Local Atmosphere

Santa Barbara, CA
Tuition (in-state)
$36,549 ($13,671)
Admission Difficulty
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4 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: Isla Vista is the college community wher both UCSB and SBCC students have congregated to making it one fun loving and party going environment where its pretty hard to study in because the weather and people are too beautiful. If you venture just out there is Goleta and Santa Barbara which is easily accessible through the reliable bus system or various bike paths available. There are buses for the sole purpose of transporting the 21+ crowd to the bars in downtown for those who want to venture out of Isla Vista. Lots of dancing and booze. But there is also plenty of cheap things to do like bowling or venturing the mountains to hike or beach to trod which are oh-so-close. the bigger parks often will host events free or cheap to the public. Let's not forget FIESTA! which is one big celebration for all ages. There is pretty much something to do for everyone, at all ages and budgets.

5 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Its right on the beach, so the area is awesome! Isla Vista is cute but small

4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: With the zoo and downtown just a bus ride away, you've got stuff to do if you're ever bored of Isla Vista life

3 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: It is to die for, it is fantastic here, to be completely honest.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: The scenery is beautiful as well as the campus. The party lifestyle grows tiresome and the cost of living is too damn high.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Louie Tamayo
Long Beach
Sociology, Education and Applied Psychology
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

The neighboring area adjacent to the UCSB campus known as Isla Vista—or "IV" for short—is a student-packed, square-mile town. Isla Vista is made up of small shops, restaurants, houses, and apartment complexes, and has a very local feel. Most residents are UCSB and city college students, and they can be seen roaming the streets on the weekends. Perhaps the most notorious and well-known part of Isla is the last street called Del Playa (DP), located on the cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Del Playa is the place to be on the weekends, with parties happening every weekend. Without a doubt, Isla Vista is one of the most unique and fun places most people will ever visit. Where else can you study on the beach, go for a run on the cliffs, party hop from door to door, and run into all of your friends when grabbing food late at night?

Apart from the social scene, Santa Barbara is known for its beautiful beaches and mountains, with several peaks with scenic backdrops. Devereux and Sands beaches are about a five-minute walk from anywhere in Isla Vista, and the Santa Ynez Mountains are a 15-minute drive down the freeway. Fifteen minutes from UCSB is downtown Santa Barbara, which has plenty of restaurants and shops for one’s choosing, but if you want to stay local, Isla Vista has many inexpensive restaurants, and most don’t close until 2 a.m. any night of the week. There are plenty of things to do throughout your four years at UCSB, but be warned: These may also be distractions. The key thing is to enjoy all of the things Santa Barbara to offer, but in moderation.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. Big Dogs Brand brand has its headquarters in Santa Barbara.
  2. The first Kinko's was in Isla Vista, created by a UCSB student.
  3. JFK and new wife Jackie O. finished off their honeymoon in Santa Barbara.
  4. Santa Barbara County is becoming one of the best wine-producing regions on the coast.
  5. The Santa Barbara International Film Festival and the Santa Barbara Writers' Conference are annual events.
Notable Natives
  • Kathy Ireland – supermodel
  • Katy Perry – popstar
  • Edie Sedgwick – socialite, actress
Points of Interest
  • Campus Point
  • Coronado Butterfly Preserve
  • Old Mission
  • Red Rock
  • Sands Beach
  • State Street
  • Stearns Wharf
  • Tangerine Falls
Shopping Centers
  • Camino Real Marketplace
  • La Cumbre Plaza
  • Paseo Nuevo mall
  • Plaza Shopping Center
Movie Theaters
Camino Real Theatre
7040 Marketplace Drive
(805) 963-9503
Movie Theaters
Fairview Theater
225 N. Fairview Ave.
(877) 789-6684
Major Sports Teams
  • Anaheim Angels: MLB
  • Anaheim Ducks: NHL
  • Los Angeles Clippers: NBA
  • Los Angeles Dodgers: MLB
  • Los Angeles Kings: NHL
  • Los Angeles Lakers: NBA
  • Los Angeles Sparks: WNBA
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Las Vegas: : 5 hours
  • Los Angeles: : 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • San Francisco: : 5 hours

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 200 responses

Very poor
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 198 responses

  • 2% Painfully remote.
  • 7% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 8% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 64% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 19% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 197 responses

  • 17% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 22% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 61% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 197 responses

  • 17% No way.
  • 61% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 22% Totally.



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