Located in Santa Barbara County, the city of Santa Barbara is situated on the longest section of south-facing coastline in the US, sandwiched between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean.
Santa Barbara is a popular tourist and resort destination, as well as home to many A-list celebrities. The hospitality industry is a significant part of the region’s economy, with around 35% of local employees working in the service sector. The University of California, Santa Barbara is the county’s largest employer, with over 4,300 and 4.8% of the total employment.
The Santa Barbara Certified Farmers’ Market Association was established in 1983. The non-profit organization was created to assist California farmers by giving the community direct access to locally grown produce. The original farmers’ market was held in 1979, and was among the first in the state. Today, the Association includes over 130 members working to provide fresh produce to the public.
Santa Barbara’s southern-facing coastline and offshore Channel Islands provide uniquely fantastic opportunities for whale-watching. From February to early April, and again from May to September, residents and visitors can catch sights of a variety of species of whale. The Santa Barbara Channel is home to over 27 types of whales and dolphins, along with porpoises, seals, and sea lions.
The median home value in Santa Barbara is just over $1 million. Zillow reports that over the last year, home values have only increased 0.6%; however, also predicts that they will rise 4% over the next year. The median rent in Santa Barbara is $4,000.
Santa Barbara’s most expensive neighborhood is Montecito, where the median home is valued over $4.2 million, and the median rent over $9,800.