Santa Barbara Beaches

Know Before You Go

What should I pack? How can I get there? How old do I need to be to order a glass of wine? What kind of money do Californians use, anyway?

It's always best to prepare for your trip in advance, so you can make the most of every moment of your stay once you arrive. This handy quick-reference page places essential information at your fingertips. Climate, financial services, religious centers, rules and regulations, bus lines - nearly everything you need to know is just a click away. Still have questions? Just ask us!

LOCATION, POPULATION & GEOGRAPHY
Santa Barbara lies on the West Coast of the United States, 92 miles (148 km) north of Los Angeles and 332 miles (534 km) south of San Francisco. It is the largest city and the seat of Santa Barbara County, which covers 2,774 square miles. The Santa Ynez Mountains, which run along the east-west section of the Santa Barbara coast, serve as the boundary distinguishing "North County" (Ballard, Buellton, Guadalupe, Lompoc, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Santa Maria, Santa Ynez, Solvang) from "South County" (Carpinteria, Goleta, Montecito, Santa Barbara and Summerland). While the South County cities and towns nestle in the Santa Ynez foothills on the shore of the Pacific Ocean, North County communities are located in higher-elevation inland mountain valleys.

The county is famous for its beautiful beaches, most of which lie along a unique south-facing stretch of coastline that affords beach visitors sun all day long and more shelter from winds and surf. But there's far more here than beaches. The county encompasses enormously varied terrain: Nearly one-third of its total acreage is set aside in the Los Padres National Forest, which includes the rugged San Rafael Wilderness Area. Santa Barbara County's topographical diversity creates a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities in a relatively compact area.

DISTANCES TO SANTA BARBARA FROM OTHER DESTINATIONS INCLUDE:
Hearst Castle: 118 mi./189 km
Santa Barbara County Wine Country: 32 mi./51 km
Universal Studios: 85 mi./136 km
Disneyland: 110 mi./176 km
Hollywood: 89 mi./142 km
LAX: 92 mi./148 km
San Diego: 228 mi./367 km
San Francisco: 332 mi./534 km

TIME ZONE
Santa Barbara is in the Pacific Standard Time Zone, 8 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time.

ATTIRE
In dress, as in most other respects, Santa Barbara style is comfortable and casual, though evening wear may be dressier in some places. Throughout the county, you'll be most comfortable if you layer your clothing. Early mornings, evenings and nights may be cool enough for a sweater, but daytime temperatures in the seaside areas and the drier, hotter wine country and valley regions are comfortable enough for short sleeves. Check out Santa Barbara weather for current conditions and the forecast.

RULES TO REMEMBER
It is illegal in California for anyone under 21 years old to consume alcohol in any quantity. To purchase alcohol in a bar, restaurant or store, you must be able to produce photographic identification that proves your age. Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) is a serious offense in California. A person is considered legally drunk when the concentration of alcohol in his or her blood is at or above .08%.

In California, the driver and all passengers must wear their seatbelts at all times when traveling in a car. Any child too small to be protected by a seatbelt must be secured in a child safety seat.

California law prohibits smoking in restaurants, bars, theaters, auditoriums, museums and most other public buildings.

Keep your eyes on the road, as California law prevents drivers from using hand-held devices while operating a motor vehicle. Play it safe and use a hands-free controller if you must use a phone while on the road.

EMERGENCY NUMBERS
For all life-threatening medical, fire and police emergencies, call 911.
For non-emergency calls, dial the following numbers:

  • Buellton: 805-681-5500 (fire), 805-686-8150 (police)
  • Carpinteria: 805-684-4591 (fire), 805-684-4561 (police)
  • Gaviota: 805-681-5500 (fire), 805-681-4100 (police)
  • Goleta: 805-681-5500 (fire), 805-681-4100 (police)
  • Isla Vista: 805-681-5500 (fire), 805-681-4179 (police)
  • Lompoc: 805-736-4513 (fire), 805-736-0159 (police)
  • Montecito: 805-969-7762 (fire), 805-684-4561 (police)
  • Santa Barbara: 805-965-5254 (fire), 805-897-2300 (police)
  • Santa Ynez: 805-686-5000 (fire), 805-686-5000 (police)
  • Solvang: 805-686-5000 (police)
  • Summerland: 805-684-4591 (fire), 805-684-4561 (police)

CURRENCY & BANKING
Bank-card, bank-cash and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are located throughout the city. Members of participating banking networks and credit card companies can obtain U.S. currency by using an ATM card or credit card and a Personal Identification Number (PIN). If you need to exchange foreign currency, contact Paul A. Brombal (3601-A State St., 805-687-3641), open Monday - Friday 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

 

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Buellton Visitors Bureau & Chamber of Commerce
  • 376 Avenue of the Flags, P.O. Box 231
  • Buellton, CA 93427
  • Information: (805) 688-7829

The Buellton Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau are here to serve you and make your stay in our area most enjoyable. If there is anything we can do to assist you with your plans or provide you ...MORE

Carpinteria Valley Chamber of Commerce
  • 1056-B Eugenia Place
  • Carpinteria, CA 93013
  • Information: (805) 684-5479

Founded in 1912 the Carpinteria Valley Chamber of Commerce’s business is the community. The Chamber of Commerce serves as an advocate organization for area businesses at the local, county, state and ...MORE

City of Santa Barbara Waterfront Department
  • 132-A Harbor Way
  • Santa Barbara, CA 93109
  • Information: (805) 564-5531

WHALE WATCHING SEASON IS IN FULL SWING: Between December and May nearly 15,000 California gray whales travel 10,000 miles along the Pacific Coast. These whales swim from cold Arctic feeding grounds to ...MORE

