Formerly an unincorporated neighbor of Santa Barbara, Goleta became a city in 2002.  Unburdened by Santa Barbara's notorious restrictions, Goleta has become a haven for development.  A large number of homes were built in the 1960's, but the recent trend is towards larger residential projects.  A boom in the local tech industry has attracted young families, whose needs have been further accommodated by an increase in shopping and amenities.



Goleta is home to big box stores that can't be found in Santa Barbara: Home Depot, Costco, Best Buy, etc.  If you're looking for one-stop shopping hubs, check out Camino Real Shopping Center, Calle Real, and the Magnolia CenterHollister Village is the new kid on the block, having been completed recently.


Recently, Santa Barbara staples Jane and ... have opened satellite locations in Goleta.  Lure Fish House is a new hot spot for fans of seafood and drinks.  Old Town Goleta features a number of secret spots, like The Red Pepper, Goleta Sushi, and El Sitio.  The original location of The Habit is there as well.  The aforementioned Magnolia Center features local favorites Del Pueblo Cafe and Woody's.


A longtime hub of aerospace, Goleta features top companies such as Raytheon and Northrop Grumman along with startups like Deployable Space Systems.  Appfolio, Yardi, and Citrix are among the tech companies thriving in the area.  Deckers is a major player in the athletic apparel and footwear world.


Goleta is home to the Santa Barbara Airport (a name that harkens back to the unincorporated Goleta era).  Direct flights to Phoenix, Las Vegas, Denver, and Seattle, among others, make for convenient travel itineraries.  The airport is known to be one of the simplest and hassle-free airports in all of California.


Goleta is home to Dos Pueblos High School, the most sought after public high school in our area.  Their robotics program has received national recognition.  

On the collegiate level, UC Santa Barbara offers a world class education.  Isla Vista, it's residential micro-town, features many dining options and is the gateway to several beaches and surf spots.  Santa Barbara City College is highly touted and provides a good option for smaller budgets or students wanting to savor the Santa Barbara experience.

Real Estate

Goleta is generally less expensive than Santa Barbara.  Much of the area was developed in the 60's and 70's, so there are plenty of tract developments.  It's typical to get more square footage and a bigger lot in Goleta than in Santa Barbara.  Goleta is also more welcoming of new developments, as evidenced by the Village at Los Carneros, Winslowe, and the Tree Farm.  First-time buyers and those with smaller budgets will appreciate the accessibility that Goleta's market offers.  The chart below shows how the market has steadily climbed in value over the last handful of years.  The x-axis features calendar years, with quantity of sales in parenthesis.

Goleta median home prices (in millions of dollars)


In keeping with local tradition, Goleta has plenty of beaches to enjoy.  Goleta Beach is popular for barbecues and large gatherings.  Sands and Devereaux are popular among surfers.  Campus Point and Poles are easily accessible from UCSB.