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In 2002, Goleta was incorporated as a city within Santa Barbara County.  Goleta is about 5 to 15 minutes from Santa Barbara by vehicle, depending on how far north you might be going, and it is basically an extension of Santa Barbara proper. Goleta encompasses a variety of shopping plazas, schools, and the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB), along with beautiful beaches, foothills, hiking trails, and more.  Goleta is the host to the Santa Barbara International Airport, which has been expanding as the Santa Barbara area sees more travelers and becomes more popular both in the United States and with foreign countries as well.

Goleta is a booming region of Santa Barbara County, with just over 30,000 residents.  The area prides itself on its safe community vibe, and the assortment of homes, residents, and businesses in Goleta make it a truly diverse area to live.  Goleta Union School District is composed of nine elementary schools, four of which are within the city limits.  The neighborhood also serves as home to Goleta Valley Junior High, a public school within the Santa Barbara Elementary School District.  Goleta high school students attend Dos Pueblos High School.  Goleta has a quite a business community, but many Goleta residents commute to their jobs in Santa Barbara or other surrounding areas

Goleta is home to a handful of shopping and business centers, parks, and restaurants.  Since they are near to the water, Stow Park, Lake Los Carneros, and the Coronado Butterfly Preserve serve as popular locations for local residents.   The Calle Real and Camino Real shopping centers serve many UC Santa Barbara students, staff, and residents of the Goleta area, as they have the local Costco and Home Depot in the development, and many other heavily visited stores.

Goleta is a great area for surfing, as many local surfers will head out to Campus Point, Devereaux, or Sands Beach along UCSB’s campus, and there are even more surf spots further north along the Gaviota Coast. The beaches in Goleta and the stretch of coastline north of Goleta tend to be very beautiful, with bluffs rising up and creating a gorgeous landscape. There are some campgrounds north of Goleta that attract both locals and tourists: Refugio State Beach and El Capitan.


Even if you don’t stay there overnight, they are beautiful for a picnic or taking a walk

Isla Vista, a sub-area of Goleta, encompasses about a square mile, and serves as home to over 23,000 residents, mainly composed of students from Santa Barbara City College and UC Santa Barbara.  UC Santa Barbara educates nearly 20,000 undergraduate students and just over 3,000 graduate students.  It is one of the few universities in the United States with its own beach, as well as its own lagoon, which runs through the campus.  Isla Vista, more commonly known as IV, is one of the most densely populated areas in the United States, with the majority of its residents packed into around .6 square miles.

Goleta is near downtown Santa Barbara, but it offers a relaxed and safe community, and often you will see better values on larger homes in Goleta when you compare it to Santa Barbara.


*Painting by Chris Potter*

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