Incorporated in 2002, Goleta is one of California's youngest cities. It's located just outside Santa Barbara, making it a convenient home base for commuters. It's also positioned along the Pacific Coast, just south of the Santa Ynez Mountains. The mild weather and year-round sun create the perfect setting for enjoying the city's many amenities.
The History of Goleta
Like much of the California coast, the area that's now Goleta was first inhabited by Native American tribes. The Chumash people called the region home for quite some time, until European explorers began arriving one by one in the late 1500s. The first land expedition took place in 1760, led by Gaspar de Portola. He returned several times, playing a large role in establishing a string of Spanish missions and settlements.
Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the area evolved into a hub for agriculture, particularly citrus. Oil and natural gas were added to the local economy over the decades, followed closely by aviation, research and aerospace. Today, Goleta is an important place for high-tech industries.
Living in Goleta
Goleta consistently scores well when rated for livability, with experts citing a variety of positive features. The city offers plenty of amenities in town, and you can make the short drive into Santa Barbara for even more. From groceries and public green spaces to restaurants and entertainment venues, you'll find everything you need within the city limits.
Goleta Beach is the city's local slice of the coast, dotted with palm trees and perfect for enjoying a sunny day. Or, spend some time at Refugio State Beach, another one of the area's scenic beaches. In addition to the city's beaches, there are nearly 500 acres of public parks and green spaces through the area. The parks offer sports fields, recreation facilities and open space to enjoy.
If shopping is more your style, Goleta has several malls and shopping centers with a variety of well-known stores. The Camino Real Marketplace is a favorite of locals and tourists alike, and you can choose from a long list of shops, restaurants and entertainment.
The Goleta Union School District and the Santa Barbara High School District serve the public schools of Goleta and the surrounding Goleta Valley. There's also a handful of private schools in Goleta, including Montessori and parochial campuses.
Resources for Moving to Goleta
Here are a few helpful resources for planning your move to Goleta:
Utilities: Southern California Edison and Southern California Gas are the city's central energy providers. The Goleta Water District manages residential water services.
Garbage and Recycling: Trash, recyclables and organic waste are collected curbside in most residential areas of Goleta.
Transportation: The Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District provides a public transportation network in and around Goleta, making it easy to get around the city.
Goleta Housing Information
Goleta's median home price is quickly rising, and it's currently nearly double the state average. If you're planning to buy a home in the area, this means you'll pay more per square foot, but you're likely to enjoy a good return on your investment. Rent is slightly more affordable but varies widely depending on the type and size of the home or apartment.