THAT SPECIAL SETTING: If a week passes and some publication or channel or cable show hasn't deemed our state's own American Riviera -- that's Santa Barbara to most folks -- as the prettiest city on the West Coast or the jewel of California, we feel like that is a week that needs a redo. But, honestly, that rarely happens, a week passing by without Santa Barbara-directed accolades. There are many reasons for these honors, the air, the light, that Spanish, red-tiled architecture, but let us pause here to give another singularly Santa Barbara place props: it's harbor. Pretty much all harbors the world over are charming in some way; the idea of setting sail to points beyond just appeals. But Santa Barbara's boatiest bit boasts that mountainous backdrop -- a lot of other harbors are lacking in that -- and palms and vessels that look prettier merely by their Santa Barbara-close proximity. So we like when this particular harbor throws its annual party, as it will do on Saturday, Oct. 13. It definitely deserves the love.
HARBOR & SEAFOOD FESTIVAL: That's the proper name of the shindig and it will involve activities of an eating and looking sort. There's all sorts of food for sale -- Albacore BBQ, seafood spring rolls, and Brophy Bros. clam chowder -- and there are boat tours available for those who want to do some harbor-based lookie-loo-ing. It's just a nice day by the water, with food and tunes, and it gives us a chance to pay respect to one of the state's most picturesque H20 spots. So compliment away, cable shows and magazines; we know Santa Barbara deserves the sparkle, in good part due to its very pretty harbor.