Santa Barbara, California
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The city of Santa Barbara, California is located on the Pacific Coast near the Santa Ynez Mountains. The Chumash peoples inhabited this area when the first Europeans arrived, but there is evidence of human settlement there going as far back as 13,000 years ago. The first European to visit what would become the Santa Barbara area was Portuguese explorer Joao Cabrilho, sailing for the Kingdom of Span in 1542. Sebastian Vizcaino, a Spanish explorer, named the local channel “Santa Barbara” in 1602. “Santa Barbara” means “Saint Barbara” in Spanish. The first permanent European settlement in the area began in 1782, but the city of Santa Barbara wouldn’t be officially incorporated until April 9th, 1850.
Today, according to a 2014 US Census Bureau estimate, the city of Santa Barbara has a total population of 91,196 people. Santa Barbara is the county seat and second most populous city in Santa Barbara County, after Santa Maria. A 2010 US Census Bureau report calculated the entire population of Santa Barbara County at 423,895 people. Due to Santa Barbara’s climate, which some have referred to as ‘Mediterranean’, the city has often been referred to as the “American Riviera.”
Santa Barbara’s economy is bolstered by the Aerospace and defense industries. Employment with such companies as Alliant Techsystems, Channel Technologies Group, Citrix Online, FLIR, and Raytheon is common in the area. However, the largest employer in Santa Barbara is the University of California, Santa Barbara, which is responsible for 10,403 jobs. For comparison, the next largest employer in Santa Barbara is Santa Barbara County, which employs just 4,652 people.
The University of California, Santa Barbara, which was established as the Anna Blake School in 1891, is now a public research university and one of 10 University of California campuses. According to UCSB’s website, the school is home to twelve national research centers, “including the renowned Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics. Current UCSB faculty includes six Nobel Prize laureates, one Fields Medalist, 29 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 27 members of the National Academy of Engineering, and 31 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.” As of 2015, UCSB had a $265.9 million endowment with 23,497 students enrolled in total.
Santa Barbara is considered a hub for classical music. In fact, the area is home to The Music Academy of the West, which resides in Montecito. The Music Academy of the West hosts an eight-week summer music festival.
Elsewhere in the area are several other attractions, such as Los Padres National Park, which was established in 1936, Channel Islands National Park, which was established in 1980, along with the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.
One other attraction of note is Mission Santa Barbara, which was established by the Franciscan order in 1786. Mission Santa Barbara was built in the Spanish colonial style of architecture and is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. It is considered both a California and U.S. National Historic Landmark.
Own a small business in the Santa Barbara area? Any chance you might be considering it? These resources could prove useful: