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Welcome to Santa Barbara, California

Santa BarbaraWelcome to the American Riviera® ...Where Life Itself is a Fine Art

Lush, sun-drenched, relaxed and nestled seductively between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Santa Barbara is one of America's best-kept secrets. From State Street and the Santa Ynez Mountains to the rugged Channel Islands and the burgeoning wine country, Santa Barbara basks in sunshine, natural bounty, creativity, cultural sophistication and an appreciation for taking life at your own pace.

Santa Barbara is located about 85 miles west-northwest of Los Angeles, along the Pacific coast. This stretch of coast along southern Santa Barbara County is often referred to as the "American Riviera" because of its Mediterranean climate. The Santa Ynez Mountains, an east-west trending range, rise dramatically behind the city, with several peaks exceeding 4,000 feet. Covered with chaparral and with sandstone outcrops, they make a famously scenic backdrop to the town. Nearer to town, and directly east and adjacent to Mission Santa Barbara, is a hill known locally as the "Riviera" or "Alameda Padre Serra" (shortened APS) for the street that traverses it, which is built up with expensive homes. The city sustained heavy damage in an earthquake on June 29, 1925, which was followed by substantial rebuilding.

Much of the architecture in the city is Spanish Colonial in style, although much of it was actually constructed starting in the early 20th century in connection with the Mission or Spanish Revival movement. White buildings with terra cotta tile roofs are a trademark sight. The city has enacted strict ordinances to prevent erosion of this image, with some success. For example, there are no billboards anywhere in town, and none at all on the main freeway through town for almost twenty miles in both directions; in addition there is a strict sign ordinance for businesses, with no excessively large lettering allowed.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 107.3 km² (41.4 mi²). 49.2 km² (19.0 mi²) of it is land and 58.1 km² (22.4 mi²) of it (54.17%) is water. this is because the official city limit extends exactly four miles south into the ocean, and in addition a long "finger" of the city extends out to sea and again inland, in order to make Santa Barbara Airport (adjacent to the University of California, Santa Barbara [UCSB]) contiguous with the city.


As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 92,325 people*, 35,605 households, and 18,941 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,878.1/km² (4,865.3/mi²). There were 37,076 housing units at an average density of 754.2/km² (1,953.8/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 74.04% White, 1.77% African American, 1.07% Native American, 2.77% Asian, 0.14% Pacific Islander, 16.37% from other races, and 3.85% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 35.02% of the population. (*This number was revised to 89,600 when it was discovered that dormitory population outside the city was erroneously included in the 92,325 figure.)

There were 35,605 households out of which 24.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.8% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.8% were non-families. 32.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.17.

In the city the population was spread out with 19.8% under the age of 18, 13.8% from 18 to 24, 32.3% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 13.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 97.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $47,498, and the median income for a family was $57,880. Males had a median income of $37,116 versus $31,911 for females. The per capita income for the city was $26,466. About 7.7% of families and 13.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.8% of those under age 18 and 7.4% of those age 65 or over. If one compares the per capita income to the actual cost of living, the number of people living below the poverty line is considerably higher. In 2002, the cost of buying a 2200 ft² (200 m²), 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom house could easily reach $2,000,000. Rents for a 1100 ft² (100 m²), 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment were in the $2000-$2200 per month range. In June 2004, the median home price passed $1,000,000 for the first time. Santa Barbara also has traditionally (since the 1930s) had a large homeless population, due in part to the high cost of living.

In 2006, according to the California State Department of Finance, the population of the city was 89,548, with the city of Santa Maria, on the northern edge of Santa Barbara County, becoming the most populous city in the county. A common reason given for the demographic shift is that homes in Santa Maria cost approximately half as much as homes in Santa Barbara.