County of Santa Barbara
  • 105 E. Anapamu Street
  • Santa Barbara, CA 93101
  • Information: (805) 681-4200

Accountability * Customer-Focus * Efficiency

County of Santa Barbara Parks
  • 610 Mission Canyon Road
  • Santa Barbara, CA 93105
  • Information: (805) 568-2461

Visitors find in each of our parks a distinctive spirit that may stimulate or soothe, but is sure to satisfy. Cool redwood groves, wide open lawns for recreation, the picturesque Pacific, and two of ...MORE

Expedia Inc.
  • ,
  • Information: 800EXPEDIA

Why it pays to book with Expedia: * Huge savings on Flight + Hotel vacations * No Expedia booking fees on flights * More hotels (and more deals!) in more places ...MORE

Family Vacation Center
  • UC Santa Barbara
  • Santa Barbara, CA 93106-1120
  • Information: (805) 893-3123

Welcome to the UC Santa Barbara Family Vacation Center, located in Santa Barbara, CA. - The American Riviera®. Families stay in suite style accommodations with 2-4 bedrooms, bathroom, living room ...MORE

Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce
  • 5662 Calle Real #204
  • Goleta, CA 93117
  • Information: 805-967-2500

The Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce (GVCoC) is a business-oriented membership organization founded in 1947. GVCoC helps to advance the interests of the Goleta Valley, its people and its commerce ...MORE

Greater Santa Barbara Lodging and Restaurant Association
  • PO Box 40260
  • Santa Barbara, CA 93140
  • Information: (805) 881-3385

The GSBL&RA serves as a voice for the hospitality industry in our area, serving both lodging and tourism associates through information, education and advocacy.

L.A., Inc.
  • 633 West 5th Street, Suite 6000
  • Los Angeles, CA 90071
  • Information: (213) 624-7300
Lompoc Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau
  • 111 South I St.
  • Lompoc, CA 93436
  • Information: (805) 736-4567

Lompoc is known as the “City of Murals in the Valley of Flowers.” Historically a center of ranching and floriculture, the surrounding landscape is still dominated by huge fields of larkspur, lavender, ...MORE

Old Mission Santa Barbara
  • 2201 Laguna Street
  • Santa Barbara, CA 93105
  • Information: 805.682.4713

The picturesque Mission lies between the majestic Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. The Spanish heritage of the town is reflected in the architecture and street names of this popular ...MORE

Pocket Concierge
  • P.O. Box 90611
  • Santa Barbara, CA 93190
  • Information: (805) 452-1020

Santa Barbara Club
  • 1105 Chapala St.
  • Santa Barbara, CA 93101
  • Information: 805-965-6547

The Santa Barbara Club provides a luxurious, timeless setting renown for its Wine Country cuisine and exceptional service. Serving Santa Barbara for over 115 years, the Club is a quiet and refreshing ...MORE

Santa Barbara Downtown Organization
  • 27B E. De La Guerra St.
  • Santa Barbara, CA 93101
  • Information: (805) 962-2098

Downtown Santa Barbara… The Most Beautiful Downtown in America. Downtown Santa Barbara features world-class shopping, from major retailers to unique local specialty shops. Wander through outdoor ...MORE

Santa Barbara Harbor Merchants Association
  • 125 Harbor Way #13
  • Santa Barbara, CA 93109
  • Information: 805-962-2826

Santa Barbara Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • P.O. Box 6592
  • Santa Barbara, CA 93160
  • Information: (805) 233-3690

Our mission is to foster the Economic Vitality and Prosperity of the Latino Business Community as well as the quality of life in the greater Santa Barbara area.

Santa Barbara Region Chamber of Commerce
  • 104 W Anapamu Street Suite A
  • Santa Barbara, CA 93101
  • Information: (805) 965-3023

"Business is great in Santa Barbara, and Santa Barbara is great for business" The Santa Barbara Region Chamber of Commerce is a California non-profit corporation. We are located on 924 Anacapa ...MORE

Santa Barbara Vintners' Association
  • 597 Avenue of Flags, Suite 102
  • Buellton, CA 93427
  • Information: (805) 688-0881

Santa Barbara Wine Country offers world class wine tasting experiences throughout the region.  Experience the cool vibe of the tasting rooms in Santa Barbara along the Urban Wine Trail and in the ...MORE

Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitor & Convention Bureau
  • 614 South Broadway
  • Santa Maria, CA 93454
  • Information: (805) 925-2403

The Santa Maria Valley is nestled in the foothills of Santa Barbara County wine country. Located in the heart of California's Central Coast, here you will discover beautiful scenery, championship golf ...MORE

Solvang Chamber of Commerce
  • P.O. Box 465
  • Solvang, CA 93464
  • Information: 805.688.0701

An authentic Danish settlement, founded in 1911 by Danish educators, where the heritage, faces, and customs of the Old World live on. The village area is located in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley, ...MORE

Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau
  • 1511A Mission Drive
  • Solvang, CA 93463
  • Information: (805) 688-6144

The bounty and beauty of Solvang and the Santa Ynez Valley beckon year-round. This picturesque destination, on the Central Coast of California, in scenic Santa Barbara County wine country is less ...MORE

Visit Santa Barbara
  • 500 E. Montecito Street
  • Santa Barbara, CA 93103
  • Information: (805) 966-9222
Visit Santa Ynez Valley
  • PO Box 633
  • Solvang, CA 93464

Welcome to the Santa Ynez Valley—the heart of Santa Barbara’s Wine Country! To discover everything to see, do, taste, stay and experience only 35 miles from the beaches of Santa Barbara, ...MORE

Anthony Longoria, Santa Barbara Concierge Services
  • 179 Camino de Vida
  • Goleta, CA 93111
  • Information: 805-223-1872
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