Goleta

Residents enjoy being between the ocean and the mountains.

Welcome to Goleta

 
Fertile farming land and agricultural roots make Goleta “The Good Land,” this coastal city is laid-back and touts a charming small-town vibe.
 
Known as "The Good Land" for a good reason, Goleta is a laid-back, beachy city in Santa Barbara County. Despite being a city, Goleta boasts a charming small-town vibe that locals adore. Part of Goleta's allure is in its range of available activities. Whether you want to relax and put your feet up at the beach or try something more adventurous, there are tons of family-friendly events and places to explore throughout this down-to-earth city.
 

What to Love


  • Home to the waterfront UCSB
  • Fertile farming region, “The Good Land”
  • Natural beauty and scenic vistas
  • Known for outdoor recreation
  • Ritz-Carlton Bacara
  • Goleta Beach County Park

People & Lifestyle

 
Goleta is known as "The Good Land" due to its fertile farming land, making it a pioneer in lemon-growing over the years, hence the celebratory annual Lemon Festival. Nowadays, Goleta is the smaller but fast-growing quintessential suburb neighboring Santa Barbara.

Despite not being as prominent and notorious as Santa Barbara, Goleta has carved out a niche as a charming, beachy, coastal city home to the innovative and scenic UC Santa Barbara, fantastic festivals, an abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities, and a growing hotspot for surfing and golfing. Apart from UCSB students and professors, residents typically include young professionals and entrepreneurs flocking to the evolving tech scene and families.
 

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

 
Take a staycation or book a room for your guests at the Mediterranean-style Ritz-Carlton Bacara. This resort overlooking the ocean is an exquisite location enhanced by the surrounding coastal beauty. Located inside the Bacara is the elegant and sophisticated Angel Oak steakhouse. Then there is the Goleta Beach Park, located east of the University of California, Santa Barbara campus. A long sandy beach home to a 1,500-foot pier, the Goleta Beach Park provides engaging views of the coast.
 
Jane at the Marketplace and Kyle's Kitchen are two of Goleta's best local restaurants. Kyle's is a casual spot with great burgers and ice cream, while Jane is an upmarket bistro. The Cajun Kitchen is a local favorite for a classic breakfast or lunch with a southern twist. College students love to chow down at the pizzas at Woodstock Isla Vista, where you can get just about any topping you desire. Cold Spring Tavern provides a unique experience as a mountainside Western saloon serving wild game and classic American cuisine.
 
Goleta is home to several breweries, including M Special Brewing and Captain Fatty's Brewing. For shopping, Goleta offers two notable shopping malls: Calle Real Shopping Center and Camino Real Shopping Center––home to a brewery and a mixture of large retail stores and smaller shops. Take the family out for bowling night at Zodo's. Along with several lanes, Zodo's features an arcade and billiards along with serving excellent pub grub.
 

Things to Do

 
Goleta is home to many family-friendly events and activities. Girsh Park is one of the area's staples, hosting annual holiday events like the Fourth of July Fireworks and the Egg Hunt. For more than 28 years, Girsh Park has been the home of the Lemon Festival, one of Goleta's biggest celebrations featuring a weekend full of family fun, food, and entertainment.

Other fun family activities to do throughout the year include a visit to Zodo's Bowling & Beyond or Goleta's Butterfly Grove, considered the best place to see the Monarch butterflies that migrate to Goleta every November through February. If you or your kids love to ice skate, then Ice in Paradise is a great local skating, sports, and recreational facility. Stow Grove Park is one of the city's most historically rich parks and offers a little something for everyone, from a multi-use field to shaded picnic areas.

Education opportunities abound in Goleta. The neighborhood showcases the Goleta Depot, a preserved 1901 Southern Pacific Railroad train station at the South Coast Railroad Museum. California’s leading research center, the University of California, Santa Barbara, is in Goleta, too.

The fraternal organization, Elks Lodge in Santa Barbara, hosts a car show called Groovin' in the Grove to see classic cars and vintage travel trailers each year.
 

Schools

 
Notable Goleta schools:

  • Mountain View Elementary (public, K-6)
  • Foothill Elementary (public, K-6)
  • Kellogg Elementary (public, K-6)
  • Dos Pueblos High (public, 9-12)
  • University of California, Santa Barbara (public)
 

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