Santa Barbara (California)

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Santa Barbara
Nickname : The American Riviera, The 805, SB, Santa Bruta, Silicon Beach
Santa Barbara Harbor Promenade
Santa Barbara Harbor Promenade
Santa Barbara flag
Location in California
Santa Barbara County California Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Santa Barbara Highlighted.svg
Basic data
Foundation : 1847
State : United States
State : California
County : Santa Barbara County
Coordinates : 34 ° 25 ′  N , 119 ° 42 ′  W Coordinates: 34 ° 25 ′  N , 119 ° 42 ′  W
Time zone : Pacific ( UTC − 8 / −7 )
Residents : 92,325 (as of 2010)
Population density : 1,690.9 inhabitants per km 2
Area : 111.6 km 2  (approx. 43 mi 2 ) of
which 54.6 km 2  (approx. 21 mi 2 ) is land
Height : 15 m
Postcodes : 93100-93199
Area code : +1 805
FIPS : 06-69070
GNIS ID : 1661401
Website :
Mayor : Helene Schneider
Aerial photograph of the Santa Barbara coastline (2008)

Santa Barbara is a city in California , United States . It is the capital of Santa Barbara County . In the 2010 survey , a total of 92,325 inhabitants were counted in the city. Santa Barbara is considered the capital of the "American Riviera".

The city is named after Barbara of Nicomedia , who is considered a saint in the Catholic Church. On December 4, 1786 the Mission Santa Barbara , the "Queen of Missions", was founded as the tenth "pearl" in a long chain of missions (from Los Angeles to San Francisco to Sonoma ) northwest of Los Angeles by Padre Fermin Lasuen. In the 21st century, Santa Barbara is a large city, a tourist attraction and a celebrity residence. Compared to other Californian cities, the Spanish-Mexican influence was retained in the cityscape, even after it was rebuilt after an earthquake struck Santa Barbara in 1925 . The city planners decided to restore the destroyed buildings in their original style.

In 1942 , a Japanese submarine bombarded the Santa Barbara coast and the Ellwood Oil Field , the first bombardment on the North American mainland during World War II and sparking fears of invasion.

The city became the most expensive residential area in the USA in the 20th century. The average house price is 1.13 million US dollars (as of 2006). This is more than double the average price in California, which is $ 564,430.

To the east of the city is Montecito, a district that is one of the richest in the United States. The median income here is $ 70,077, more than three times the national average ($ 21,587). Because of the quiet, beautiful and representative area, many celebrities and wealthy retirees have settled there.


Street view (2014)

location and size

The city is located about 137 km northwest of Los Angeles, right on the coast of the Pacific . It is located in a hilly country rising slightly to the north between the Santa Ynez Mountains in the north and the Santa Barbara Canal in the south, which separates the American continent from the offshore Channel Islands .

According to the United States Land Surveyors, the city has a total area of ​​107.3 km², of which 49.2 km² is land and 58.1 km² is water. The water area thus takes up 54.17 percent of the total area.


Because of its Mediterranean climate , this coast on the south side of Santa Barbara County is often referred to as the "American Riviera". The average annual rainfall is 450 mm.

Flora and vegetation

A vegetation gradient can be determined from south to north. It ranges from sagebrush bushes along the coastal strip to hard foliage bushes ( chaparral ) to mostly loose oak and mixed oak forests on the mountain slopes. Dominating Quercus agrifolia and other Hartlaub oaks and Pinus sabiniana , also known as pine digger known.


Sea birds can be seen on the beaches. The pier is plagued by begging young pelicans . The Santa Barbara Canal is used by the gray whales as a migration route. Blue whales can also be found there in summer . Whale watching boat tours depart from Santa Barbara Harbor.


According to the 2000 survey, there are 92,325 residents, 35,605 households and 18,941 families in the city. The population density is 1,878.1 inhabitants per km². 74.04 percent are White , 2.77 percent Asian , 1.77 percent African American , 1.07 percent Native American, and 0.14 percent Pacific Islander. 16.37 percent of the residents of Santa Barbara are of other ethnic origins and another 3.85 percent are descendants of several ethnic origins not listed above. The proportion of the population of Hispanic origin within the various races is 35.02 percent.

Also worth mentioning is the large proportion iranischstämmiger population, about one in six is of Iranian descent, a higher density is only available in Beverly Hills.

Of the 35,605 households, 24.3 percent have children under the age of 18, 39.8 percent are married couples, 9.5 percent are single mothers, 46.8 percent are not a family. 32.9 percent of all households are single households. 11.4 percent have a member who is older than 65 years. The average household size is 2.47 people and the average family size is 3.17 people.

19.5 percent of the population are under 18, 13.8 percent between 18 and 24, 32.3 percent between 25 and 44, 20.4 percent between 45 and 64 and 13.8 percent are older than 65 years. The average age is 35 years. The ratio between women and men is 100: 97, for people over the age of 18 the ratio is 100: 95.

