Wintertime in Santa Barbara County is made for strolling — even amid scattered showers — as area business organizations are reminding in advance of Saturday’s #ShopSmall local-business shopping day. And it’s not just shopkeepers who are participating. Restaurants, art galleries, museums, and the only bookstore left in downtown Santa Barbara are offering meal deals, discounts, gift certificate drawings, and free butter cookies as part of the State Street scene on November 26, a day created to follow the traditional Black Friday extravaganzas at mass-market stores. The full list of participants can be found at Downtown Santa Barbara, which will host music, giveaways, and free gift wrapping by Life Chronicles in the plaza at the corner of State and Canon Perdido streets from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Though bisected by the 101 highway, the many blocks surrounding Buellton’s tiny downtown holds a wide variety of storefronts from the DIY to the delicious. Several farm supply and feed stores — each of which brings in unique gifts for the holidays and customarily sells clothing, housewares, tools, and other necessities — are scattered around Buellton, like Monighetti’s, Tractor Supply, and Farm Supply, said Jody Knoell of the Buellton Chamber of Commerce. She recommended a gift certificate to Mother Hubbard’s monthly locavore dinner as a popular present, as well as a visit to the distilleries, restaurants, brew houses, sweet shops, clothing stores, and quilting shop in Buellton for out-of-the-ordinary items. “We’re here to share the whole valley with everybody,” Knoell advised, adding that the Visitors Bureau has coupons and assorted freebies to make Saturday special. Not to mention that a stop there will net directions to treasured specialties of the town, like the carrot cupcakes at Pattibakes: “The best this side of the Mississippi.”