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Thanksgiving 2021: Santa Barbara Fun and Feasts


long dining room table ready for a Thanksgiving celebration in 2021

Photo by Juliette F on Unsplash

Living on the American Rivera makes it easy to be grateful on Thanksgiving Day. Our own special, sunny slice of paradise provides so many options when it comes to the holiday season, from fun outdoor events to specially curated feasts. To ensure your special day is festive, I’ve compiled a list of the best Thanksgiving 2021 events and meals you won’t want to miss. So, grab your loved ones and explore these scrumptious options:

Active Thanksgiving Events

Because of our perfect, year-round Mediterranean weather, we have the option of celebrating Thanksgiving 2021 outside. For active Santa Barbarans and visitors, here are a few activities to consider:

Turkey Paddle, November 25, 2021, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Cost: $30/hour
Nothing says Santa Barbara like a morning paddle on Thanksgiving Day. Get your family and friends out on the water for fun. Talk about being grateful!

Thanksgiving 4-Miler, November 25, 2021, 9 a.m.
Cost: $25-$40/person
How about running off those calories before you eat too much this year? It’s easy, just participate in a 4-mile run through Santa Barbara by participating in the 23rd annual Thanksgiving 4-Miler. This flat and fast course winds through neighborhood streets, beginning along Hollister Avenue and finishing at Thunderbird Park. You’ll be grateful at dinner when you lead up that second plate!

Close up of a plate with a Thanksgiving decoration on top

Image courtesy of Rosewood Miramar Beach

Thanksgiving Dinner Events

Perhaps you’re not in the mood to cook this year. Not to worry if you live in Santa Barbara where our bustling restaurant scene is something to be grateful for. Plus, who knows, you might start a new family tradition by attending one of these local dining events:

Rosewood Miramar Beach
Cost: Varies at each restaurant. Reservations a must.
Gobble up the buffet of your Thanksgiving favorites in the Chandelier Room at Rosewood Miramar Beach. There are two seating times to choose from: the first is 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and the second goes from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Once you arrive at the only five-star resort on the beach in Southern California, head to the Chandelier Ballroom where you’ll find everything you need to be grateful for this Thanksgiving from delicious fare with a regional twist to fun activities for the kids.

Or enjoy a four-course prix fixe Thanksgiving menu at Caruso’s, the resort’s lively and inviting oceanfront restaurant. Chef Massimo Falsini has created a unique menu of traditional favorites with a twist from his Southern Italian heritage. Indulge and be grateful while enjoying the restaurant’s unmatched views of the Pacific Ocean.

Belmond El Encanto
Cost: $115/person; children 12 and under, $60. Reservations required.
Follow the scents of the season to The Dining Room & Terrace where everyone is invited to savor the flavors of Thanksgiving at this hillside hideaway. Since this iconic early 20th-century property is perched atop a hillside, you’ll also get a feast for your eyes by dining here. This fine dining experience features traditional dishes like roasted turkey served with butternut squash or delicious alternatives like seared king salmon. Then, there are the desserts. Choose from warm apple tarte tatin, sweet corn crème brûlée, or spiced pumpkin latte roulade. 

Thanksgiving Dinner at Convivo
Cost: 3-course, $75/person; 4-course, $90/person
Relax and coast to a Thanksgiving 2021 meal set alongside the Santa Barbara coastline at Convivo. The only decisions you’ll need to make are selecting between the delicious 3 or 4-course menu. Fixings for the day include everything from whole roast turkey to Southern California swordfish. Get ready to sit back and give thanks for one incredible meal. 

Cold Spring Tavern
Cost: $85 per adult, $35 per child 10 and under.
The iconic Cold Spring Tavern offers a more rustic Thanksgiving feast this year featuring your choice of turkey, prime rib, or poached wild Alaskan salmon. Don’t miss these hidden gems version of corn chowder which is created with roasted pistachio. For dessert, you can’t go wrong with the Granny Smith apple cobbler. For those who eat on the early side, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. dinner will be accompanied by live music featuring Jeffery Pine. 

Stonehouse Restaurant
Cost: $185/person; $295/person, which includes wine flight. Reservations can be made at or by calling (805) 565-1720. 
From Executive Chef Matt Johnson along with his team of culinary experts comes a four-course fine dining experience to remember. Everything is fresh here, so all the fresh herbs and produce come directly from the chef’s own organic garden. How does House Smoked Mount Cook King Salmon with trout roe, accented by crispy Yukon Gold boxty, and a petite herb and purple radish salad sound? In the mood for something more traditional? You can’t go wrong with the Honey Brined Organic Mary’s Turkey which comes with all trimmings on expects on Thanksgiving Day. Speaking of traditions, don’t leave without a slice of the freshly baked Pumpkin Pie.

Louie’s California Bistro
Cost: $65 per person. To reserve your table, visit  
Louie’s California Bistro located inside the Upham Hotel, which, by the way, is California’s oldest continuously operating hotel, has your Thanksgiving celebration covered. Enjoy the remarkable historical architecture while dining on a traditional Thanksgiving feast of roasted turkey with stuffing, cranberry relish, and mashed potatoes, or switch it up this year with fresh salmon with a lemon mustard and caper beurre blanc and saffron rice features.  Don’t miss their delicious dessert: pumpkin cheesecake with cinnamon whip cream. Yum!

Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort
Cost: Varies per restaurant. Reservations are recommended. Check ahead for seating times.
The Roundhouse restaurant is offering a delicious buffet that can be enjoyed either indoors or out. Pile your plate high at the seafood bar or carving station. Go traditional with the side dishes, and make sure to leave room for the huge choice of delectable desserts. 

Or head to the resort’s signature restaurant, The Set to enjoy turkey, gravy, and all rest. They’ve even made it easy for those who are in the mood for something different this year with options like New York steak, salmon, or even vegan turkey pot pie. And of course, you’ll end your meal with a new gratefulness toward deserts.

Another way to celebrate Thanksgiving 2021 is by checking out the real estate opportunities in Santa Barbara. If you see something you like, please give me a call at (805) 886-9378 or email me at I’ll happily arrange a tour for you and can even add your existing property to my portfolio of fine homes in the area. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!




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