Santa Barbara Community
Santa Barbara is nestled in a narrow strip of land between the Pacific Ocean and the beautiful Santa Ynez Mountain range. We enjoy a warm Mediterranean climate and we’re home to some of the world’s most beautiful and uncrowded beaches.
Our coastline is south-facing, which means that local residents enjoy long and sunny days as the sun rises on one side of town, and sets on the other. Our average temperature is around 70 degrees all year. Our beaches have long stretches of sand with small surf, thanks to our Santa Barbara Channel Islands.
The Santa Barbara community is home to a major university, University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) and the #1 community college in the state (as measured by transfer rates), Santa Barbara City College. Both colleges are located along our gorgeous oceanfront and have spectacular views. A popular surf spot known as “Campus Point” is at the south entrance of the UCSB campus.
Santa Barbara is a thriving entrepreneurial and creative community. Kinko’s was founded here (now known as FedEx Kinkos or just FedEx). Deckers Outdoor, the company that owns UGG, Sanuk, and bunch of other really cool shoe brands is here. Sonos was born here and has offices downtown. Citrix is headquartered here, Doubleclick had roots here, and a host of other software and SAAS companies have small offices around town.
Food, Wine & Hospitality
By far our largest industry is tourism. Food, wine, and hospitality are among the best in the world. I’ve been told Santa Barbara has the highest restaurant per capita rate in the country. Our hotels and guest ranches attract thousands from every corner of the globe. Our wine business is Santa Barbara’s #1 finished agricultural product.
The Four Seasons Biltmore Hotel and the San Ysidro Ranch are absolutely legendary. San Ysidro has a rich history, especially if you look back to the years when Santa Barbara was a popular filming location and Hollywood getaway.
Downtown Santa Barbara
Victoria Street at State Street is a wonderful restaurant row. Just a half a block away from the beautifully restored Granada Theater and historic Arlington, it’s a perfect place to find a terrific meal.
Head to Bouchon, Olio e Limon, or the historic Downey’s for elegant, date-night dining. Ca Dario, Opal, Jane or Arigato are great for hip, casual upscale dining. Brasil Arts Cafe and the Santa Barbara Public Market are wonderfully accessible and perfect for families. Park at the lot behind Granada and enjoy a fantastic evening out!
The Funk Zone – Santa Barbara’s hippest area, deserves a page all its own. Wine tasting rooms and fantastic restaurants dot the four or five blocks nearest to Stearn’s Wharf. Farm-to-table restaurant The Lark is an absolute event, and unforgettable dining. Lafond, Kunin, Municipal, and the Wine Collective mean you’ll have plenty of places to sip and sit while you’re visiting, or playing tourist in your own town.
Museums, Arts & Culture
It wouldn’t be a piece on Santa Barbara if we didn’t talk about our non-profit, museum and arts communities. Our town has a strong philanthropic culture, some high-society, but mostly grass roots.
Direct Relief International is based here, shipping medication and supplies to areas of need all over the world – their supply chain is second to none and they operate more efficiently than many non-profits.
The Bren School of Environmental Science at UCSB teaches graduate students how to start, run, or work in socially and environmentally responsible companies. Patagonia, the leader in corporate social responsibility is just 30 miles south of Santa Barbara. Our stunning ecological diversity and natural beauty means that we take sustainability seriously, and it makes an appearance in the daily lives of all Santa Barbara locals.
The Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum, the Santa Barbara Sea Center, the Santa Barbara Zoo, and the new children’s museum, Moxi of Santa Barbara are all fantastic places for people of all ages to visit. All of them are accessible with an intimate atmosphere, making our visits rich with experience.