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Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is the county seat of Santa Barbara County and is situated on a south-facing section of coastline. This is the longest such section on the West Coast of the United States. As of 2014, the city had an estimated population of 91,196, making it the second most populous city in the county after Santa Maria. Because the city is also a largely affluent beach town, the cost of living is about 56% higher than the national average (housing costs are almost 3 times higher). If you can afford to live here, it is worth taking a couple minutes to look over all the options for cheap car insurance that Santa Barbara can offer.

About Santa Barbara

About 8,000 to 10,000 Chumash lived on the south coast of Santa Barbara County at the time of the first European explorations, The first permanent European residents were Spanish missionaries and soldiers who came in 1782 to build the Presidio, a Spanish military outpost. They were sent to convert the natives to Christianity, and to make sure no other powers, such as England and Russia, landed there. These residents brought their families with them, and became the small town that surrounded the Presidio. The Native Americans were put to work building a dam and an aqueduct. Many of the natives died of diseases such as smallpox, against which they had no natural immunity.

The Spanish period ended in 1822 with the end of the Mexican War of Independence, which concluded 300 years of colonial rule. At this time large land tracts were given to various families to reward service or build alliances. The population stayed small, with enormous cattle operations run by wealthy families. During the Gold Rush years the town turned into a haven for bandits and gamblers, and became a dangerous and lawless place. Soon after this, oil was discovered and the region along the beach east of Santa Barbara sprouted oil derricks and piers for drilling offshore. This was the first offshore oil development in the world, and also became the first area of protest against drilling to preserve natural wildlife. 

Now, aerospace and defense companies form the basis of the city’s employment. Companies such as Alliant Techsystems, Channel Technologies Group, and Raytheon have major operations there. Tourist attractions have made the hospitality industry into a major source of the economy as well. In fact, Motel 6 was started in Santa Barbara in 1962.

Driving In Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is located about 90 miles WNW of Los Angeles, along the Pacific coast. Santa Barbara is bisected by U.S. Route 101, a transportation corridor that links the city to the rest of the Central Coast region. The crime rate of Santa Ana is below the national average, but the number of fatal car accidents is less the 1/4th the state average.

Amtrak offers rail service through the Coast Starlight and Pacific Surfliner , and the Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District(MTD) provides local bus service. Greyhound bus stations are located downtown, and Electric shuttles operated by MTD, ferry tourists and shoppers between State Street and the wharf. Santa Barbara has an extensive network of bike trails and also has “Santa Barbara Car Free”, a transportation company which promotes visiting and exploring the area without use of a car. It makes sense to use the extensive and Eco-friendly public transportation to see all this beautiful city has to offer, plus it will save you money on car insurance.

Santa Barbara Attractions 

The beautiful Santa Barbara has a lot of things you can enjoy. From wine tasting to kayaking the waterfront. People seem to enjoy the wine tasting a little more as Santa Barbara has some of the best wineries and wine tours. For this excursion, you board a shuttle that takes you to different wineries that you can sample. This is a whole day event so make sure you plan accordingly. 

The culinary experience that Santa Barbara has is second to none. There is a tour that is offered that takes you around Santa Barbara and takes you around to the local hot spots. Santa Barbara is a melting pot of a community so it will have a lot of different things for you to try.

If you’re into photography, Santa Barbara has plenty of opportunities for some great pictures. To give an example of some places to visit is the Santa Barbara mission and the Museum of Art. Sceneries like these will simply take your breath away. 

Living and Renting in Santa Barbara

The average rent for an apartment in Santa Barbara is $2,104, a 1% decrease compared to the previous year, when the average rent was $2,116. The average size for a Santa Barbara, CA apartment is 658 square feet, but this number varies greatly depending on unit type. 29% of people pay $1,000-1,500, 33% of people pay around $1,500 and 38% pay more than $2,000 when it comes to rent each month. 46% rent their homes and 53% own their homes. 

The housing market is somewhat competitive and some homes get multiple offers. The average price for a home is $1.11 million. Living in Santa Barbara is a dream to some people. If you ever have the opportunity to live there, it is highly recommended.