 7 -22, 2023, Various Locations

Local artists open their studios to the public, showcasing a variety of mediums. A great chance to meet artists in their creative spaces.

Santa Barbara Vintner’s Festival
October 14, 2023, Santa Barbara

39th Annual: The place to taste the region’s best from more than 50 wineries, meet the winemakers, and check out all things wine. Regional cuisine from a stellar lineup of chefs and restaurants.

Santa Barbara Harbor & Seafood Festival
October 21, 2023, Santa Barbara

Sustainably fished seafood, fresh off the boat — sea urchin, lobster, and fresh crab. Grab fish tacos, seafood paella, clam chowder, mussels, and oysters from food booths.

Big Sur River Run
October 28, 2023, Big Sur

A scenic 5K and 10K race that raises funds for important community service organizations in the Big Sur area.


Full Calendars of Events

Central California

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