Sharing a space with the Santa Barbara (California) Wine Collective, newly opened Helena Avenue Bakery custom-bakes sweet and savory goods — making for a convenient start or stopover while on the Urban Wine Trail.

Expansive windows provide a glimpse of chefs, overseen by Jeff Haines, as they hand-shape baguettes, breads and pastries. Chef Weston Richards (of Spare Parts pop-up acclaim) oversees the take-out Picnic Counter. Country Walnut bâtard, hand pies with seasonal jam, Cold Fried Chicken Sandwich on Ciabatta are just a few of the treats offered.

When fall arrives on the Santa Barbara south coast, thoughts turn to harvest time and festive gatherings with family and friends. Grapes have ripened and are ready for plucking, and the abundance is celebrated with food- and libation-centric festivals.

With a recent flurry of restaurant and eatery openings in the region, there’s plenty to feast on. Located just 92 miles north of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara offers visitors more than a day to experience everything the region has to offer.

Fall marks the prime season for food and libations festivals. The Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival kicked things off Sept. 11, followed by the Santa Barbara Harbor & Seafood Festival Oct. 15, Celebration of Harvest Weekend Oct. 7 to 10, Santa Barbara Beer Festival Oct. 15 and the Santa Barbara Chowder Festival Oct. 16. Visit Santa Barbara’s website,, for more information.