Santa Barbara Ranked Again in Best Places to Live
Santa Barbara from the clocktower (Photo: Photopippo)
By Michelle Montalvo Staufenbiel
Recently U.S News & World Report published an article titled, "125 Best Places to Live in the USA." Low and behold, our very own Santa Barbara has made the list.
As a member of this community, I would like to take a moment to rejoice in the fact that our city is awesome. Well, to be specific, it is ranked number 73 out of 125 metro cities. So not quite the very best according to this arbitrary ranking, but close enough.
The city that made the very top of the list was Austin, Texas; which did have a bittersweet effect for me as my sister recently decided to move to Austin, Texas. She attempted to persuade me to move with her, her fiance and their animal farm. Obviously, the thought of not living in the same state as me was devastating, for she is leaving behind her favorite person, but as her favorite person it is my obligation to forgive and support.
As she tried to convince me that Texas would be “great” and “not that far”, she brought up a few aspects of Austin that U.S News mentioned in their article: booming music scene, no income tax, great outdoor opportunities. Well ok, it is not hard to fall head over heels in love with an environment like that.
As noted in U.S News & World Report “the median sale price for a single-family home in Austin is well above the national median”. But considering how expensive major cities in California are such as San Francisco ranked number 7 and San Jose who made 14 on the list, Austin is still a more financially sound option for young adults and new families. With all of this talk of finance in mind, it is important to connect once again to the city we hold in our hearts: Santa Barbara.
In the report on Santa Barbara, there was a mention of the rise of individuals working locally but living elsewhere due to expensive housing. It is no surprise then that the city of Santa Barbara is often called a “Playground for the rich and famous”, after all, Oprah Winfrey does have a house located in Montecito. Though I have yet to run into Oprah, I still have faith that one day I may get lucky.
To declare that Santa Barbara is a perfect place would be biased as well as wrong. I still have yet to find a Chinese restaurant I adore, but along the way I did discover other things I love. It was here that I discovered rock climbing and realized that with enough hard work I can do a pull-up. It is here that I make the point of going outside and breathing in the fresh air, instead of staying trapped inside.
Some of the aspects of Santa Barbara that draw many towards this community is the sandwich effect of being wedged between the Santa Ynez mountains and the Pacific Ocean. It is a “paradise,” one built for active individuals who love the outdoors. A Saturday can be dedicated to a hiking outing with friends. Another day can be spent surfing in that huge puddle we call the Pacific Ocean.
Santa Barbara brings out the desire in many to be outside and engaging with the world around them. Not only is it all accessible, it's irresistible and, call me biased, but Santa Barbara should at least be ranked in the top ten. Right?
Michelle loves to Rock Climb (if that wasn’t obvious by now) and is currently freaking out about the current season of Game of Thrones.