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California, U.S.A.
Welcome to Santa Barbara, California.
Situated on the longest south-facing section of any coastline on the West Coast, Santa Barbara boasts breathtaking ocean and mountain views. Stroll under tall palm-trees on the immaculately landscaped boardwalk, and you will see the dreamy mountains tower in the background, or head up the luxurious hills of Montecito with its multi-million dollar estates and gaze out across the ocean to see the sun set over the sparkling landscape thanks to Santa Barbara's location between the steeply rising Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, the city boasts incredible views from nearly wherever you stand. As the county seat of Santa Barbara County, Santa Barbara is home to around 88,500 people. With its wonderful setting, Spanish-style buildings and Mediterranean Climate, Santa Barbara has been promoted as the American Riviera. The city is a year-round tourist destination renowned for its nearly perfect weather, miles of beaches and adorable architecture. The city boast iconic destinations like Mission Santa Barbara, The Queen of the Missions, which is situated around 2 miles inland from the harbor. The mission is still active as a place of worship, as well as a sightseeing stop and national historic landmark. If you're out perusing historic attractions, visit is the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, a red tiled Spanish-Moorish structure with marvelous views of downtown from its open-air tower. Also well worth stopping by the Spanish military installation and chapel Presidio of Santa Barbara; built in 1782 and still one of the most beautiful churches in California. Santa Barbara is home to a wide array of little shops and bars, and you can spend a whole weekend just enjoying the many options down on State Street. At night, both the shopping strip of State Street and the boardwalk comes to life with tourists, students and residents in a way that makes you feel like you're on vacation somewhere in the Mediterranean. The community is very much that of a small town's, and is no stranger to festivities. Numerous annual festivals fill State Street with merry celebration, such as the Fiesta Old Spanish Days, which is held every year in August. Other festivals include the French Festival, the Noise Music Festival, the Santa Barbara Film Festival the Santa Barbara Arts and Crafts show. The Arts and Crafts show is one of the dearest traditions as it has been held for over 40 years on Cabrillo Blvd, east of Steams Wharf and along the beach; attracting thousands of people who come to enjoy pieces by local artists. Every Sunday of the year, local artists and craftspeople set up more than 200 booths to display their work. Being an ocean side community, surfing is as big a part of the culture as art is, and surfing legends like Pat Curren and world champions Tom Curren and Kelly Slater call Santa Barbara home. Some of the most popular surfing spots are The Point and Rincon. Aside from surfing, beach life and a multitude of breweries, wineries, shops and restaurants, Santa Barbara contains numerous performing arts venues. Check out the Arlington Theatre, the largest indoor performance venue in Santa Barbara, or the Lobero Theatre, a historic building and favorite venue for local concerts. Considered a haven for classical music lovers, Santa Barbara also features a symphony orchestra, an opera company and a multitude of non-profit classical music groups. Finally, Santa Barbara is famous for its great schools, which include the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and the Santa Barbara City College, as well as the Brooks Institute of Photography. USCB is perhaps the most renowned institution, with a Nobel Prize-winning faculty.
"UCSB Lagoon" by Dhilung Kirat as licensed under CC BY 2.0
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