Santa Barbara, California

The "Silicon Beach" or the "American Riviera" is just two of the popular nick names by which the wonderful city of Santa Barbara is known by. The city has the longest coastline on the West Coast and is a popular tourist destination. It was the largest city in the county in terms of population until the census in 2010 showed that the population had declined since the previous one. The city is sandwiched between the steep Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. The climate of the city can be described as Mediterranean to some extent because of its geographical location.

Apart from tourism, the economy of the city also includes a large and growing service sector in many different fields. The county seat of Santa Barbara County has quickly become a prominent city on the west coast with a lot of developments in healthcare and education. It is also well known for the many hospitality services that have come about mostly because of the flowing tourism in the city. A rich cultural confluence exists in the city and it has many well-known neighborhoods too. As many as 5 institutions of higher learning including the University of California operate in the city.

Santa Barbara is an attractive city for both local residents as well as tourists. There are intriquing options in entertainment, education, affordable living and many other benefits the city offers its residents. People of any age or any profession will surely find the city exciting and vivacious to their own liking.

Santa Barbara History

The origins of the city date back to more than 10,000 years as archaeological findings have also revealed traces of the ancient history in the region. The city was explored first by Spanish Explorers and the name Santa Barbara was given to the city in 1602 by Sebastian Vizcanio who was also a Spanish Explorer. The city was occupied by Spain till 1822 and it was an eventful time. In 1812 the city saw a big earthquake and tsunami that destroyed most of the ocean facing areas. The city was freed of the colonial rule post 1822 and was occupied by Mexico till 1846 when it was taken over by the US during the US-Mexican War.

Post-acquisition, the city saw a rapid increase in the population within a few years. People moved into the city as a result of the Gold Rush and for a short time it fell into the hands of criminals and cons until order was restored. By 1850 the city was completely under control and began to prosper.

The city had a lot of ranches which were all destroyed when the drought of 1863 hit. It started a new era for the city as it soon became a destination for rich travelers. The rail link from the city to Los Angeles was built by the 1890s and the city began to grow as a popular tourist town. The Mediterranean look and feel of the city drew a lot of movies during the age of the silent films. The city was home to the largest film making company until the 1920s.

The city did not see any major destruction in any wars including the Mexican war on Independence in 1822, the First World War or the Second World War. A brief panic was caused in February of 1942 when the Japanese attacked an Oil field in the proximity of the city. The discovery of oil in some areas around the city has also given it a lot of impetus towards its development.

Post the Second World War, the city saw a significant rise in population. Roads and other infrastructure were developed a lot more in this period. The well-known oil spill of 1969 caused the reworking of most of the city's growth strategies as sustainable growth has always been a priority for the city. The growth plans were stopped and an effort to preserve nature and beauty was also made.

The firm resolution made by the city to achieve a sustainable growth has been well supported. The city has so far managed to stay away from the ruthless urbanization of areas in the vicinity of Los Angeles and has now become an educational and cultural center. The city also has a lot of commuters who come here to work because real estate in some areas of the city were limited to preserve and achieve sustainable growth.

About Santa Barbara, California

The American Riviera as Santa Barbara is popularly known is a fitting name for the city whose landscape and climate is stirringly similar to the French Rivera. The backdrop of the Santa Yenz mountains offer some exhilarating views as this east to west trending mountain range has some peaks higher than 4000 feet. The city is spread out over an area of 42 square miles out of which the land area is around 19.5 square miles. The city's area also extends a few miles out into the ocean which also includes the land area occupied by the Santa Barbara Airport which is built on the ocean.

The city has a lot of attractions to offer visitors and also to the people of the city itself. Out of the many destinations in the city and the beaches, the Mission is one of the first places to go to when seeing the city. Known for the well preserved architectural history which dates back to the beginning of the city itself, tourists can also take a day long hike along Mission Canyon which is one of the most beautiful areas in the entire city. The Carriage Museum is also a must see as it has one of the largest collections of carriages and vehicles restored and preserved from the past.

The waterfront is easily one of the hottest spots in the entire city. The area is laced with many restaurants and hotels for tourists. The three beautiful beaches along the waterfront are almost always full of life with many college students in the proximity of these areas. The nightlife in this area is well known along with the nightlife in another part of the city, Lower State Street.

The Riviera is one of the most prominent places in the city's landscape and culture. Its exhilarating geographical standing gives it much popularity with tourists. The Riviera is made of a hill that faces the ocean and the backside which stretches to around two miles. The Rivera also serves as an entry point into the city as well. The architecture of the city is also highly similar to Mediterranean architecture symbolic of the French and Italian Riviera.

Apart from these highly popular destinations, the city boasts of a large number of museums, a zoo, and many parks. It is also a major educational center with 5 Universities in the city's confines. The largest employer in the city is the University of California and science and technology is the largest sector in the city when it comes to private employment. The city of Santa Barbara has followed a congenial growth plan as it has managed to keep development sustainable for the people and the environment.

About Santa Barbara County, California

The County of Santa Barbara is located on the Central Californian Coast and was incorporated into United States of America in 1850. Santa Maria is the largest city in the county and it has many popular cities located in it. It has some major tourist attractions out of which the American Riviera is very familiar around the world.

The area of the county of Santa Barbara is around 3789 square miles out of which around 28% is occupied by water. The county has a diverse geographical makeup ranging from coasts, coastal plains, mountains and even heavily forested areas. The Los Padreas National forest is one of the heavy forested areas in the county and it is also home to three major mountain ranges of the city. The highest elevation is in the San Rafael Mountains with a height close to 7000 feet.

Large areas in the county have been dedicated to agriculture and also nature reserves and forests. The county is a sought after place to live in because of the better quality of air due to the forested areas and the Pacific Ocean which also helps regulate the climate of the entire county. The county is served by four airports which are located in principal cities of the county. A large fraction of the population of the city is located in the lower lying coastal areas towards the southern parts of the county. The urban areas include cities like Santa Barbara and Goleta.

The county is well known in many parts of the nation for its excellent wine. The tradition of growing grapes was started in the early 18th century by Spanish missionaries and today the grapes from the county are priced the highest in the entire state of California. The county has some very important tourist attractions and over time a lot of oil has also been discovered here. The economic growth of the county has been fairly rapid since the 1990s.