There’s so much to love about Santa Barbara that it’s hard to pick only 10 but here it goes….
It seems almost sacrilegious to just list down ten things to love about Santa Barbara – but then enumerating all of them would take up a great deal more space than this blog post allows. So here, in no particular order, are what many area residents would consider the 10 best things to love about Santa Barbara:
1. The weather. Few other places have a temperate climate like Santa Barbara. Due to its central, protected location, Santa Barbara enjoys an average of 300 days of sunshine a year and hardly has to worry about storm clouds appearing on its horizon (the average annual rainfall here is no more than 18 inches).
2. The beaches. The area has been dubbed the American Riviera with good reason. There’s no shortage of creamy, sun-kissed beaches here – the three largest ones within the city itself are East Beach, West Beach, and Leadbetter Beach. Plus, non-surfers may not know this, but Santa Barbara has long been a surfing mecca. Some of the best places to catch a wave are Rincon Point, Hammonds Point, and Leadbetter Point.
3. The Spanish Colonial architecture. Santa Barbara’s collection of white stucco houses and buildings with red tile roofs and intricate wrought iron detailing is one of its defining features. Many of these in the downtown area were built after the 1925 earthquake, which technically makes them Spanish Colonial Revival. Visitors and locals alike appreciate the beauty of Old Mission Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Courthouse, and other historically and architecturally significant landmarks.
4. Stearns Wharf and the Harbor. Stearns Wharf is the oldest working wharf in California and dates back to 1872. Now home to a vibrant array of shops and restaurants, it is one of the city’s most notable landmarks and one of the best places to get a good view of the coast. It is also, along with the harbor area, one of the best places to enjoy fresh seafood. The harbor has more than a thousand boat slips.
5. State Street and the Downtown area. This is the cultural and commercial heart of the city and is immensely walkable. Take a stroll, browse through the shops – quite a few of which are one-of-a-kind – and sample a variety of cuisines. There are farmers markets aplenty as well.
6. The homes. The wide variety of styles and superb features of Santa Barbara homes themselves is one of the area’s biggest draws. You can live near the downtown area, up in the hills, in your own retreat in Montecito, and so on.
7. The cultural scene. The arts are very much alive in Santa Barbara and you can spend days gallery hopping here and nights enjoying theatrical performances, concerts, and more. Among the most notable venues is the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Sullivan Goss, The Arlington Theatre, Granada Theatre, Gallery 113, Lobero Theatre, and more.
8. The wines. The vineyards of the Santa Ynez Valley are no more than a few miles away and there are more than a few wineries and tasting rooms downtown. Many of these are in the Funk Zone, which also boasts microbreweries.
9. The Backcountry. The great outdoors is never too far away in Santa Barbara and if you’re not in the mood for the beach, you can always head to the hills and up the Santa Ynez Mountains. Hike, bike or ride a horse into the San Rafael Wilderness in the Los Padres National Forest.
10. The University of California, Santa Barbara. A Public Ivy, UCSB is in the Goleta area and is the main reason why Santa Barbara has a young, energetic vibe even at its most serene. It is ranked among the best universities in the country and the world.
I couldn’t fit everything to love about Santa Barbara in one blog. Would you like more information on the lifestyle options here? Are you interested in Santa Barbara real estate? Contact Cristal for more on the 10 Best Things to Love About Santa Barbara. I invite you to explore the site and to schedule a consultation with me, Cristal Clarke, at your convenience.