Artists bring a certain eccentricity and fun to the neighborhoods they call home. In Santa Barbara, they have fashioned their studios out of the historical marine structures and industrial lots of the three-by-four block area now known as the Funk Zone. Wineries, restaurants, shops, and galleries followed creating a lively, cultural community that attracts visitors and locals alike. Pick up a Funk Zone map at the Santa Barbara Visitors Centers and reference the website to build a sightseeing, shopping, and dining extravaganza. This is just a small sampling of the merriment you will find in the Funk Zone.
Smartphone photography is highly encouraged on the Funk Zone Food Tour offered by Eat This Shoot That. This tour has a little bit of everything: tasting at 6-8 locations, hidden street art, and photography tips from a professional guide.
“Curious Goods for Curious People” is the tagline for The Shopkeepers. Find a new outfit for your night out on the town. Bring home a gift of stationary, candles, or high-end shaving products. Splurge on a Norman Seeff photograph to don your walls at home.
The Blue Door is excited to present antique and vintage items in a 5,000 square foot retail space. The ever-changing collection may feature a signed oil on canvas painting, a mid-century German chandelier, a 1960s coffee pot, or a female fishing boat captain’s charm bracelet. Bring home a conversation piece to remember your trip to Santa Barbara.
Spend an afternoon at Moxi, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation. Everyone is encouraged to play in this interactive science museum for all ages. Become part of the Handprint Globe. Test your technological creations. Create your own sounds effects for a film clip. Launch an air rocket in the Fantastic Forces Courtyard. Send your race car down the test track. There’s so much to see and do here, it’s impossible to fit it all in a few sentences.
There are many options for sampling tasty beverages. Cutler’s Artisan Distillery features gin, whiskey, vodka tasting flights and delicious cocktails on the patio. Try a sparkling rosé at Lafond Winery. Paradise Springs has the unique honor of being the first bicoastal winery with production in both California and Virginia. Rincon Brewery has been steadily growing since 2014; they expanded by opening a taproom in the Funk Zone in July 2020. End your evening with a cocktail and music Pearl Social.
You’ll never go hungry in the Funk Zone. Make an afternoon or after dinner stop at Monkeyshine for frozen treats flavored with Asian spices and ingredients. Try the Salty Surfer wood-fired pizza at Lucky Penny. Savor tapa, seasonal paella, and other Spanish cuisine Loquita.
If you can’t make it to Santa Barbara quite yet but are ready to start planning your trip, check out the Ask Me Anything Interview Series hosted by the Santa Barbara Arts Collaborative. There are two recorded interviews with Funk Zone figures. Hear from artists Dug Uyeseka and Michael Irwin and restauranteur Sharyn Main.