|Santa Barbara Travel Guide|
Santa Barbara is the county seat of Santa Barbara County, California, United States. Tthe city had a total population of 92,325. The city is about 85 miles northwest of Los Angeles, along the Pacific coast. This stretch of coast along southern Santa Barbara County is often referred to as the "American Riviera" because of its Mediterranean climate. The Santa Ynez Mountains rise dramatically behind the city, with several peaks exceeding 4,000 feet. Covered with chaparral and with sandstone outcrops, they make a famously scenic backdrop to the town. Nearer to town, and directly east and adjacent to Mission Santa Barbara, is a hill known locally as the "Riviera," which is built up with expensive homes.
Mission Santa Barbara, "The Queen of the Missions," is located in Santa Barbara. It was founded on December 4, 1786, and the city built up near the mission. A Spanish Presidio was also founded at the city. The city sustained heavy damage in an earthquake of June 29, 1925 which was followed by substantial rebuilding. Santa Barbara is popular as a tourist destination and celebrity hideaway. The Santa Barbara campus of the University of California is located next to nearby Isla Vista. The Rafael Gonzalez House, an adobe building, the Santa Barbara Mission, and the county courthouse are national Historic Landmarks. The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden contains a diverse collection of plants from around California; it is located in Mission Canyon directly north of the city.
Much of the architecture in the city is Spanish in style, in keeping with the Spanish heritage of the city: white buildings with tile roofs are a trademark sight. The city has enacted strict ordinances to prevent erosion of this image, with some success. For example, there are no billboards anywhere in town, and none at all on the main freeway leading out of town for almost twenty miles; in addition there is a strict sign ordinance for businesses, with no excessively large lettering allowed.
Santa Barbara has many parks, ranging from small spaces within the urban environment to large, semi-wilderness areas which remain within the city limits.
The Santa Barbara Airport offers commercial air service.
Santa Barbara is the birthplace of Kathy Ireland, supermodel, Randall Cunningham, Former NFL Player, Toad The Wet Sprocket, folk pop band, Chuck Liddell, Ultimate Fighting, Championship Light Heavyweight Champion, Ryan Church, MLB player, outfielder for the Washington Nationals. Santa Barbara is the home of Henry Brant, Composer, Ray Bradbury, Novelist, John Cleese, Actor, Kirk Douglas, Actor, Sue Grafton, Novelist, Jack Johnson (musician), Surfer, Musician, Filmaker Bruce Johnston, Musician Charles Lloyd, Jazz Saxophonist, Kenny Loggins, Musician, Rob Lowe, Actor, Dennis Miller, Comedian - TV Host, Oprah Winfrey, Actor - TV Host, Eddie Vedder, Musician, Christopher Lloyd, Actor, Producer.
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