Goleta California

Goleta California is a relatively small coastal city of approximately 30,000 residents that can be found less than 10 miles west of downtown Santa Barbara. Even closer to Goleta are the UC Santa Barbara campus and the Santa Barbara Airport. Los Angeles lies approximately 90 miles to the south. As is true of the region in general, Goleta enjoys mild and sunny weather all year, which helps to make it an inviting place to escape to. Plenty of area attractions also entice travelers and provide myriad ways to stay busy.


Chumash Native Americans inhabited the Goleta area for thousands of years before the arrival of European explorers and settlers. The first of the Europeans to visit the area was a Portuguese explorer named Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo. He arrived in 1542 and basically claimed the area on behalf of Spain. Spanish expeditions followed in the 1700s and staked a more significant claim. This was the beginning of the Spanish mission era in California, which led to the attempted conversion of the Chumash to Roman Catholicism. In the 1800s, the area that is now Goleta became a popular place to set up ranches, and the California Gold Rush only led to further growth. In the latter half of the 19th century, lemon-growing became a major industry. The establishment of this industry basically coincided with the region’s development as an oil and natural gas source. After World War II, Cachuma Lake was constructed in the Goleta Valley. A housing boom followed. A boom in the aerospace industry also occurred, and to this day, Goleta is a center for high-tech firms. The city was officially incorporated in 2002.


Attractions  Image: basykes (flickr)

Among the main attractions in Goleta California is the scenery. The city enjoys a privileged coastal location, and serving as a backdrop are the Santa Ynez Mountains. Also helping to draw people in are the area beaches. Examples of beaches that are found in or near Goleta include the beach at Goleta Beach Park, El Capitan State Beach, and Refugio State Beach. Both El Capitan State Beach and the beach at the Goleta Beach Park offer a mixed variety of facilities to go with their soft sand. Over at Refugio State Beach, the facilities include 85 family campsites. The Goleta area and Southern California in general offer some of the country’s best surfing spots, so those who like to hang ten won’t want to forget to bring their gear. When a break from the beach is in order, finding other things to do in the Goleta area won’t be hard. Visiting the nearby Mission San Buenaventura is just one option, and venturing out to a regional vineyard can surely prove tempting. Golfers can savor amazing views of the Ocean and the Channel Islands from the fairways at the Glen Annie Golf Course, and Santa Barbara’s Sandpiper Course is surely not to be overlooked.

Goleta California Hotels & Lodging

Many Goleta visitors take advantage of the opportunity to camp at the beach. The 85 sites that are found at Refugio State Beach are complemented by the 38 RV and 18 tent camper sites at Gaviota State Park. Plenty of other campsites can also be found in the general area and offer just about everything that you could want in the way of variety. Those who prefer staying at a resort, a bed and breakfast, a hotel, or a motel have a lot of choices there as well. Since Goleta is basically a suburb of Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara hotels and the Goleta hotels are effectively one in the same. Among the most renowned of the area hotels is the Canary Hotel in downtown Santa Barbara.  

Top image: dsearls (flickr)
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