It’s hard to find someone who hasn’t visited Santa Barbara and marveled at its splendor. A city known throughout the world as The American Riviera® for its Mediterranean climate, mesmerizing natural beauty, and amazingly beautiful architecture, many have fallen under its spell, whether to vacation or to call home.
While it’s considered a beachside paradise, it’s also home to a thriving community of businesses both large and small, government, medicine, technology, education, arts, history, and culture. All of these elements make beautiful Santa Barbara equally dynamic – and a wonderful place to live.
World-renowned for its Spanish and Mediterranean architecture, Santa Barbara is abundant in sunshine and a comfortable climate year-round. It’s also known for its pristine beaches and fantastic hiking trails, as well as a hub for wine-tasting and dining, particularly in the recently revitalized Funk Zone. Santa Barbara is also well-known for its multitude of festivals throughout the year, including the Summer Solstice Parade and the Old Spanish Days Fiesta.
Santa Barbara offers the best of both worlds when it comes to enjoying big city amenities while retaining a small town feel. Santa Barbara’s way of life is unique in its harmonious blend of sophistication and simplicity, and refinement in a relaxed atmosphere. It is no wonder that Santa Barbara real estate is in high demand.
Santa Barbara History
The history of Santa Barbara runs deep, through many cultures, across the Santa Barbara Channel, and throughout the city as it stands today. Culture is around every corner, and as you step into Santa Barbara, it’s also a step back in time.
From the basketry and boat-building techniques of the Chumash Indians to the Spanish Colonial influence that can be seen around every corner, to the first days of filmmaking, Santa Barbara’s history is vast and truly unique.
Spanish settlers gave the city its distinct architectural style in the form of Old Mission Santa Barbara, and later in Santa Barbara’s majestic County Courthouse. It is a style that was carried forward by local visionaries, most notably after a massive earthquake destroyed much of the area’s infrastructure in 1925.
And before the curtain went up on the Los Angeles film scene, Santa Barbara was a booming hub for the silver screen, home to California’s first major movie studio, Flying A Studios. Hundreds of silent films were produced in Santa Barbara in the early 1920s, and Charlie Chaplin himself was known to frequent the area.
Santa Barbara’s Maritime tradition began long ago and remains prominent in Santa Barbara. The famed Stearns Wharf is the oldest working wharf in California, built in 1872 by John Peck Stearns. Today, visitors enjoy walking Stearns Wharf, which is where one can find a variety of shops, restaurants, and local businesses.
Santa Barbara continued to make history into modern times when it established the world’s very first official Earth Day celebration in 1969. The annual Earth Day Festival still takes place in Alameda Park every April. Santa Barbara also marks its history throughout the year with a series of festivals and events. Visitors and residents alike relive the city’s festive Latin heritage during Old Spanish Fiesta Days and celebrate the city’s 300+ days of annual sunshine during Summer Solstice. You can also watch as stars still walk the red carpet into the city’s many beautiful theaters during the annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival.