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Santa Barbara County

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Santa Barbara County has everything you're looking for in a California vacation. Relax on the beach, do a little shopping, visit Santa Barbara Wine Country, or tour the Danish community of Solvang. This area's natural beauty will take your breath away. And you'll enjoy the best weather imaginable here.

Pacific Standard Time (UTC-8)

Pacific Daylight Time (UTC-7)

Country Code for US: +1
Local Area Code: 805

Santa Barbara County Maps

Map of the US

California Map

Foxen Canyon Road Foxen Canyon Road in the Santa Ynez Valley

Santa Barbara County Map

Santa Barbara County, California is located along the Southern California coast, about 90 miles north of Los Angeles. This county includes the four northern Channel Islands. Follow this link for my best Santa Barbara travel information.

As you can see from these maps, this county is bound by the Pacific Ocean on two sides. The ocean influence helps to create the mildest of Mediterranean climates.

This stretch of south-facing coastline is unique on the Pacific coast. The 50 miles from Point Conception to Rincon constitutes the longest east-west traverse of shoreline from Alaska to Cape Horn.

Cities of Santa Barbara County

The city of Santa Barbara is the premier tourist destination and government headquarters for the county of Santa Barbara. Other communities on the southern coastal plain of this county include Goleta, Montecito, Summerland, and Carpinteria.

North of the Santa Ynez Mountains is Santa Barbara Wine Country. Here you'll find the Danish town of Solvang, and historic western towns of Los Olivos, Buellton, Santa Ynez, Los Alamos, Lompoc, and Santa Maria. Vandenberg Air Force Base occupies most of the county's western coastal plain.

Santa Barbara County Weather

The sun shines 73% of the time here. Our Mediterranean climate means warm, dry summers and mild wet winters. In the winter, the Santa Ynez Mountains shelter the county's southern coastal shelf from the cold north winds.

Santa Barbara Climate
Source: U.S. Climate Data

This chart indicates the average temperatures and rainfall for
the southern coastal communities.

Climate Santa Maria
Source: U.S. Climate Data

Here's a snapshot of the weather in the northern part of the county. It's a little cooler and drier inland.

County Parks

There are 3 distinct mountain ranges in this county. The Santa Ynez Mountains are the ones you see from the Santa Barbara beach. The San Rafael Mountains and Sierra Madre Mountains occupy most of the inland area.

Much of the county's mountainous area is within the Los Padres National Forest. Two huge wilderness areas, the San Rafael Wilderness and the Dick Smith Wilderness, surround the Sisquoc Condor Sanctuary.

In addition to the California National Parks in this county, there are two county parks that allow camping: Cachuma Lake and Jalama Beach. The county also has many day-use parks, open spaces and preserves. These parks provide plenty of places to hike, camp, fish, and simply enjoy nature.

Fun Facts About Santa Barbara County

  • McDonalds' Egg McMuffin was invented in 1968 by the owner of the McDonalds on Upper State Street in Santa Barbara.

  • Santa Barbara was the center of California's silent film industry in 1910. Flying A Studios were located on Mission Street between State and De La Vina Streets.

  • The Ten Commandments was partially filmed at Guadalupe Dunes. Remnants of the gigantic desert set are still visible in the dunes.

  • This county is still a favorite filming location. Movies filmed here include
    Sideways, It's Complicated, and Pirates of the Carribean III.

  • The original Motel 6 built in 1962 cost $6 per night.

  • Several restaurant franchises have originated in this county:
    • The Natural CafĂ©
    • The Habit Grill
    • Blenders
    • Carrows Restaurant
    • Sambo's Restaurant

  • The Santa Barbara Channel is the world's primary source for sea urchin.

  • Other companies originating in this county include:
    • Loughead Aircraft Manufacturing Company (aka Lockheed)
    • Balance Bar (nutrition bar)
    • Magellan's Travel Supplies
    • Kinko's copy shop
    • The Territory Ahead
    • Decker's Shoes (makers of Uggs, Teva and Simple brands)
    • Channel Islands Surfboards
    • Mr. Zog's Sex Wax
    • Force Fin swim fins
    • Radon Boats
    • Big Dog Sportswear

  • Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing was named after a ranch in this county. The first restaurant to serve Hidden Valley Ranch dressing was Cold Spring Tavern.

  • Santa Barbara County produces more orchids than anywhere else in the United States.

  • Santa Barbara Olive Company produces more specialty olives than any other olive company in North America.
Santa Barbara County is one of the most beautiful places on earth. It's been a favorite resort destination for generations. With more than 50 miles of Pacific coastline and a world-class wine country, this county is as close to paradise as you'll ever come.

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