The median income for a household is $ 47,498 versus $ 57,880 per family. Males have a median income of $ 37,116 and females $ 31,911. The city's per capita income is $ 26,466. 13.4 percent of the population and 7.7 percent of families live below the poverty line. In terms of age groups, 16.8 percent of these are under 18 years of age and 7.4 percent are over 65 years of age. Santa Barbara has a high proportion of homeless people in its population.

Culture and sights


As part of the University of California , the University of California, Santa Barbara campus is located in the Goleta suburb . There is also the SBCC (Santa Barbara City College).

Buildings and monuments

Overview of the city from the tower of the courthouse
  • Court House of Santa Barbara County: The magnificent building in the center of the city center was built in the Spanish-Moorish palace style after the earthquake in 1929 and is surrounded by extensive green spaces. From the building's 26 m high bell tower, the view extends far beyond the city to the Santa Ynez Mountains and Santa Cruz Island in the Pacific.
  • Presidio Real "El Cuartel": The royal fort was built in 1782 and forms the center of the settlement of Santa Barbara. It can be visited as a State Historical Park .
  • Mission Santa Barbara : The historic mission building is located northeast of downtown. It was founded in 1786 and was the 10th of a total of 21 Franciscan missions of the Franciscan Order in California. She was called the Queen of Missions . Services are still held in the mission church today.
  • The Cold Spring Tavern is reminiscent of the age of the stagecoach.


  • The Historical Society Museum with an exhibition on the city's history shows documents, paintings, costumes and rarities from the city's Spanish, Mexican and American times.
  • Santa Barbara Museum of Art : Museum of the art association with sculptures, oriental art and a small collection of contemporary American art.
  • Natural History Museum: It is in the immediate vicinity of Mission Santa Barbara and gives a natural history overview of Santa Barbara and the surrounding area, as well as the Pacific coast and the Channel Islands. The life of the prehistoric Indians is also shown in dioramas. A planetarium is also connected.
  • Carriage Museum: Shows old horse-drawn carriages from the pioneering days of Santa Barbara.
  • Railway museum in the 1901 Southern Pacific Railroad engine shed.


  • Botanical Garden: It is on the way to the Santa Ynez Mountains and is home to a selection of native trees, shrubs, cacti and herbs, as well as a historic dam built by Indians in 1806.
  • Zoological Garden: Located on US Highway 101 west of Montecito, the Santa Barbara Zoo is known for its elephant, lion, monkey, and sea lion enclosures. A botanical garden and a petting zoo are also on the premises.
  • Shoreline Park : Park with old cypresses and other native trees along the cliff west of Santa Barbara. A walking and cycling path leads through the park with views of the Channel Islands.
  • Santa Barbara Bowl , open-air theater built in 1936 above Santa Barbara.


The Moreton Bay Fig in Santa Barbara
  • The Moreton Bay fig: The largest fig tree in America was planted in 1877 and has branches up to 50 m long. It's on US Highway 101 south of downtown.
  • The pier is an extension of the main shopping street , State Street , into the Pacific. It divides the Pacific beach into a west and an east beach.
  • In 1969/70, the General Motors Research Institute in Santa Barbara developed the moon car that was used in the Apollo missions 15, 16 and 17.
  • Santa Barbara is the setting of the US crime series Psych , but the location was mainly Canada .
  • Various punk rock bands such as Lagwagon , Sugarcult or Buck Wild come from Santa Barbara.


State rail company Amtrak offers six daily trips on the Coast Starlight and Pacific Surfliner to and from Los Angeles Union Station , as well as fewer connections to northern California. The drive to Los Angeles is similar to that by car. The 1902 train station is near the harbor and Stearns Wharf and is listed as a cultural monument on the National Register of Historic Places . With the Pacific Surfliner ticket you can use Santa Barbara local buses for free on the same day. Bicycles can be taken along for free in the Pacific Surfliner if you reserve in advance.

Local traffic is provided by the Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District company and with buses on 26 lines. The junction of almost all lines is the Transit Center ( ZOB ) in the city center (Chapala St.), the electric buses of the Downtown & Waterfront Shuttles run there from the train station about every 15 minutes. On all buses, two bicycles per bus can be carried free of charge on the front luggage rack.

The network of cycle paths in Santa Barbara is well developed.

The airport is relatively insignificant with only nine destinations and around 26 daily departures. The Santa Barbara Airbus company offers direct bus services from Los Angeles LAX Airport .

The Greyhound bus station is located on the station forecourt.

sons and daughters of the town

- sorted alphabetically, people and groups separated -


Music groups


Santa Barbara has partnerships with the following cities (as of June 2017):

Web links

Commons : Santa Barbara (California)  - Album containing pictures, videos and audio files


  1. The California earthquake. Major property damage . In: Vossische Zeitung , June 30, 1925, evening edition, p. 4.
  2. ^ House prices in Santa Barbara in Forbes Magazine (2006).
  3. Santa Barbara Whale Watching . Retrieved March 13, 2010.
  5. ^ Sister Cities. Santa Barbara, accessed June 20, 2017 .