Santa Barbara is wedged between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains. Its climate is temperate and sunny year-round, and as one might expect, it is a popular destination for tourism. Celebrated Spanish architecture, gorgeous piers, and a general air of relaxation bring vacationers from all around the world.
Aerospace and defense companies are the biggest players in Santa Barbara’s private sector, though the region is also known for its hospitality industry; hotels, resorts, restaurants, and tourist-attracting cultural areas create high demand for servicepersons. Santa Barbara is home to several institutions of higher learning: UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara City College, Westmont College, Brooks Institute of Photography, and Antioch University.
Living there can take many forms, as the diversity among neighborhoods and housing options affords residents the choice between a semi-urban feel in and among the hustle and bustle of waterfront commercial districts and a more suburban feel in the scenic foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains. The valleys on the far side of these mountains are blanketed with countless world-renowned vineyards and wineries that attract their own tourists with wine tastings and romantic getaways. Santa Barbara is somewhat walkable, primarily downtown. Main arteries: the 225 and 192; the Pacific Coast Highway.