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Cities Near Santa Barbara

Cities Near Santa Barbara | 🗺️ Populations, Distances, Information, Data & Map

Last Updated on: 1st August 2023, 02:27 pm

Are you thinking about moving to Santa Barbara or one of its suburbs, or are you just visiting the Central California coast? Whether you’re staying for a couple of days or settling down for life, exploring the cities near Santa Barbara is a good way to plan your time and discover what the region has to offer.

Here are the top places to go in Santa Barbara including the closest towns and cities plus major California cities within an easy driving distance.

Cities Near Santa Barbara

There are eight cities near Santa Barbara CA within 35 miles with a population of at least 5,000, although a few are actually towns or CDPs, not incorporated cities. Here are the largest and closest places near Santa Barbara.

Montecito – 5.2 Miles from Santa Barbara

  • Population: 8,638
  • County: Santa Barbara

This Santa Barbara city isn’t actually a city: Montecito is an unincorporated town and CDP just five miles outside Santa Barbara. This town east of Santa Barbara is thought of more as a neighborhood than a town, and it’s one of the most exclusive places near Santa Barbara.

Montecito is famous as a celebrity enclave. It’s the home of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle who purchased a $14.7-million-dollar home in town. There are many famous residents in Montecito, CA including Oprah Winfrey who owns three estates sprawling 70 acres worth a combined $86 million, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi who own the $14.3-million Rancho San Leandro estate, Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom, Ariana Grande, and Rob Lowe who has lived in Montecito for 26 years.

Goleta – 10.2 Miles from Santa Barbara

  • Population: 32,142
  • County: Santa Barbara

Goleta is a small city near Santa Barbara and the closest incorporated city. For years, it was the largest unincorporated area of Santa Barbara County, but a portion of the former CDP incorporated into a city in 2002. Goleta straddles US 101 and it’s adjacent to the Santa Barbara Airport and the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Goleta is just 8 square miles but home to some of the best attractions in the area like Lake Los Carneros Park, a protected Monarch butterfly grove in Santa Barbara Shores Park, and the 29-acre Goleta Beach Park with the historic fishing pier.

Carpinteria – 11.3 Miles from Santa Barbara

  • Population: 13,449
  • County: Santa Barbara

This small coastal city near Santa Barbara is famous for its surfing with a slogan of “World’s Safest Beach” since 1912. Carpinteria is a peaceful, laidback California beach town with a walkable main street, bike paths, picturesque shores, and the world’s largest Torrey Pine, a critically endangered species of pine that only grows in San Diego County, Santa Rosa Island, and a small coastal region of Santa Barbara County.

Isla Vista – 13.1 Miles from Santa Barbara

  • Population: 15,733
  • County: Santa Barbara

This Santa Barbara town, just minutes from the city, has a median age of just 21. The vast majority of residents are students at Santa Barbara City College or the University of California, Santa Barbara. Usually abbreviated IV, the town is adjacent to UCSB and Goleta Beach Park.

Ventura – 27.4 Miles from Santa Barbara

  • Population: 108,467
  • County: Ventura

Ventura is the largest city within 35 miles of Santa Barbara. Officially named San Buenaventura, this coastal city is known for its beaches, great surfing, and the 1809 Mission San Buenaventura. Tourists and residents alike flock to San Buenaventura State Beach with its wooden Ventura Pier. Boats depart the harbor for the Channel Islands National Park, a protected habitat for the tiny and rare island foxes which only live on the Southern California Channel Islands.


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Mira Monte – 30.2 Miles from Santa Barbara

  • Population: 6,833
  • County: Ventura

Mira Monte is a small CDP and rural community between Ojai, Oak View, and Meiners Oaks. The town is mostly older with a median age of 52. It’s nestled along Los Padres National Forest and close to hot springs with several resorts. Just outside the town is Casitas Water Adventure, a family-friendly water park in the Lake Casitas Recreation Area.

Ojai – 33.5 Miles from Santa Barbara

  • Population: 7,613
  • County: Ventura

Ojai is a small city in a Topatopa Mountains valley next to Mira Monte, Meiners Oaks, and the Los Padres National Forest. Ojai is a popular stop for tourists thanks to its village center with small boutiques and art galleries. The annual Ojai Music Festival features performances by renowned classical artists.

Solvang – 34.4 Miles from Santa Barbara

  • Population: 5,644
  • County: Santa Barbara

The small city of Solvang in the Santa Ynez Valley is known for its wineries and distinctive Danish-style architecture. After the original settlement was established in the mid-19th century, it was re-established in 1911 by Danish-Americans who sought to create a Danish community without the cold winters of the Midwest. The unique architecture began in the 1940s and it’s helped Solvang become a major tourist attraction in the region with many tourists from Nordic countries, including visits from Danish royalty.

Other Places Near Santa Barbara

If you expand the radius further, you’ll find another 15 cities near Santa Barbara CA. These places near Santa Barbara have a population of at least 5,000 and they’re 35 to 65 miles away.

Just 37 miles away you’ll find the city of Oxnard, the largest city near Santa Barbara within an hours’ drive. Oxnard is the largest city in Ventura County and known for its golden beach dunes, beautiful harbor, fun nightlife, and historic Victorian architecture. It’s one of the best beach cities near Santa Barbara thanks to Oxnard State Beach Park with a palm tree-lined jogging path, sand volleyball, playground, and sandy shore.

