Santa Barbara is almost too good to be true. Located along the beautiful central California coast, the "American Riviera" is an amazing place to live. Locals take advantage of the beautiful natural amenities of this place. Whether they are taking a winter trip up the Santa Ynez Mountains to see the snowy tops or spending the afternoon down at any one of the beautiful beaches, like Leadbetter Beach, people are outdoors a lot. Surfing is a pretty big deal here, with destination surfing spots like Rincon and The Point. If surfing isn't your thing, there are also some great hiking spots like Rattlesnake Canyon, named for its twists and turns, not a population of snakes.
Of course, there is tons of interesting history in Santa Barbara as well. Mission Santa Barbara, the "Queen of the Missions," is right in town and a must-see relic of the Spanish days of California. Also be sure to see the historic Santa Barbara County Courthouse and adjacent Our Lady of Sorrows Church. You can learn a lot about the history of life in Santa Barbara so you can become an expert on your new home. There are tons of great art and performance events each year, too. The Santa Barbara International Film Festival continues to grow each year, becoming an important industry event. Each week, you can head to the Arlington Theater to see symphony and opera performances. Classical music is very popular here. The West Beach Arts and Music Festival is another great local event, with music, arts, vendors, and some great seafood.
Another favorite spot is Stearn's Wharf. One of the longest piers, the Wharf is now a shopping and dining destination with quaint shops like Mother Stearn's Candy Company or Coastal Treasures. Plus, there is excellent seafood to be eaten at favorites like at Longboard's Grill or the Santa Barbara Shellfish Company. Of course, living in Santa Barbara puts you in the heart of south-central California. This small city is only 90 miles from the bustling metropolis of Los Angeles, meaning you have easy access to the amenities of one of the largest cities in the nation. Yet, life in Santa Barbara is more laid back. You'll be happy as can be as you stroll down State Street on a sunny afternoon, happy with the small town charm of Santa Barbara.
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