Santa Barbara Lifestyle Guide

Santa Barbara Lifestyle Guide

A complete guide to life in one of California’s most desirable cities.

Located just north of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara is one of the most desirable cities on California’s central coast. Spanish-influenced design and stunning mountain views make this beautiful area incredibly appealing. So, what is life like for those lucky enough to live here? Here’s everything you need to know about the Santa Barbara lifestyle.


Two hours from Los Angeles, Santa Barbara is a medium-sized city with small-town charm. It’s right on the ocean, and it is accessible via the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) or the Santa Barbara Airport. It sits at the footof the Santa Ynez mountains, which provide beautiful views and endless hiking opportunities. Santa Barbara has ocean, mountains, natural beauty, and culture, and is conveniently located near Los Angeles amenities.


Santa Barbara’s position on the water creates a temperate Mediterranean climate. Warm temperatures are usually accompanied by a sea breeze, making it comfortable outside year-round. Although rain is rare, the air isn’t as dry as other inland areas, helping residents breathe more easily.

People & Lifestyle

Santa Barbara is at once effortlessly elegant and low-key. It’s first and foremost a beach town, which means adorning flip-flops and having plenty of fun in the sun! 

The downtown area is lined with beautiful, upscale boutiques and delicious fine dining restaurants. Architecture in Santa Barbara pays homage to the city’s Spanish history. To walk through Santa Barbara is to be transported to a European coastal town, complete with the sun, the sand, and the marvelous architecture.

Dining and Shopping

Santa Barbara is known for its dining and shopping options. La Super-Rica Taqueria is a family-run institution.This taqueria serves up homemade tortillas and ultra-fresh Mexican cuisine, all from the comfort of their covered patio. Bettina, located in nearby Montecito, offers delicious Neapolitan-style pizza made with seasonal California ingredients.

Shopping in Santa Barbara will help you gain plenty of steps! Walkable shopping is the name of the game, and each shopping area has its own flair. There’s the Funk Zone, which is made up of converted warehouses and graffiti murals. Pop in and out of art galleries; visit winemakers; watch surfboard shapers at work. For an open-air mall, check out Paseo Nuevo where you will find major retailers and boutiques alike. For a truly local experience, head to La Arcada. This hidden gem has locally owned boutiques, as well as the famous “turtle fountain.”


Santa Barbara has a rich wine making history dating back to 1782 when Father Junipero Serra planted vines near the Mission. There are so many unique wine tasting experiences in the area.The Funk Zone is home to a self-guided tour of over 20 tasting rooms called the Urban Wine Trail. Visit wineries like Whitcraft, Municipal Winemakers, and Kunin to learn about their processes and taste their delicious varietals. A day of wine tasting in Santa Barbara is a cultural experience that tantalizes the taste buds and helps you learn about the area’s history.

Santa Barbara also has some of the freshest farm stands around. The Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market is open six days per week and offers fresh fruit, vegetables, and farm-raised meats and cheeses. Stroll through the open-air market and fill your basket with countless delicious treats while simultaneously supporting local farmers. 

For family-friendly fun, the Santa Barbara Zoo and Sea Center are both worth visiting. Kids love learning about and interacting with the over 146 species at the zoo and the marine life at the Museum of Natural History Sea Center. The newly renovated Museum of Natural History boasts state-of-the-art interactive exhibits for all ages, paired with the Central Coast’s only planetarium, on 17 acres of oak woodland along Mission Creek. MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration and Innovation, is Santa Barbara’s newest destination for families and curious minds of all ages. ​​This contemporary museum offers three floors of interactive exhibits dedicated to science, technology, and the arts.

Local beaches have something to offer for everyone: East Beach is ideal for a game of volleyball; Arroyo Burro Beach, known to locals as Hendry’s Beach, is a dog-friendly option; And Butterfly Beach is the perfect spot to take in a sunset with your feet in the sand.

Interested in Santa Barbara real estate? Contact Randy Solakian Estates Group today! We’d be happy to help you find the home of your dreams in Santa Barbara.


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