Santa Barbara Ranked a Best Small City in the U.S.

Santa Barbara Ranked a Best Small City in the U.S. title=
Santa Barbara Ranked a Best Small City in the U.S.
25 Comments
Reads 7773

Hendry's Beach Sunset (Photo: Mark Weber)

By Sabrina K. Sangha

It should be no surprise that our beautiful Santa Barbara has won another accolade, this time being rated as the "Best Small City" in the U.S. in the Conde Nast Readers’ Choice Poll.

Santa Barbara is a wonder for its magical sunsets, coastline location, and pleasing places and people. It is hard to imagine a place better than the coastline, where the colorful skies and beach vibes set alight pure joy to start each day.

Our California coastline city is visited by approximately 7.2 million visitors annually. To outsiders, we're mostly known for our prestigious wineries, hotels, resorts, lively restaurants and nightlife after hours. Moreover, many of the well- known hotels and resorts have won “Top Hotels is Southern California” according to Visit Santa Barbara, including the well-known Ritz Carlton Bacara and the Four Seasons Resort: The Biltmore Santa Barbara.

In addition, Santa Barbara has been ranked highly amongst other phenomenal cities including the glorious wine countryside of Napa, California (#12), the scenic Sedona, Arizona (#6) and the historic city of Alexandria, Virginia (#4).

According to Kathy Janega- Dykes, President and CEO of Visit Santa Barbara, “Santa Barbara has a way of making travelers feel like they’re in a little pocket of paradise when here”. 

Stearn's Wharf (Photo: Mark Weber)

Our beach town has previously been featured in the top 15 among several other cities in the nation. According to the recent issue of Condé Nast Traveler, the November issue illustrates Santa Barbara as being a paradise amongst many others, highlighting the offerings most locals already know.

We are also home to the 5th best national public university, UC Santa Barbara, and one of the best-rated community colleges, Santa Barbara City College. 

In the heart of the city, the average traveler is delighted to be present in such a paradise. The city truly delivers a spectacular vision with extraordinarily scenic mountains and the ocean surrounding the area.  The southern county is a perfect getaway destination for travelers and visitors to explore, as it has been by many.

Furthermore, many locals can agree that the city has proven to be so much more than just home, but a true paradise. Entirely, the city awaits future visitors and welcomes future tourists to explore and experience the paradise for themselves. 

Login to add Comments

25 Comments

Toggle Comments (Show)
GeneralTree Dec 18, 2018 09:33 AM
Santa Barbara Ranked a Best Small City in the U.S.

We have aggressive homeless at every turn. I can't get off a freeway off ramp in this town without a homeless person asking for money, waiving at me in my car window or stepping into traffic and almost causing an accident and. The homeless issue is so bad that our streets are being used as bathrooms - downtown Santa Barbara feels unsafe with aggressive panhandling - the police have just simply given up.. The rental crisis is so bad here that it is not feasible for a working force to live and work in Santa Barbara. We have gangs that go unchecked creating criminal enterprise in our city. Most summer days it is not enjoyable to go downtown or to the harbor because the overwhelming influx of tourists makes small outings just not worth it. So yes, it's beautiful here, but I think it's ridiculous to call it the "best small city".

a-1547926261 Dec 17, 2018 02:56 PM
Santa Barbara Ranked a Best Small City in the U.S.

I've got to believe that %99 of the people wanking about Santa Barbara really have a bunch of other sh*t going on in their lives. Is it really SB that's go you so down? I'm guessing not. What's really wrong? Find some peace people. Chill out. You're not happy with you life, where you're living, etc., make some f'ning changes. You've got nobody to blame but yourself in most cases. If not, then deal and move on. wank wank wank

andrewbaker77 Dec 17, 2018 05:48 PM
Santa Barbara Ranked a Best Small City in the U.S.

Agree 1000000000% People who are upset log in here to complain about it. People who are happy are off doing stuff that makes them happy. That is why all boards like this one are so one-sided and neg. SB rocks! - AB in SB

EastBeach Dec 17, 2018 11:02 AM
Santa Barbara Ranked a Best Small City in the U.S.

I'm with FLICKA and MAUI on this one. Though I pointed out the survey's methodology in an earlier post, I think that if you can't be happy in SB, try someplace else (odds are most people posting in this thread indeed came from out of town). Most places with any appeal have their problems. Poverty, mental illness, etc. are bigger problems in America than you'd think. How inconvenient we can see it in plain sight.

a-1547926261 Dec 17, 2018 09:59 AM
Santa Barbara Ranked a Best Small City in the U.S.

Aren't we smug. What a bunch of hooey. Best university, best community college, best sunsets, best facade of a real city. We like BS'n our selves. Santa Barbara is an early California experiment in boosterism. Read Sinclair Lewis and see what was being done by small town America at the time SB decided to become "Spanish." The only profit or benefit made from such PR stunts as this is to the tourist industry. Please don't exalt such phoniness.

all knowing Dec 17, 2018 10:27 AM
Santa Barbara Ranked a Best Small City in the U.S.

I agree with A-15........enough of the self-adulation and preening.........this city is operationally dysfunctional but let's put some lipstick on this porcine and tell everyone nothing to see here except ' isn't this a beautiful city ? '.......

