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
Foxen Canyon Road in the Santa Ynez Valley
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.
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.
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.
This chart indicates the average temperatures and rainfall for
the southern coastal communities.
Here's a snapshot of the weather in the northern part of the county. It's a little cooler and drier inland.
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.
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