Califonia Bountiful

On location: Santa Barbara County

Sept./Oct. 2013 California Bountiful magazine

What makes it distinctive? Find out!

Renowned for fair weather, downtown beaches, Spanish architecture and breath­taking wine country, Santa Barbara County is a popular year-round tourist destination. Missionaries planted the area's first winegrapes in the late 18th century, and today the crop is defined by a patchwork of viticultural areas that have gained a reputation for world-class wines.


Kevin Merrill, Los Alamos

The seventh-generation Californian recalls time spent on the farm as a boy, feeling a connection to the land through farming. That love of the land continues with the grapes he grows and how he serves his community. For example, Merrill planted grapevines in an elementary school garden so the students could learn about the fruit that flourishes in the valley where they live.

Dining out: Far Western Tavern, Orcutt

A landmark of Santa Maria-style barbecue, the tavern features regional fare rooted in native ingredients, such as pinquito beans, and methods popularized by 19th century rancheros. The menu blends this local barbecue style with dishes using fresh flavors from nearby farms, ranches and vineyards.

September 28-29
California Lemon Festival, Goleta

When life hands you lemons, host a pie-eating contest, 5K run, classic car show and other family activities. The festival salutes the Goleta lemon, which has flourished in the region since the 1890s.

October 4-6
California Avocado Festival, Carpinteria

As the third-largest avocado producer in North America, Santa Barbara County celebrates "Avofest" with the world's largest vat of guacamole, best-dressed avocado contest and more.

October 12
Santa Barbara Harbor & Seafood Festival, Santa Barbara

Feast on the Santa Barbara Channel's freshest seafood, including lobster, crab, barbecued albacore, clam chowder, fish tacos and seafood gumbo. Enjoy cooking demos, marine exhibits and music, too.

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