Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is a bustling small town with a welcoming vibe and endless moments of beauty.

Welcome to Santa Barbara

Breathe in the good vibes and feel the ease of living in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is a bustling small town with a welcoming vibe and endless moments of beauty. Lovely natural sites surround the city; from the pristine beaches to the jungle-esque hills with crisscrossing trails, there’s nowhere in the city untouched by natural wonders. Complementing the blue waters are the red-tiled roofs of Spanish-inspired buildings. The city is full of historic and new architecture, often inspired by the traditional Spanish style. 
Santa Barbara comprises all types of people, from college students to families, to retirees. Despite being a college town, there’s a large older population. One population that’s thriving in the city is the dogs. The town is extremely welcoming to dogs, with several dog-friendly places and events. Santa Barbara is a busy place to live. All year long, the city celebrates with festivals and fiestas that are fun for participants of all ages. When locals aren’t at the parks, historical sites, or beaches for an annual event, they’re busy on the hiking trails of the city’s lush forest areas.

What to love

Local lifestyle

Living in a place of such pristine beauty seems to make the people of Santa Barbara feel at ease. It’s as if being in the moment is easier when there are natural wonders in every direction. The fresh air appears to filter positive vibes throughout the little town. Whether locals live in the sociable college neighborhoods, the bustling downtown, or the forest-filled hills, Santa Barbara is full of welcoming people. 

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

Walking the streets of Santa Barbara is an experience for the senses. The sea breeze fills the air with delightful hints of salt, the crystal clear waters of the ocean crash on the beautiful beach shores, and trails dot the forests in the hills. Downtown is a bustling space full of mouth-watering culinary creations, eclectic shops, and local businesses. The Public Market is an open-air market near the beach featuring eateries, a produce market, a fish market, and food stalls all focused on locally sourced ingredients. There’s a casual but dynamic atmosphere and artistic food arrangements paired with the noise and rush of the market. Locals tend to make the Public Market a weekly outing.  
While The Market is all about what’s local, Paseo Nuevo provides residents with the brands and labels they know and trust. The mall has all the expected stores, theaters, hip bars, and airy outdoor spaces. Locals can be found sipping coffee while playing a giant chess game in the atrium or sipping from a delicious selection of wine from one of the bars. Living in Santa Barbara provides residents with whatever type of shopping experience they’re looking for and a few they weren’t expecting.

Eating good food is an entire lifestyle here, and the locals have got it down. An easy task when fine dining and casual culinary marvels are always a stone's throw away. The Belmond El Encanto Dining Room picks fresh produce and herbs from its sea-facing gardens. Fish is caught daily from the ocean below and served for dinners shortly after that. Everything is consciously harvested and served to guests in a truly enchanting space. When it comes to locally sourced ingredients, there’s none better than local wine. When residents want a fine selection and the perfect food pairing, they head to Toma. The fine-dining Italian restaurant is covered in vines and greenery, transporting guests to their own little Italy for the evening.

Things To Do

The natural landscape of the city provides endless entertainment for locals. Whether it’s a day at the beach or hiking the forested hills, the bounty of nature abounds throughout the city. Residents enjoy a calendar packed with family-friendly events all year long, making it easy to find an excuse to celebrate life in the city. It’s an extraordinarily dog-friendly town with beaches and parks welcoming man’s best friend.
Hendry’s Dog Beach, also known as Arroyo Burro Beach, is likely the most beautiful off-leash beach on this side of the Pacific. Locals bring their favorite furry companions to run free on the sandy shore, chasing the ocean’s waves. It’s a little doggy paradise. Fun spaces for little ones are something the city cares about investing in. Kids World is a giant park full of jungle gyms in the shape of castles, giant, climbable statues of whales and sharks, and daring obstacles like the rope wall. 
The city’s landscape is beautiful, but not every site is based on nature. The Old Mission was the 10th Spanish mission built in California and considered the Queen of the Missions. Currently, the historical preservation team running it does so on a mission of radical inclusivity, making this a welcoming space for all to learn. It’s in that spirit of education and celebration of the past that Santa Barbara hosts Old Spanish Days. A week of fiestas in historical and natural sites around the city features live music, dancing performances, and chances to learn the history and customs of the ingenious people of the land. Every day is full of events welcoming guests of all ages, enriching the local life with the land’s culture. 

Mixing education with celebrations is a common theme in Santa Barbara. The city hosts one of the largest Earth Day celebrations. It’s full of live music, delicious food, and opportunities to learn and get involved. The festival works diligently to reduce its footprint while fostering the community spirit to address the problem.


In a city that loves to fuse celebrations with education, there’s no doubt that they invest strongly and believe deeply in the power of teaching young minds. Schools to consider:

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