Santa Barbara : California

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What Santa Barbara is like for active adults

One of the nation’s top tourist and retirement communities is Santa Barbara, California. Located about 85 miles north of Los Angeles, this charming mission city on the Pacific, has done a superb job of preserving its heritage and creating a livable, modern city. The graceful adobe architecture of the Spanish Mission style is everywhere - from the historic Mission Santa Barbara to the original Motel 6 here in town. The Santa Ynez Mountains rise up 4000’ to the east and provide a stunning backdrop.

The downtown offers wonderful high-end shopping. No billboards are permitted in town, and other signs are required to be small. Santa Barbara has an active cultural life with many museums and colleges (UC Santa Barbara and others). There are more than 15 notable parks, some of them quite large. The city’s population is 86,000. The greater metropolitan area has a population of about 200,000 and includes the cities of Goleta and Carpinteria and the communities of Montecito, Summerland, Isla Vista, and Hope Ranch. Photo of Santa Barbara street scene courtesy of Wikipedia and David Liu.

Santa Barbara is located in Santa Barbara County.  Here is information on retirement in California. Don't  miss our short video of Santa Barbara (close out the initial box, then scroll down list of videos).

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Where to Live & Real Estate Values

Retirees will like living here because it has an unusually beautiful setting and a superb climate. There is a vital and prosperous downtown. Its strong economic base offers ample opportunities for work – paid or volunteer. You can choose to live in a house or apartment near downtown, or you can choose an apartment or free-standing house farther out in a development. There are also many assisted living and continuing care facilities.
Average home prices are exceptionally high, reflecting its premier coastal California environment. In late 2013 the median home in Santa Barbara sold for about $770,000 according to City-Data.com. 

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What is special about this retirement community
 • Unusual physical beauty and ambience • Downtown beaches • Great climate • Historic and lively historic downtown District • Santa Barbara Mission • Parks galore • Presidio of Santa Barbara • The Fiesta  •  You can find a short video of Santa Barbara here
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What is not special about this retirement community
Living here is very expensive
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What kinds of people like retiring here
Santa Barbara attracts an affluent community of who would like to live in an unusually beautiful town that has a major university, history, the California coast, and a strong economy.
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Local economy is driven by
Education, tourism, retail, construction
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Climate and Physical Environment
Santa Barbara is located on the Pacific in southern California, about 85 miles north of Los Angeles. Rolling hills give way to the Santa Ynes Mountains to the east. There are great beaches downtown. A large earthquake in 1925 caused significant damage.
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Restaurants & Cultural Scene

 Santa Barbara Museum of Art; University Art Museum on the UC Santa Barbara Campus; The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History; The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum; Contemporary Arts Forum Santa Barbara Film Festival; The Fiesta; Santa Barbara Arts & Crafts Festival; Arlington Theatre (2000 seats) ; Lobero Theatre; Many musical groups and a symphony orchestra

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Crime
Crime in Santa Barbara is just under the national average.
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Medical facilities
There are a number of hospitals in Santa Barbara
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Transportation

Santa Barbara Airport; Amtrak has service from Santa Barbara; Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District (MTD) provides local bus service; Santa Barbara is about average in walkability.

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Valuable Links

Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara on Wikipedia

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What people are saying about Santa Barbara

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Facts about SANTA BARBARA
  • State: CA
  • Environment: Suburban,College Town,Mountain,Coastal,Small-mid Sized City,Cultural Center,
  • City Population: 50,001-100,000
  • Median age of Population: 25-44
  • Avg Jan Temperature: 41-60
  • Avg July Temperature: 60-80
  • Median HH Income: 60,001-80,000
  • Average Home Price (MLS): $500,001+
  • Annual Property Tax on a $200,000 house: Less than 2000
  • Total Crime Index: 81-90 (low)
  • Cost of Living Index: 121+ (very high)
  • Culture Index: 121+ (very high)
  • State Sales Tax: Yes
  • State Income Tax: Yes
  • Name of the Guide: Jfb48

Can you add to or correct these Facts? Or do you have a photo of this community we could use? If so, please click on Edit these facts

Santa Barbara retirement communities
Vote on the Ratings for Santa Barbara
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1. Overall Retirement Ratings Discuss

1. Rating: 2.9/5 ( 7 votes cast)

2. Expense:
Inexpensive to Luxury Discuss

2. Rating: 4.0/5 ( 6 votes cast)

3. Taxes:
Inexpensive to Expensive Discuss

3. Rating: 3.5/5 ( 2 votes cast)

4. Culture:
None to Cosmopolitan Discuss

4. Rating: 4.0/5 ( 3 votes cast)

5.Recreation:
None to Summer camp Discuss

5. Rating: 4.3/5 ( 4 votes cast)

6. Transportation:
Boondocks to World Hub Discuss

6. Rating: 3.5/5 ( 2 votes cast)

7. Security:
Dangerous to Ft. Knox Discuss

7. Rating: 3.3/5 ( 3 votes cast)

8. Medical Facilities:
None to Excellent Discuss

8. Rating: 3.0/5 ( 3 votes cast)

9. Political Situation:
Conservative to Liberal Discuss

9. Rating: 3.0/5 ( 3 votes cast)

10. Environmental:
Oblivious to Ultra-Green Discuss

10. Rating: 4.0/5 ( 2 votes cast)