West Coast Winter

This is my seventh winter in Santa Barbara.  My friends back in Connecticut often ask me what it’s like and if I miss the seasons. The answer: I LOVE winter here and no, I don’t miss the seasons. You may be surprised, but we actually do have seasonal changes!

Our version of snow is the white petals of pear trees that cover the sidewalks when the Santa Ana winds blow.


And only a handful of our trees shed their leaves. Another change Santa Barbara sees in the winter are the roses. We prune them in late January, however they are prolific for ten months of the year!

Santa Barbara Mission rose gardens

Winter is normally our rainy season and it is a sight to behold to see the mountains turn from brown to vibrant green and for grass to sprout where there was once only dirt.


While we don’t have as many fires in our fireplace, we do have plenty in our outdoor fire pit.


The days are often crystal clear and you can see all the way to the Channel Islands.


One of my favorite things about our West Coast winters are the amazing sunrises and sunsets…they run the gamut from sherbet pastels to cotton candy clouds, and fiery oranges and reds.






Sunset over the Little Glass House

The weather can vary from cold (for us that is 50’s or 60’s during the day) to the 80’s which we are experiencing now. The winter nights can get into the 40’s and 50’s. I don’t own a hat or gloves and rarely wear a winter coat.

Because rain is such a rare occurrence in California, we cherish when Mother Nature graces us with its presence. There is something magical about a rainy day and the guiltless pleasure of being inside the house. I love the sound of the rain on the kitchen skylight. With the rain and storms, also come big waves and lots of surfers. Winter is the surfing season here in California. Another positive of these winter storms is the abundance of sea glass that washes up on the beaches.

Impending storm
Stormy days
Bounty of sea glass after a storm

The negative consequences of the winter storms are the boats that come loose from their moorings.


Storm casualty

Overall, a Santa Barbara winter is preferable to the snow plows and single digits back east. There are no blizzards to contend with, no ice to scrape off the windshield of the car and no exorbitant heating bills. And and the unexpected pleasure of a warm spell where a February day can be spent having a picnic at the beach will never get old. So no, I don’t miss the snowy season in the East Coast; I will gladly embrace my West Coast winters!


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