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A Fall Guide From A Santa Barbara Local

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCSB chapter.

I am a freshman at UCSB, but not new to Santa Barbara. As a Santa Barbara local, I often hear from out-of-towners that I’m lucky to live in “paradise,” where the sun always shines over beautiful beaches and summer is a constant. Personally, I have always seen a difference between the seasons, even if it’s not reflective in the Southern California weather. 

Summer here is filled with excitement, tourists, and beach days with friends. When fall rolls around, everything seems to slow down. Fortunately though, there is never a lack of fun fall activities in the Santa Barbara area to explore — here are some of my favorites as a seasoned local!

Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice

Okay, okay. I know there are mixed feelings about the Pumpkin Spice Latte craze. However, I believe that it is a nice way to immerse yourself in the warmness of fall. A good Pumpkin Spice Latte fills your head with dreams of cozy sweaters and orange leaf covered pathways.

Dune Coffee Roaster’s Pumpkin Spice Latte is a perfect on-the-go pick me up. I tried one the other weekend before visiting the Santa Barbara Art museum, and as soon as I tasted it, I thought to myself, “Oh yes. This is October.” Dune Coffee Roasters is located on Anacapa Street, Calle Real, State Street, and Storke Road, which is super close to UCSB!

Continuing down State Street, Lilac Patisserie’s Pumpkin Spice Latte has a perfect decadent flavor with a great coffee base. Lilac Patisserie offers gluten-free pastries and cakes as well as lots of great lunch options. It’s worth visiting for its picturesque interior, too.

Crushcakes and Café is the perfect inviting cupcake cafe with great fall beverages, and has been a local favorite for years. Crushcakes has two locations — one in Goleta and one downtown.

Markets, Markets, Markets!

There are so many markets in Santa Barbara that feature small businesses and artisan creations! You are sure to find appropriate eclectic Fall clothing attire at the monthly BAAD SUNDAY market, a hip makers and vintage market in downtown Santa Barbara on October 15th at 500 Anacapa Street from 12-4 pm. You can browse vintage clothing, listen to music, and grab a bite from the Taqueria Food trucks! 

The Farmer and the Flea takes place on October 28th at the El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park. It features live music, more than 60 local vendors, and 3 non-profit animal rescues bringing adoptable dogs. The timeframe to experience this fun autumn ambience is 10-4 pm.

Finally, if you can’t get around to these October Markets, there will be the Mujeres Market at El Presidio de Santa Barbara on the November 5th from 10am-4pm. This market features local makers and specifically women of color. This will be their third annual Día de los Muertos market which will hold over 70 vendors, face painters, workshops and more exciting activities!

Pumpkin Patches

Pumpkin patches remind me of bliss: pumpkin carving, running around the corn maze, spooky hayrides. I think pumpkin patches are the perfect activity to bond with your friends, take cute pictures and search for your personal favorite pumpkin.

You can experience this youthful joy as a UCSB student by visiting the Pumpkin Patch in Isla Vista from 7pm-11pm on October 30th and 31st in Anisq’Oyo’ Park. The Isla Vista Recreation and Park District encourages us to come help the Pumpkin King reunite with the Pumpkin Queen by participating in the Hay’all Carnival Games, a Spooky Silent Disco, and more!

The classic Lane Farms’s Pumpkin Patch in Goleta is also open daily from September 30 to October 31, 2023. There you can find hayrides, farm animals, and a corn maze, too!

Fall Essentials

What better fall activity is there than getting yourself familiar with a good book? My favorite book store in Santa Barbara throughout all seasons is Chaucer’s Books. There, I can always find the right book for what I’m feeling.

Whether you are trying to embrace your inner Rory Gilmore or just want to support a local independent bookstore, Chaucers is perfect for you. In the month of October, there are several in-store book signings happening, and you can be certain they’ll have the perfect fall book selection for you. 

If you’re on the hunt for Halloween Decor, I would recommend browsing Lewis and Clark, a store that sells the most adorable trinkets, jewelry, and room essentials for the fall season. Their store feels magical, and inviting, and I would recommend any person visiting Santa Barbara to stop by.

I believe that a dress up event is definitely a fall essential, and the most fun way to do this would to become involved in the annual Thriller Dance hosted by World Dance for Humanity at the Sunken Gardens in SB. This is a global flash mob that happens exactly at the same time every year: October 29th at 2 pm. This is an event that brings the community together, and you won’t want to miss it!

With the changing of the seasons, I believe that it’s important to seek out enticing events. Be open to the opportunities that come your way and fall in love with fall. Go and support these small businesses and makers, and have fun exploring the beautiful Santa Barbara!

Hello! My name is Ella Bailey and I am a Freshman at UCSB. My pronouns are she/her. I am an English major with an interest in the Arts and Culture. I love painting, visiting museums and coffee shops, and discussing music with my friends. This is my first year as a Her Campus editorial intern, and I am so excited to learn from and be surrounded by other writers and creatives!