This beachy coastal paradise effortlessly marries California surf culture with its rich Spanish heritage to create a hip, urban city commonly referred to as the American Riviera
Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Los Padres National Forest, Santa Barbara is the pinnacle of upscale sensibility and California culture. Often referred to as the American Riviera, this city dazzles locals and visitors with its miles of pristine beaches set against California’s central coastline and its laid-back, hip, urban vibe.
Coupled with its quintessential Spanish coastal resort flare and Mediterranean climate, you’ll find a down-to-earth, friendly community willing to welcome you with open arms. Life in Santa Barbara is brimming with opportunity around every corner—whether it’s by visiting the endlessly fascinating Funk Zone or exploring the plethora of cultural attractions, iconic landmarks, and lifestyle destinations, you’ll never be bored in this city.
Not only is Santa Barbara one of the best places to retire to and one of the most sought-after locations for young professionals, but it is also home to excellent public schools, making it a sought-after spot for families. Breathtakingly beautiful and centrally located within close proximity to Los Angeles, Santa Barbara offers all of the benefits of relaxing, beachside living while still being close enough to metropolitan amenities. Safe, stunning, and teeming with restaurants, wine tasting rooms, breweries, and recreational activities, this city is a mecca of activity and adventure.
In the American Riviera, you won’t find many chain restaurants, but what you will find is an abundance of farm-to-table meals, craft brews, critically-acclaimed wines, fresh-off-the-boat seafood, authentic Mexican, coastal-inspired dishes, and so much more. Those passionate about food will think they’ve died and gone to heaven! Some of the most popular eateries in Santa Barbara include:
If you thought the restaurant options were divine, wait until you find out how much shopping Santa Barbara has to offer! Combine your exercise and sightseeing trips by walking through its many colorful, vibrant districts, including the following:
After spending a fulfilling day shopping and taste-testing Santa Barbara’s various eateries, relax and enjoy a stimulating night at one of the city’s renowned theaters or event venues:
To honor Santa Barbara’s Spanish heritage, the city celebrates the traditions of the city’s founders in a week-long, city-wide event called . Similarly, Santa Barbara goes big on , with events all over the city.
Since Santa Barbara is in such a beautiful location, there are multiple parks in the area. is one of the most popular because of its gorgeous man-made pond, gazebo, and meandering walkways. The Arbor Area is a popular wedding venue.
Easily the most popular Santa Barbara park is . With the Pacific Ocean serving as a backdrop, Shoreline is situated on a narrow oceanside parcel of land on top of a coastal bluff. It features a whale watching area that provides a clear view of the Channel Islands and makes for a great observation area during the Gray Whales’ migration months.
Students are typically divided between the Santa Barbara and Hope School Districts. The exemplary is located within the Santa Barbara Unified School District. Santa Barbara is also home to the research university, the .
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