Santa Barbara is a beautiful coastal city in southern California. What is unique about the city is that it sits on the longest stretch of south facing coast on the west half of the country. The 88,000 residents enjoy weather so good that the city has earned the nickname of the "American Riviera."The wonderful weather also makes Santa Barbara a bustling tourist destination. There are a lot educational options in the city given its size as well. The University of California, Santa Barbara, and Santa Barbara City College are two of the larger ones. SBCC has enrolment of over 19,000, and UC Santa Barbara more than 22,000.
The summer is the best time to look for an apartment in Santa Barbara. By the time May rolls around you should see more apartments starting to open up in the local market. In fall, the market might start to restrict a little again, so it is a good idea to try and get an apartment before then.
Applying for an apartment is not a complicated process, but attention to detail is important. Make sure that you give landlords exactly what they ask for when they give you an application. Also, make sure you provide them with the number of references that they ask for. If you provide less, they may wonder if there is a reason for your doing so.
Getting around Santa Barbara isn't too difficult, as the Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District has a great network of busses over Santa Barbara and other nearby cities. Shuttles along the waterfront are inexpensive, and an easy way to see more of the city. The beautiful year-round weather also makes a bike a practical, healthy and inexpensive vehicle.
If you don't already know how to surf, moving to Santa Barbara provides you with the ideal opportunity to learn. In addition, other typical California activities like hanging out at the beach or golfing are readily available in the city. There are also many wineries that are accessible right from the downtown core. For some of the best shopping in town, go for a walk down State Street. The bars on lower State Street are a popular Thursday night college hangout.
Lotusland is an extremely beautiful landscaped garden in the Santa Barbara area. 3200 different species are on exhibit in the gardens, including many very rare plants that many people would never otherwise get a chance to see in person. Those with an interest in history should stop by the Mission Santa Barbara, as it is a beautiful example of the missions from the 19th century that has been immaculately preserved. It is also home to historic artefacts and artwork from the time of it's early history. Stearns Wharf is an iconic destination within the city that has some of the best water views, shopping, and dining in the entire city.
Barbareno is a totally unique experience, and offers dining unlike what you can find anywhere else in Santa Barbara. Just make sure to make a reservation if you want to get in for dinner. The restaurant is relaxed and simple, but the food inventive, fresh, and in demand. Mexican food is very popular in this part of the world, and there are lots of great places to get it in Santa Barbara, but Los Agaves is certainly among the best. If you're looking for something a little more exotic, the Sama Sama Kitchen is a very popular Indonesian restaurant.
The Neighbourhood Bar and Grill is the definition of the word “casual”. It is a great place to just hang out with friends and enjoy a beer while playing ping pong, pool, or Big Buck Hunter. Zodo’s Bowling & Beyond is a concept bar that offers a bowling twist on the traditional nightclub. If live music and a high-energy crowd is to your taste, then Velvet Jones is worth exploring. Milk & Honey is a sexy cocktail bar downtown that is perfect for a late-night date. Bourbon Drinkers all know that the Bourbon Room is the best place to get their favourite bourbon-based cocktail.
Live theatre is alive and well, and Santa Barbara features everything from huge Broadway hits to innovative and experimental shows. The Lobero Theatre is the oldest theatre in the state, which has never stopped operating. Center Stage is a great place to go for smaller, more intimate performances. The Granada is a beautiful old restored heritage theatre, from the golden age of the stage. There are two truly world-class museums in Santa Barbara, and both are worth visiting. If you find science fascinating, then you should check out the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. On the other hand, if the fine arts are what you're passionate about, then the Santa Barbara Museum of Arts should be your first destination.
The Spanish culture is alive and well in Santa Barbara, and at no time is it on prouder display than during the Old Spanish Days Fiesta. This is a Mardis Gras-like celebration that takes place every August. Santa Barbara’s beautiful beaches are celebrated during the annual Sandcastle Festival. One of the biggest parades in the city happens each year on the Saturday closest to the Summer Solstice, and the entire community always looks forward to the Summer Solstice Parade. There are also various cultures who celebrate their food, heritage and music with festivals in the city. These include the French Festival and the Greek Festival.
Downtown Santa Barbara is a fantastic shopping destination because of all the disparate elements it pulls together. On one block, you can find a major, name brand retailer, and on the next, a locally owned truly independent shop. This blend means that there is something for everyone in the neighbourhood. Stearns Wharf is a great place to go shopping on the weekend, as there are enough interesting places to visit that you can keep occupied all day long. Finally, if you're looking for the best food and ingredients in the city, you need to visit the Santa Barbara Public Market.
Without a major professional sports team in the city, the local sports fans tend to come out in droves to support the NCAA instead. The University of California Santa Barbara Gauchos are the local team, and they have been successful in a number of different sports over the years. Definitely the most popular teams are the men’s and women’s basketball programs, although the men’s soccer program also receives a significant amount of support. The baseball team has the most significant history out of any of the teams, with a program that stretches back to an inaugural season in 1923.
Just to the west of Santa Barbara is Gaviota State Park. This is a great place to fish, swim, and camp, and hikers often head all the way to the top of Gaviota Peak for some of the best views in the region. Surfing and windsurfing are among the most popular recreational activities with the locals, and there are several great locations throughout and nearby the city for catching some waves. Shoreline Park is a beautiful place in the city to go for a walk or a bike ride while enjoying stunning views of the ocean.