Goleta, California

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Goleta, California

Introduction to Goleta, California

The city of Goleta is located in southern Santa Barbara County's Goleta Valley on the central coast of California, approximately 8 miles northwest of Santa Barbara and 90 miles north of Los Angeles. Nestled between Los Padres National Forest's Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, the city is serviced by U.S. Route 101 and is close to California State Highway 154.

The name "Goleta" (Spanish for small ship or schooner) officially appeared on the landscape in 1875 with the establishment of a local post office. The name was chosen because of the original land grant (La Goleta) which defined the area. Around the turn of the 20th century, the Southern Pacific Railroad established rail lines through the area, and in the 1930s a local airport was built. The airport was expanded and improved with Navy funds during World War II, when it became part of the Marine's Flying Leatherneck base. After the war, the airport was turned over to the City of Santa Barbara and later annexed to that city as their airport. The area's landscape, characterized by farms, dairies and ranches, changed in the 1950s concurrent with the arrival of the University of California campus and the establishment of many aerospace companies. The former farming region began a transformation to a high technology research area and an urban bedroom community. Often referred to as "Silicon Beach", Goleta Valley today is characterized by high technology, including diversified electronics, telecommunications, and remote sensing manufacturing industries. After many years of being the largest unincorporated area in the county, Goleta was finally incorporated as a city in 2002.

Goleta Attractions

Historical sites in Goleta include the Stow House, an 1872 structure stocked with period furnishings. The grounds include the Goleta History Museum, a working Blacksmith Shop, a Maritime Museum and Carriage House. Also in Goleta is the South Coast Railroad Museum, whose waiting rooms have been restored and are open to the public. The city's premiere annual event is the Goleta Lemon Festival. The event, held on two weekend days in October, was at various times in its history known as the Goleta Magnolia Festival, Goleta Valley Fair, and Goleta Valley Days Festival. In 1992 the festival acquired its present name owing to the long history of the lemon industry in the Goleta Valley and variety of delicious recipes available using lemons. The festival is now a total community event with local service clubs providing food booths featuring all things lemon, including lemonade, lemon cake, lemon chicken, lemon yogurt and even a Lemon Pie Baking and Eating Contest.

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High Points

Goleta strengths, compared to Peers (similar size places nationally) or State (other places in California):

Category Trophy
Short Commute Times
(vs. State)
Top 5% trophy Goleta Short Commute Times
Walking and Biking to Work
(vs. Peers)
Top 8% Goleta Walking and Biking to Work

Comparative Profile of Goleta, California

Comparing Goleta to similar size places nationwide (Peers) and to other places in California (State):

Ratings range from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest).

The People

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Well-Paid Single Men 9 8
Male Share of the Population 9 7
Age of the Population 8 8
Racial Diversity 8 6
Well-Paid Single Women 8 8
Senior Citizens 7 8
Female Share of the Population 3 4
Children Under 5 Years Old 2 3


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Average Household Size 8 5
Portion of People Married 7 6


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
College Educated Adults 8 8
Median Family Income 8 8
People in Middle Class or Better 7 7
People Above Poverty 7 8

Commute & Sprawl

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Working at Home 10 8
Walking and Biking to Work 10 9
Short Commute Times 10 10
Public Transportation Use 7 7


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Seasonal and Vacation Housing 8 7
Studio & One-Bedroom Rentals 6 5
Housing Recently Built 5 4
Affordability of Property Taxes 4 3
People Living Alone 4 6
Affordability of Rents 1 3

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Goleta Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 94 miles W of Los Angeles, California
County Santa Barbara
Metro Area Santa Barbara - Santa Maria - Lompoc
Standard Zip Codes 93110, 93111, 93117
P.O. Box Zip Codes 93116, 93118, 93160
Company Zip Codes 93199
Phone Area Codes 805
Time Zone Pacific (-8 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 34.435
Longitude -119.826

Goleta Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)
Distance 1.3 miles
Jan Temp 41 to 65 F
Apr Temp 48 to 70 F
Jul Temp 57 to 77 F
Oct Temp 52 to 75 F
Annual Precip 16.9 inches
Distance 12.7 miles
Jan Temp 40 to 66 F
Apr Temp 44 to 74 F
Jul Temp 53 to 91 F
Oct Temp 48 to 83 F
Annual Precip 21.8 inches
Station OJAI
Distance 33.9 miles
Jan Temp 37 to 68 F
Apr Temp 44 to 75 F
Jul Temp 56 to 89 F
Oct Temp 47 to 82 F
Annual Precip 21.7 inches
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Goleta Population (2000)

Category Count Percent
Total Population 55,204 100%
Male 27,380 49.6%
Female 27,824 50.4%
Under 18 12,750 23.1%
18+ 42,454 76.9%
65+ 8,042 14.6%
Median Age 38.2
Average Family Size 3.18
White 43,397 78.6%
African-American 703 1.3%
Asian 3,548 6.4%
American Indian & Alaskan 451 0.8%
Other 5,098 9.2%
Mixed Race 1,947 3.5%
Hispanic (included in categories above) 12,326 22.3%

Estimated Goleta Population Growth 2000-2005

Category Value
Est. 2005 Population 29,367
Growth -25,837
Growth % 0%

Goleta Ancestry

(From 2000 Census, as reported by individuals)

Note: This is national, not racial, ancestry, so, e.g., the Census doesn't have categories for Hispanic and African-American people. CityTownInfo is currently gathering additional ancestry data for this site.
Ancestry Percent
Other (often includes Hispanic and African American) 34.5%
German 11.2%
English 10.1%
Irish 7.5%
Italian 5.6%
US/American 3.8%
French (except Basque) 2.4%
Norwegian 2.1%
European 2.1%
Scottish 2%
Swedish 1.9%
Russian 1.5%
Polish 1.5%
Scotch-Irish 1.5%
Dutch 1.3%
Danish 1.1%
French Canadian 0.7%
Iranian 0.6%
Swiss 0.6%
Welsh 0.5%
Ukrainian 0.5%
British 0.5%
Portuguese 0.4%
Canadian 0.4%
Scandinavian 0.4%
Czech 0.4%
Hungarian 0.4%
Greek 0.4%
Armenian 0.3%
Austrian 0.3%
Lithuanian 0.3%
Turkish 0.2%
Yugoslavian 0.2%
Eastern European 0.2%
Northern European 0.2%
Czechoslovakian 0.2%
Israeli 0.2%
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Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Goleta, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Gaviota (93117)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Pop. Median Family
Income (2000)
Goleta 55,204 $67,956
Buellton 3,828 $54,839
Carpinteria 14,194 $54,849
Santa Barbara 92,325 $57,880
Solvang 5,332 $57,703

Starbucks in Goleta

(As of 2005)
173 N. Fairview Avenue
Hollister & Storke
7030 Marketplace Drive
175 N Fairview Ave
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Featured Colleges in the Goleta Area (QuickSchools™)

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Goleta High Schools (2004)

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Serves 2,273 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 23.8

A Non-traditional School
Serves 50 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 25

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City, State Similarity   1 Person Houses 65+ College Grads Commute Minutes Family Income Kids 0-4 Non White Pop. Poverty Prop. Crime Seasonal Housing Viol. Crime
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2. Muscle Shoals, Alabama 70.8   23.5% 13.1% 20.3% 19 $48,113 6.3% 16.1% 11,924 7.3% 63.8 0.3% 6.2
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