Santa Barbara, an old Spanish mission town less than 100 miles from L.A., is ideally situated between the Pacific Coast and the Santa Ynez Mountains. The city has a unique aura with mission revival style architecture, breathtaking views, blue skies, palm tree-lined beaches, lush green foothills, and a clutter-free atmosphere, thanks to ordinances in place against billboards and outdoor advertising.
There are a few different neighborhoods in Santa Barbara including Downtown, Mission Canyon, Mesa, and Rivera.
Downtown Santa Barbara, stretching less than ten blocks, is the most pedestrian-friendly part of the city. Downtown is where Santa Barbara’s rich Spanish heritage mixes seamlessly with modernity. Here, one can visit the 1873 Lobero theater and walk a street over to a strip of contemporary boutiques. Known for an abundance of notable restaurants, shopping, entertainment, business, and culture, all of which are easily walkable.
Mission Canyon is 15 minutes from the beach, back in the canyons of the Santa Ynez Mountains offering great views and easy access to hiking trails and the Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens. Homes here are architecturally diverse including ranches, cottages, contemporary, 1920 and 30’s historic builds, bungalows, and of course Spanish style homes.
The mesa is an elevated 2.5-mile section of land that hovers above the sea. It is home to some of Santa Barbara’s best public green spaces, schools, and popular shopping centers. Including winding bike paths, beach access, plenty of parks and playgrounds, and a diverse collection of residents that keep this neighborhood young.
The Rivera has large, gorgeous Spanish-style homes and a relaxed, easy-breezy vibe. Divided into an upper and lower section by a scenic thoroughfare, residents trade lawn space to live high on the land, gazing across the graceful sprawl of downtown Santa Barbara out to the Pacific Ocean. Located only 10 minutes from Downtown.
Overall Santa Barbara is quickly becoming a popular wine destination with the Santa Maria, Los Alamos, Santa Ynez Valleys, and Santa Rita Hills nearby. There are new and exciting restaurants, beachside resorts, and neighborhoods like the Funk Zone. You have your pick of the finest restaurants, authentic Mexican taquerias, and fresh fish and farmer’s markets. State Street, the center of town and quasi outdoor shopping mall has high-end shops and world-renowned art galleries. Not to mention Santa Barbara allows you to take advantage of beach and mountain sports like surfing, horseback riding, biking, and fishing. Lastly, the city is home to Santa Barbara City College and the University of California at Santa Barbara, the city also has some of the best elementary, middle, and high schools in the state.
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