Less than an hour away is Moorpark, a small but rapidly growing Ventura County city. Moorpark is one of the fastest growing cities in the region, climbing from 4,000 in 1980 to more than 25,000 in 1990 and today over 36,000 people. Moorpark boasts a small-town atmosphere with pepper tree-lined downtown streets, the Moorpark Country Club, numerous parks, and America’s Teaching Zoo, part of the Exotic Animal Training & Management Program at Moorpark College but open to the public with admission.

There are a few other mid-sized cities within an hour of Santa Barbara including Thousand Oaks with its great schools and parks and Santa Maria, famous for Santa Maria-style barbecue and wineries.

Cities Near Santa Barbara with 5,000+ Residents (35 to 65 miles)
County Population Distance from Santa Barbara
Oak View * Ventura 6,557 36.0 mi
El Rio * Ventura 6,506 36.9 mi
Oxnard Ventura 207,722 37.7 mi
Port Hueneme Ventura 21,979 39.9 mi
Santa Paula Ventura 30,297 43.5 mi
Camarillo Ventura 68,583 43.6 mi
Buellton Santa Barbara 5,276 44.2 mi
Fillmore Ventura 15,631 52.3 mi
Moorpark Ventura 36,443 53.5 mi
Lompoc Santa Barbara 42,753 55.1 mi
Thousand Oaks Ventura 127,648 56.1 mi
Orcutt * Santa Barbara 31,353 59.4 mi
Vanderberg Village * Santa Barbara 7,945 60.4 mi
Simi Valley Ventura 125,768 63.7 mi
Santa Maria Santa Barbara 105,528 64.9 mi

Cities Near Santa Barbara Map

Small Towns Near Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is nestled along the coast and Los Padres National Forest which sprawls more than 1.75 million acres. Most places near Santa Barbara are small towns and rural communities. There are only about one dozen small towns near Santa Barbara with a population of 500 to 5,000 people in a 60-mile radius.

Hope Ranch is one of the closest places near Santa Barbara and home to more than 2,000 people. It’s one of the most affluent Santa Barbara suburbs and one of the richest towns in California with homes often selling for $5 to $25 million. Hope Ranch is a private community with a private beach known for its equestrian living. About 10% of residents own a horse. Hope Ranch is also known for its famous residents including Snoop Dogg and radio host Dr. Laura.

Los Olivos is one of the best places to go in Santa Barbara County for wine enthusiasts. This small, historic town offers lavender farms, vineyards, orchards, and trails to explore. For beautiful shorelines, visit Channel Islands Beach, a small town with three historic neighborhoods overlooking the Santa Barbara Channel.

Here are all the small towns near Santa Barbara CA with everything from an equestrian lifestyle and pristine nature to beautiful beaches and vineyards.

Towns with 500-5,000 People Within 60 Miles of Santa Barbara CA
Population County Distance from Santa Barbara
Summerland 745 Santa Barbara 6.3 mi
Hope Ranch ~2,200 Santa Barbara 6.8 mi
Toro Canyon 1,918 Santa Barbara 7.8 mi
Santa Ynez 4,728 Santa Barbara 31.1 mi
Meiners Oaks 3,697 Ventura 31.4 mi
Ballard 764 Santa Barbara 33.6 mi
Los Olivos 838 Santa Barbara 34.7 mi
Saticoy 1,739 Ventura 37 mi
Channel Islands Beach 2,699 Ventura 37.6 mi
Los Alamos 1,275 Santa Barbara 46.3 mi
Santa Rosa Valley 2,721 Ventura 51 mi
Piru 2,126 Ventura 60.1 mi


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Major Cities Near Santa Barbara

Moving to Santa Barbara or just visiting? You’ll find plenty of major cities in California are just a short road trip away. Here are some of the largest California cities near Santa Barbara!

Large California Cities Close to Santa Barbara
Population County Distance from Santa Barbara
Ventura 108,467 Ventura 27.4 mi
Oxnard 207,722 Ventura 37.7 mi
Thousand Oaks 126,648 Ventura 56.1 mi
Simi Valley 125,768 Ventura 63.7 mi
Santa Maria 105,528 Santa Barbara 64.9 mi
Santa Clarita 212,519 Los Angeles 77.7 mi
Los Angeles 3,973,000 Los Angeles 95 mi
Long Beach 462,081 Los Angeles 115 mi
Anaheim 336,265 Orange 121 mi
Bakersfield 379,879 Kern 147 mi
Riverside 327,569 Riverside 160 mi
San Bernardino 216,784 San Bernardino 162 mi
Salinas 156,177 Monterey 221 mi
San Diego 1,415,000 San Diego 228 mi
Fresno 526,147 Fresno 232 mi
San Jose 1,029,000 Santa Clara 280 mi

Have you discovered some fun places to visit around Santa Barbara? Or have you decided to call one of these beautiful towns or cities home? If you’re planning to relocate within the Santa Barbara area, give us a call at Martian Movers for a free, affordable moving estimate today!


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