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Overview

Introduction to Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara is a California city located along the Pacific Coast about 85 miles northwest of Los Angeles. It is bisected by Interstate Highway 101, which links the city to the rest of the Central Coast area. The coastal region comprising southern Santa Barbara County is often called the "American Riviera" due to its Mediterranean climate. For most of its history, Santa Barbara was a quiet agricultural community, but in the second half of the 20th century, it evolved into a robust, well-rounded city. A great deal of the city's architecture is Spanish Colonial in style, in keeping with its Spanish heritage. Santa Barbara has passed strict ordinances in order to maintain this image, including restrictions on billboards and limits on the appearance of business signs.

Tourism is a major industry in Santa Barbara, which is renowned for its warm climate, downtown beaches, beautiful views of the Santa Ynez Mountains and Spanish architecture. There are literally dozens of wineries in the region, which has earned a reputation in particular for high-quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Santa Barbara wine grapes command prices which are among the highest in the state of California. Many early movies were filmed in Santa Barbara, and because of this it was known as the first "Hollywood of the North."

Santa Barbara Attractions

There is an abundance of things to see and do in this town. Here is a brief description of just a few:

  • Goleta Rail Museum: Focusing on the area's early frontier history and featuring rides on a miniature train with a real antique caboose.
  • Mission Santa Barbara: Known as the "Queen of the Missions." Tours are featured.
  • Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.
  • Santa Barbara Historical Museum.
  • Santa Barbara Maritime Museum.
  • Santa Barbara Museum of Art.
  • Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.
  • The Zoological Gardens.
  • Rattlesnake Canyon.
  • Painted Cave National Historical Landmark.

Santa Barbara houses a vibrant artistic community, and features a large permanent art collection at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Another art venue is the University Art Museum on the UC Santa Barbara Campus. The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History offers outstanding exhibits and includes a modern planetarium. The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, located on the waterfront, is another outstanding attraction.

There are many parks in Santa Barbara, ranging from small to large, semi-wilderness areas. Some notable ones located within the city limits are: Elings Park, Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens, De La Guerra Plaza, Skofield Park, Parma Park, Shoreline Park, Douglas Family Preserve, East Beach, Leadbetter Beach, West Beach, Hendry's Beach and Andree Clark Bird Refuge.

A notable Santa Barbara event is the annual Fiesta, celebrated every August. Originally begun in the 1920s as a tourist attraction to draw business into town, it has evolved 80 years later into a several-day-long bash of Mexican food, Spanish dancing and parades. Another annual event, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, is held in late January, runs for 10 days, and draws over 50,000 attendees including a wide variety of celebrities (many of whom reside year-round in Santa Barbara). The annual Summer Solstice Parade, held on the first weekend after the solstice, is an event which draws up to 100,000 people annually.

Fans of professional sports can take in games in the Los Angeles area, which is about a 90-minute drive away. Some of the options include:

  • Basketball:
    • LA Lakers (NBA).
    • LA Clippers (NBA).
    • LA Sparks (WNBA).
  • Major League Baseball:
    • LA Dodgers (MLB, National League).
  • Football:
    • LA Avengers (AFL).
  • Hockey:
    • LA Kings (NHL).
  • Soccer:
    • LA Galaxy (MLS).
  • Lacrosse:
    • LA Riptide (MLL).

People

Total Population 90,401
Male Share of the Population 49.6%
Female Share of the Population 50.4%
Senior Citizens 15.7%
Employed Population 16+ 47,394
Age of the Population 37

Families

% of people married 42.1%
Average household size 3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 45.1%
Median Earnings25+ $36,869
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $20,662
Median Earnings With High School Degree $25,563

Wealth

Median Family Income $82,061
% Above Poverty Level 86.1%
% Below Poverty Level 13.9%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 17 minutes
% Working from Home 6.6%
% Walking and Biking to Work 11.6%
% Using Public Transportation 5.9%

Housing

People Living Alone 32.6%
Median Gross Rent $1,514
Median House Value $846,400

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 48%
US/American 0.3%
English 10.4%
Irish 8.5%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Santa Barbara Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 87 miles W of Los Angeles, California
County Santa Barbara
Metro Area Santa Barbara - Santa Maria - Lompoc
Standard Zip Codes 93101, 93103, 93105, 93106, 93108, 93109, 93110, 93111, 93117
P.O. Box Zip Codes 93102, 93107, 93116, 93118, 93120, 93121, 93130, 93140, 93150, 93160, 93190
Company Zip Codes 93199
Phone Area Codes 805
Time Zone Pacific (-8 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 34.42
Longitude -119.697

Santa Barbara Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

Notes:

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Station SANTA BARBARA
Distance 0.8 miles
Jan Temp 45 to 65 F
Apr Temp 50 to 69 F
Jul Temp 59 to 75 F
Oct Temp 55 to 73 F
Annual Precip 18.5 inches
Station SANTA BARBARA MNCPL AP
Distance 8.8 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
Station OJAI
Distance 26.5 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

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Santa Barbara, 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 Population Median Family Income
Carpinteria 13,449 $88,395
Goleta 30,541 $97,510

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Santa Barbara Public Libraries

Library
Santa Barbara Public Library
40 E. ANAPAMU ST.
Santa Barbara, California
(805) 962-7653

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Santa Barbara Hospitals

GOLETA VALLEY COTTAGE HOSPITAL
(Voluntary non-profit - Other)
351 S PATTERSON AVE
(805) 681-6446
Emergency Service: Yes

SANTA BARBARA COTTAGE HOSPITAL
(Voluntary non-profit - Other)
PUEBLO AT BATH ST
(805) 682-7111
Emergency Service: Yes

Click the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab.
Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school.

 
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Santa Barbara High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

SANTA BARBARA SENIOR HIGH
700 E. ANAPAMU ST.
805-966-9101
Serves 2,355 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 24.3

SAN MARCOS SENIOR HIGH
4750 HOLLISTER AVE.
805-967-4581
Serves 2,077 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 24.9

SPECIAL EDUCATION
4400 CATHEDRAL OAKS ROAD
805-964-4711
A Special Education School
Serves 344 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 5.3

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY COMMUNITY
430 E. GUTIERREZ ST.
A Non-traditional School
Serves 336 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 24.9

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY JUVENILE COURT
4400 CATHEDRAL OAKS ROAD
805-964-4711
A Non-traditional School
Serves 237 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 15.8

LA CUESTA CONTINUATION HIGH
905 N. NOPAL
805-966-0883
A Non-traditional School
Serves 155 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 22.1

SAN MARCOS CONTINUATION HIGH
4750 HOLLISTER AVE.
805-967-1562
A Non-traditional School
Serves 46 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 23

LAS ALTURAS CONTINUATION HIGH
4025 FOOTHILL ROAD
805-967-8599
A Non-traditional School
Serves 31 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 15.5

Additional Details
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Historic Santa Barbara

photo

East wing (Arlington Hotel) between 1910 and 1920

Select a photo to view (Source):

East wing (Arlington Hotel) between 1910 and 1920

Street at crossing with East De La Guerra Street between 1900 and 1915

Santa Barbara (from the west) between 1880 and 1899

Additional Resources
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