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.

Goleta History

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.


Total Population 30,541
Male Share of the Population 49.7%
Female Share of the Population 50.3%
Senior Citizens 16.1%
Employed Population 16+ 15,729
Age of the Population 37


% of people married 46.9%
Average household size 3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 42.2%
Median Earnings25+ $43,882
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $33,527
Median Earnings With High School Degree $35,081


Median Family Income $97,510
% Above Poverty Level 91.4%
% Below Poverty Level 8.6%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 16 minutes
% Working from Home 3.1%
% Walking and Biking to Work 7.6%
% Using Public Transportation 3.3%


People Living Alone 26.9%
Median Gross Rent $1,621
Median House Value $634,100


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 49.2%
US/American 0.4%
English 9.2%
Irish 10%

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

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

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 Population Median Family Income
Buellton 4,977 $84,289
Carpinteria 13,449 $88,395
Santa Barbara 90,401 $82,061
Solvang 5,456 $78,618

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

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Goleta High Schools

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

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

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