Flicka Dec 17, 2018 09:37 AM
Santa Barbara Ranked a Best Small City in the U.S.

Others pretty bad? Where in heavens name does that come from? I don't like some of the choices SB has made but still love my hometown and have to say it really is beautiful. Great place for vacations. It has depended on tourist $$s since the 1870s. Don't like tourists, pick a non-touristy city.

Crystalandmaui Dec 17, 2018 07:49 AM
Santa Barbara Ranked a Best Small City in the U.S.

I do love Santa Barbara, I choose to see beyond the trash that is left by tourist and vagrants. They come here yes, and spend money, enjoy the magic of Santa Barbara, then leave. Most of the vagrants here don’t brother you. I see the same year after year. It’s the new ones younger ones who are on drugs and get aggressive, turn them in, they’ll leave. I love how Santa Barbara does so much for the community, there’s always something happening Andy lots of people turn out for it, so I’m not the only one enjoying it. Take a walk say hi to a stranger give a smile. Look at the Beauty here.

Factotum Dec 17, 2018 10:27 AM
Santa Barbara Ranked a Best Small City in the U.S.

Vagrants destroyed downtown and have overrun our city parks. And are now seriously eroding future tourism appeal. Plus they drain out millions of dollars of public funding we could direct for far better purposes than staffing Homeless Inc. How can you dismiss their huge negative fiscal impacts on all of us - and the rest of the tax base that has become necessary to support our very large city staff.

Lucky 777 Dec 16, 2018 05:53 PM
Santa Barbara Ranked a Best Small City in the U.S.

My out-of-area clients always mention the streets filled with aggressively panhandling vagrants; and many times wives have come back and just chosen to sit and wait for their husbands, rather than continue shopping on lower State Street where they felt uncomfortable. SO glad I moved my business further uphill, out of the combat zone.

Ducky Dec 16, 2018 05:03 PM
Santa Barbara Ranked a Best Small City in the U.S.

‘Our beach town has previously been featured in the top 15 among several other cities in the nation. ...’, yeah, by people who have never actually lived here.

EastBeach Dec 16, 2018 03:56 PM
Santa Barbara Ranked a Best Small City in the U.S.

The ranking is simply based on a travel survey of vacationers (average in their late 30's) and is not based on any sort of analysis. Conde Nast Traveler provided a list of cities, hotels, etc. for participants to choose from. The self-proclaimed "luxury and lifestyle travel magazine" also noted people traveled closer to home this year - this means results are localized. While interesting, tourist amenities is pretty much what the survey is about ....... https://www.cntraveler.com/story/how-do-the-readers-choice-awards-work ......... https://www.cntraveler.com/story/readers-choice-awards-methodology

a-1547926261 Dec 16, 2018 03:52 PM
Santa Barbara Ranked a Best Small City in the U.S.

3898: My Mom used to say, "What use is a shoebox full of rent receipts?" I had a lovely friend who was making good money and then decided to buy a new car when her old car was doing just fine. She wanted to trade up, upgrade her image. I told her " No new car. Put a deposit down on a home on the Westside, even if it's just a chicken coop of a house." ******** She didn't listen. Many many years later, estranged friend and I ran into each other at a party. First thing she said to me was, "Why didn't I listen to you? I''m paying off a condo now in Goleta, but . . . "

REX OF SB Dec 16, 2018 02:07 PM
Santa Barbara Ranked a Best Small City in the U.S.

I thought the "best city" accolade came from the National Association of Vagrants and Drifters, otherwise known as Condé Nasty. The mendicants do seem to call Santa Barbara home.

a-1547926261 Dec 16, 2018 01:59 PM
Santa Barbara Ranked a Best Small City in the U.S.

Supply and Demand is what it boils down to. My advice to anyone who will listen is to purchase a home and pay it off as soon as possible. In some cases, it pays to stretch your payments out over many years, but talk to a certified financial advisor/planner about that. SB has never been cheap, but to those who say that they cannot afford to buy here I say "try again." By which I mean, don't go out for dinner all the time (especially for sushi...and if you do, maybe just a few times a month rather than a few time a week), wear out your shoes before buying another pair, tix to the bowl....uh-uhhhh, second car/motorcycle....no-no-no, stop your obsessive Amazon purchases....gym memberships? Go for a long hike. Drinks at Joe's? Buy your own bottle for 1/10 he price. Keeping up with the Jone's? Forget about the Jone's. Vacations? Make it a staycation. It's called a "sacrafice," but I like to call it a TRADE OFF.

letmego Dec 17, 2018 09:56 AM
Santa Barbara Ranked a Best Small City in the U.S.

That's still not going to work for most people. But if a lot of people did that, there'd be a subset of folks who could afford a place but no sushi. I mean, a 2BR 1BA home in a few neighborhoods can be had for $850,000. That requires an income of about $150,000. The median family income in Santa Barbara is $67,000.

ginger1 Dec 16, 2018 12:32 PM
Santa Barbara Ranked a Best Small City in the U.S.

Well the lead line, first sentence is not exactly correct. SB is #15 on the list. We all know that we live in a great place, and so do the tens of thousands of tourists who visit here. The Paradise Tax can be a little daunting at times, and then you go for hike or hang out for a sunset at the beach and forget the mortgage/rent payment.

Please Login or Register to comment on this.