Guide to Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara is located on the South Central coast of California facing the Pacific Ocean, about 90 miles northwest of Los Angeles and 350 miles south of San Francisco. The metro area encompasses about 18 square miles and is situated be- tween the Santa Ynez Mountains to the north and the Santa Barbara channel to the south. Elevation within the city limit ranges from sea level to 850 feet.
Accommodations: Santa Barbara boasts over 100 hotels, plus numerous bed and breakfast inns, all of which provide over 5,000 rooms from the modest to the most luxurious for both business travelers and tourists.
Restaurants: There are some 500 restaurants, coffee shops, cafes, and snack bars, many with sidewalk cabaret tables for outdoor dining. Menus around Santa Barbara range from fast food to fine dining. There are also a wide variety of restaurants that feature exotic cuisine from all over the world.
Culture: The Santa Barbara Museum of Art is one of five privately maintained museums. There are displays of works from many private collections, and the public library has a wing of paintings and related art. There are a number of private galleries with unique selections of works for sale. The Contemporary Arts Forum is located centrally in the Paseo Nuevo Mall. The Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestra provides entertainment throughout the year. There are theatre groups as well as groups from educational institutions which perform year-round. In addition to local productions, road companies of various Broadway productions schedule performances at facilities in our area. The Santa Barbara Choral Society performs at many local functions at various times throughout the year as well.
Recreation: Recreation plays a very important part in the life of Santa Barbara, for residents and visitors alike. There are both public and private golf courses for all from the ‘weekend duffer’ to the scratch golfer. The 50 municipal parks, many with picnic equipment and children’s playgrounds, and some with facilities for volleyball, softball, swimming, lawn-bowling, and tennis (some with light for night play) are gathering places for locals and visitors alike. There is both saltwater and freshwater fishing within a short distance of Santa Barbara. Some other recreational activities in the surrounding areas include hot air ballooning, bicycling, hang gliding, hiking, horseback riding, polo, roller-skating, scuba diving, off-road vehicle driving, and whale watching.