Welcome to Santa Barbara!
Location: 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 Fran- cisco. The metro area encompasses about 18 square miles and is situated between 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.
Access: The Santa Barbara Airport (SBA) is affiliated with seven airlines and offers flights by both commercial and private planes. There are non-stop flights to twelve major cities including Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle. Connections can be made to destinations worldwide. Bus service is available with Greyhound Bus Lines and there are daily arrivals and departures from the convenient downtown terminal. The Amtrak Station on State Street fields stops by northbound and southbound trains on a daily basis.
Climate: Temperatures for the Santa Barbara area range from a low of 56 to a high of 82 degrees during the summer months (April-September), and a low of 47 to a high of 66 degrees in the winter months (October-March). The average rainfall is 18 inches, and the air quality is good.
History: The Santa Barbara area was discovered and claimed for Spain in 1542 by Juan Cabrillo, a Portuguese explorer sailing for Spain. In 1602 Sebastian Vizcaino anchored offshore on December 4th-the feast day of Saint Barbara (patroness of Mariners). The ship’s priest named both the channel and mainland area Santa Barbara in her honor. In April 1782 Padre Junipero Serra established the Presidio Real of Santa Barbara in a grand ceremony, and four years later construction of Mission Santa Barbara began. It was the tenth of 21 Franciscan missions to be built in upper-California. Soon Yankee traders, tourists and health seekers, followed by wealthy Easterners settled in Santa Barbara be- cause of the mild winters. The mixture of newcomers and Spanish descendants has shaped the area for what it has become today.
Population: Santa Barbara County has a population of about 400,000 residents, 90,000 of whom live within the city limits.