Welcome to Santa Barbara
Brimming with history, scenic beaches, picturesque views, nearly perfect year-round climate, outdoor adventures, and one of the most charming downtown districts in California, Santa Barbara is quite simply paradise. Tucked between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, this city has been hailed as both the “American Riviera” and a beloved playground for the rich and famous. Santa Barbara is unique in that it has both casual yet sophisticated urban flair and natural seaside beauty that harmonize in perfect unison—reminiscent of what one might find in a quaint European village. Residents are a diverse mix of community-oriented folks from both local and international walks of life, who take pride in an inspired quality of life that centers around all that the city has to offer by way of its natural environment and thriving business sector. Known for its broad, sandy beaches, enchanting hiking and biking trails, historic landmarks such as Mission Santa Barbara, and its proximity to The Channel Islands, Santa Barbara is a beautiful world unto itself set along 25 miles of gorgeous California coastline.
Santa Barbara is about a 90-mile scenic drive north of Los Angeles along the Pacific Coast Highway—one of the most iconic drives in the country. The local airport, rail transport, and bus systems make the area both easily accessible to Northern and Southern California regions and convenient for in-town travel. The architecture of Santa Barbara is just as breathtaking as its natural scenery—ranging from glorious Spanish Colonial homes, extravagant Victorians, equestrian ranches, oceanfront Mediterranean estates, and historic, charming cottages. Divided into 10 distinct and affluent neighborhoods, Santa Barbara is equal parts ideal for raising a family, an inspiring muse for artists, a secluded haven for celebrities, and a romantic getaway for couples.
What to Love
Urban flair and scenic beauty steeped in rich history
Diverse communities in distinct, quaint neighborhoods
Abundant outdoor activity
Charming downtown district and inspiring art community
People & Lifestyle
The Santa Barbara lifestyle is California chic. Katy Perry’s “California Girls” describes it best— “you could travel the world, but nothing comes close to the Golden Coast.” With a trove of natural treasures, cultural diversity, and world-class dining, the welcoming residents of Santa Barbara have a strong sense of community that is as celebrated and fun as it is warm and laid-back.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
is one of Santa Barbara’s most iconic landmarks and is the oldest working wharf in California. Completed in 1872, the wharf is a mainstay of Santa Barbara’s Waterfront District with an eclectic array of boutique shops and unique dining options. Visitors can take a guided boat from the wharf to Santa Barbara Harbor or gear up at the tackle shop for a day of fishing.
Just a short walk from Stearns Wharf, is an upscale Spanish Colonial Revival hotel set along a palm tree-lined street in the highly-walkable Funk Zone neighborhood of Santa Barbara. The elegant rooms come with Moroccan accents, balconies, fireplaces, and ocean views—and suites include separate living areas. Additional amenities include a Moroccan-style spa, a divine Mediterranean restaurant, an outdoor pool and hot tub, as well as a hip little terrace café.
Opening its doors in 1928, is a legendary and critically acclaimed centerpiece of Santa Barbara’s downtown dining scene. An upbeat and delicious American steakhouse and bar, Joe’s elevates the concept of a friendly neighborhood restaurant into an atmosphere of memory-making socializing over stellar cuisine. The portions are generous, the drinks are stiff, and the service is impeccable—come prepared to savor the experience for awhile!
has some of the freshest seafood—and one of the best happy hours—in all of Santa Barbara. With an exquisite dining space featuring jaw-dropping panoramic views of the ocean, this upscale spot on the beach also has a beautiful outdoor patio—perfect for accentuating the laid-back lifestyle of Santa Barbara over mouthwatering food and cocktails.
in Santa Barbara takes top-shelf Japanese cuisine to an innovative new level. More of a trendy hot spot of phenomenal sushi to be enjoyed with friends rather than a quiet romantic dinner location, this small and lively brick-walled venue features stunning masterpieces created by local artists. Paired with a stellar sake list and an equally impressive wine selection, Arigato is one of the best ways to start a night out on the town in Santa Barbara.
Things to Do
If you’re in the mood for tasty eats, eclectic retailers, a growing arts community, and some of the area’s best wine tasting rooms in Santa Barbara, then you’re in luck. Welcome to the —an independent-spirited, hip-and-happening arts enclave located near Lower State Street and the Santa Barbara Waterfront. This walkable 13-block area is home to some of the city’s best restaurants, breweries, creative collectives, and art galleries, rooted in its vibrant history as an area where pioneering surfboard shapers, winemakers, and artists originally set up shop.
The is Santa Barbara’s most beloved annual tradition, kicking off the summer season of fun in the sun with a dazzling parade and impressive lineup of live music and performances. The celebration embodies the creative energy and free spirit of Santa Barbara living—where artists, performers, musicians, storytellers, and other creative folks from around the world can gather to share their talents and connect with the community.
With over 20 tasting rooms to choose from, Santa Barbara’s famed stretches across two distinct downtown neighborhoods—offering multiple days of decadent wine tasting and dining experiences. All you have to do is throw on a pair of comfy shoes, relax, and enjoy. Day one kicks off in The Funk Zone, while day two takes guests to the Presidio neighborhood.
The annual at Stearns Wharf and the Santa Barbara Harbor isn’t your average boat parade. Each December, hundreds of families gather to watch spectacularly illuminated boats sail across the waters to a backdrop of fireworks—preceded by a winter wonderland for kids. Children can play in mountains of snow and enjoy a visit from Santa Claus himself at Santa’s Village on City Pier before the 5:30 PM Parade of Lights begins.
Santa Barbara is zoned within the Santa Barbara Unified School District. Highlights include:
Laguna Blanca School (Upper Campus), Private, PK-12
Santa Barbara Jr. High, Public, 7-8
Santa Barbara Senior High School, Public, 9-12