Average climate in Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara, California average temperatures

Santa Barbara housing & real estate prices

Santa Barbara housing & real estate prices

Single Family Home Median Selling Price and Growth City of Santa Barbara East of State Street

Transportation & Tours in Santa Barbara

Transportation & Tours in Santa BarbaraWhether you fly direct to Santa Barbara's charming Spanish-style airport, cruise in comfort along the spectacular coastal Amtrak route or drive in via the legendary Pacific Coast Highway, you'll find Santa Barbara easily accessible. Once you arrive, traveling around town is a breeze. Most major attractions and businesses are concentrated in a compact downtown area laced with pedestrian-friendly sidewalks and paseos. If you don't feel like walking, grab a pedicab, hail a taxi or hop aboard one of our eco-friendly electric shuttles and zip between downtown and the waterfront in minutes.


The Santa Barbara Zoo is dedicated to the preservation, conservation, and enhancement of the natural world and its living treasures through education, research, and recreation.

The barnyard is home to domestic sheep, which you can feed with specially formulated pellets available for purchase at the Bryant & Sons Kids’ Marketplace adjacent to the barnyard.
Food cost: $1/cup. Visiting the barnyard is free.

Lorikeet Feeding
This is really for the birds! Feed our beautiful lories and lorikeets at Lorikeet Landing, next to the barnyard. These birds eat fruit and nectar in the wild, and you can feed them here at the Zoo! Purchase a nectar cup in the aviary and watch as these colorful creatures land near or on you to take a drink! Feeding schedule is flexible based on the animals’ behavior and therefore not guaranteed. Check at the admissions gate for times upon your arrival.
Cost: $2/cup. Visiting Lorikeet Landing is free.

Our youngest visitors will find the carousel a treat. A Dentzel original, the carousel features hand-carved exotic animals.
Cost: Children (up to 48" tall) $1.

Giraffe Feeding
Get up close and personal with the tallest residents of the Zoo! Hand feed Baringo giraffes and have the experience of a lifetime. Feeding schedule is flexible based on the animals behavior and therefore not guaranteed. Check at the admissions gate for times upon your arrival.
Cost: $3 per person.

Zoo TrainZoo Train
Don't miss a ride on the Zoo Train! Two C.P Huntington trains that circle the perimeter of the Zoo delight visitors of all ages.

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
1212 Mission Canyon Road
Santa Barbara, CA 93105-2126
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

 Located on 65 acres, this garden features over 1,000 species of rare and indigenous California plants. Also features five and a half miles of scenic trails through meadows and Canyons, and across the historic Mission Dam.

Welcome to the Santa Barbara Sailing Center. We offer charters, rentals, instruction, private and public cruises or corporate events. Whether you’re interested in exploring the Channel Islands or just renting a kayak, we can please your on the water needs for any occasion.

The Double Dolphin

 Take your family or that special someone out for one of our many varied cruises on board this sleek, comfortable and fun loving 50' Sailing Catamaran

Boat Charters
With over 40 boats to choose from, you can charter your own vessel or hire one of our many licensed skippers for a relaxing afternoon or multiple day excursion.

Channel Cat
Charter this 85 foot luxury sailing catamaran by the day or by the hour for an experience you'll never forget.

The fabulous Chumash Casino Resort offers gaming at its exhilarating best, including an array of the most popular slot machines, and table games like Blackjack and Poker. Or play Bingo in our smoke-free Samala Showroom. And win prizes like new cars, trucks or boats in one of our many drawings. We play 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

The Hotel

Whether your stay is simply a quick overnight break, a weekend getaway or a longer vacation, you will be pleased with the wide array of activities that await you and the high quality of service you will experience.

The Chumash Casino Resort Hotel consists of 106 spacious rooms, including 17 luxury suites featuring whirlpool tubs. Most of our rooms feature balconies. From the custom designed furnishings made of elegant mahogany and high-end fabrics to the carpeting throughout, the Hotel displays a unique and refined style with tribal elements throughout.

The Spa

Whether you want to relax from the activity of the Casino or simply indulge in a little "me" time in our new full-service Spa, our beautiful new facility and well trained staff are at your command. The Spa offers a variety of massages, facials, nail care, body treatments and hair services.

Our signature treatments embrace the natural wonders of the Santa Ynez Valley - lavender, grape seed and bay laurel.

At our boutique you will find gift certificates, specialty items and wonderful bath and body products.

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