In the Northern Hemisphere, the summer solstice is a celebration of the first day of summer, boasting the longest day and shortest night of the year. On this day, the tilt of the earth’s semi-axis is most inclined towards the sun, while the sun reaches its highest position in the sky as seen from the North Pole.
Since 1974, the Summer Solstice Celebration, taking place in Santa Barbara, CA, from June 21 – 23, has been marking the first day of summer with a vibrant parade filling State Steet with over 1,000 participants donning whimsical costumes next to extravagant floats followed by creatively choreographed dancing ensembles. Originally started as a birthday celebration for a local mime and artist, Michael Gonzalez, the jubilation continues to grow each year and features mouthwatering food from local restaurants, and over 75 local arts and crafts vendors.
Cheshire Cat Inn
After a full day of celebrating, you can escape to a relaxing Santa Barbara bed and breakfast to unwind. The Old Yacht Club Inn, a lovingly restored Mission Craftsman built in 1912, offers whirlpool suites with fireplaces and private decks. After savoring a delicious breakfast, spend the day sipping through Santa Barbara on a wine tour or float along the coast of the harbor on a kayak adventure. An afternoon wine social will give you the opportunity to continue the solstice celebrations in the comforts of the inn.
Just minutes away from State Street you’ll find the perfectly manicured, flower filled gardens and old oak trees surrounding the Cheshire Cat Inn, an elegant Victorian Inn with 18 charming accommodations. Looking to unwind after summer’s longest day? You can indulge in a rejuvenating massage in the privacy of your own room before making the short trip to one of the coastline’s stunning beaches.
The official kick-off to summer is the perfect time to pack up your beach bag and set off for a bed and breakfast getaway near the coast. Celebrate the season by watching the waves roll onto the shore while burying your feet in the sand, or traversing bike paths while admiring spectacular ocean vistas.