10 Best Places for Early Entertainment in Santa Barbara

There's so much to do during the day in sunny Santa Barbara, that you probably won't want to miss a single golden moment of daytime. So let's make an early night of it, shall we?

Lucky for us, there are plenty of Santa Barbara nightlife venues that feature early entertainment, so you can have a little fun after dinner and still get to bed at a decent hour. This list take a peek at your best bets before 10 p.m.

Check out our top picks for every kind of fun:

  • Love the theater? Visit the Lobero, Granada or catch a play by the Ensemble Theatre Company.
  • Live for live music? The Santa Barbara Bowl and Chase Palm Park are great destinations.
  • Looking for something a little different? Join Santa Barbara Bike Moves or try your hand at trivia at Old Kings Road.

All 10 of our choices wrap up early enough for you to be bright eyed and bushy tailed at work the next day. Or - if you're truly a night owl - might we suggest following up with some late night eats?

No matter what you choose, you can't go wrong. We hope you'll send us some pictures! (Or, you know, you can tweet us at @10Best.) 



This one-screen theater is a real treat, focused primarily on independent films and art house fare. Tucked away above the Santa Barbara Mission, the Metropolitan Riviera Theatre has only a few showings a day. There is a small box office and...  Read More

Santa Barbara
Arlington Theatre


Crowned by a grand tower and a red tile roof, this elegant theater is a gem of Spanish Revival architecture. Built in 1931 for Fox West Coast Theaters, the Arlington continues an Iberian theme inside. The auditorium itself mimics a courtyard,...  Read More

Santa Barbara


If you're planning on spending a Thursday night in Santa Barbara this summer, don't miss your opportunity to embrace a little al fresco fun at Chase Palm Park. Starting in late June, the Parks and Recreation department hosts free weekly concerts...  Read More



For creative and original live shows in Santa Barbara, look to the inventive team behind the Ensemble Theatre Company. Santa Barbara's professional theater company puts an emphasis on bringing rarely seen stage events and premieres to town. For...  Read More

Old Kings Road
Photo courtesy of Geneva Ives


From the hard cider on tap to the witticisms lining the wall, everything at Old King's Road smacks of a London-style pub, right smack in the middle of Santa Barbara. Of course there are more than a dozen varieties of beer on tap - and many more...  Read More



The Granada Theatre is Santa Barbara's most splendid and impressive performing arts venue, boasting over 1,550 seats, multiple patron lounges and a custom orchestra shell. Originally built in 1924, the theater underwent a dramatic restoration...  Read More



Santa Barbara Bike Moves is a fun, free social event that happens every month and welcomes wheeled participants of all stripes. Grab your beach cruiser, mountain bike, skateboard, roller blades or scooter (or really anything with wheels) and...  Read More



Founded in the 1800s, the Lobero Theatre is the oldest continuously operating theater in California. Originally opened in 1873 and rebuilt in 1924, it is recognized as one of Santa Barbara's architectural jewels. It is also a state and city...  Read More



Where do you go at night if some members of your party want to enjoy an adult beverage while others do not? And where should you take a large group after dark? And what if you all need to blow off a little steam? The answer, friends, is Zodo's:...  Read More

Santa Barbara


The best live music venue in Santa Barbara! This outdoor amphitheater has an aerial view of the city, multiple concessions stands and wonderful accommodations. Bands big and small (but mainly big) play at the Santa Barbara Bowl. The concert...  Read More


Meet Geneva Ives

Geneva Ives moved to Santa Barbara in 2000 on a whim (ok, and to go to college) and never looked back. She loves Santa Barbara because it’s really one of America’s greatest small towns - it...  More About Geneva