Living in Goleta California 🏖️ 🌴 What to Know Before Moving to Goleta
Erik Haney
Erik Haney

Living in Goleta California 🏖️ 🌴 | What to Know Before Moving to Goleta

Go to Goleta! The Chumash people lived for thousands of years in Goleta CA before Spanish mariners arrived in 1542. The Spanish did not build a permanent settlement until 1769, and the settlement remained small for decades. Goleta joined the United States in 1842 and became a prominent lemon-growing community before urbanizing in the 1940s.

The city was incorporated in 2002. The name “Goleta” comes from the Spanish word for “schooner.” The nickname for the city is “The Good Land.”

Goleta is well known for its citrus and avocado farms, beaches, and hiking trails. It’s also a nice place to live with safe culdesacs, cool and unique attractions, and delicious restaurants.

Thousands of people are moving to Goleta, but you should learn about living in Goleta California before you join them. Here’s your quick guide to this wonderful city.

Where Is Goleta California?

Goleta is in Santa Barbara County, as well as the Santa Maria-Santa Barbara metropolitan area. Goleta CA borders Isla Vista and neighborhoods in Santa Barbara. The community has a small coastline along the Pacific Ocean and borders various green spaces, including Los Padres National Forest. Goleta is a well-developed community with commercial districts and residential blocks, though it contains a few undeveloped plots.

It is nine miles from Goleta to Santa Barbara. U.S. Route 101 runs through Goleta and provides direct and convenient access to Santa Barbara, Montecito CA, and Hidden Hills. Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District (MTD) offers bus services in Goleta, and several routes connect Goleta CA to neighboring communities; you can use the MTD system maps and schedules to see which routes and stops you should use. Goleta also has an Amtrak Goleta station with service to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and other cities in California.

Goleta Population and Demographics

The Goleta population in 2020 was 32,690, which is up by 9.4% since 2010. Six thousand six hundred eight children live in Goleta, and 4,840 people who are 65 years of age or older also live in the community. 4,875 residents started moving to Goleta between 2020 and 2021, comprising roughly 15% of the current population. The population density was 4,162.7 people per square mile.

Notable people from Goleta include Katy Perry, Danny Duffy, and Kim Wilson. Goleta demographics include:

  • 51.4% male, 48.6% female
  • Median age: 35
  • Racial and ethnic composition: 60.9% White (47.5% non-Hispanic), 36.9% Hispanic or Latino, 11.5% two or more races, 9.6% Asian, 2.5% Black or African American, 0.5% American Indian and Alaska Native
  • Median household income: $104,830 (25% higher than the state median)
  • Educational attainment: 87.6% of residents older than 25 have graduated high school, 48.0% of residents have a bachelor’s degree
  • Foreign-born population: 23.7%

Goleta is a safe community to live in. Here are the city’s FBI crime statistics from 2020:

  • Overall crime rate: 2,074 offenses per 100,000 people (19.6% lower than the state, 11.6% lower than the country)
  • Violent crime rate: 194 crimes per 100,000 people (56.1% lower than the state, 50.0% lower than the country)
  • Property crime rate: 1,881 offenses per 100,000 residents (12.1% lower than the state, 3.9% lower than the country)

The Goleta Police Department serves Goleta residents with assistance from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, which employs 260 law enforcement deputies and 200 custody deputies.

Goleta CA Cost of Living

It can be difficult to find statistics for the cost of living in Goleta California, or the Santa Barbara metro area, so you can use a few Los Angeles cost of living statistics instead. The Los Angeles metro area has a cost of living index of 149.3; items in the area cost 49.3% more than the national average. According to the Economic Policy Institute, a family of four would need to earn $122,397 a year to cover the cost of living in Santa Barbara County. While Goleta can be more expensive than the national average, you can find high-paying and competitive Goleta jobs to cover your expenses.

Goleta real estate can be a little pricey, though you have options for luxury and affordable housing. According to Redfin, the average cost of Goleta houses for sale is $1,347,500, and the median cost per square foot is $730. According to RentCafe, the average cost of Goleta apartments is $3,155 a month.

Typical Goleta* Living Expenses

  • 1 gallon of milk: $4.57
  • 1 pound of apples: $3.82
  • 1 pound of potatoes: $4.10
  • 1 gallon of gasoline: $5.23
  • Average Goleta* utilities per month: $188.34
  • 1 pair of jeans: $68.75

Source: Numbeo

*Expenses for Santa Barbara

Goleta Neighborhoods | Where to Live in Goleta

Goleta does not have formal neighborhoods due to its small size. There is not a large Goleta real estate market, with only 14 homes for sale Goleta CA sold in September 2023. You can find single-family houses for sale in Goleta and Goleta condos for sale throughout the city, and you have options for different architectural styles and features. You can buy spacious ranch-style homes with three or more bedrooms and over 2,500 square feet of space. You can also buy smaller Spanish style homes with iron details, terracotta roofs, and lush landscaping. Home prices vary; larger ranch style properties can cost over $2 million, while smaller homes and condos can cost less than $1 million.

You can find a few Goleta apartment complexes. Willow Springs offers one, two, and three-bedroom apartments for rent Goleta. All residents have access to an on-site business center, a clubhouse, and a swimming pool with a spa and hot tub. Goleta apartments have high ceilings, large closets, and fully furnished kitchens with stainless steel appliances. Two-bedroom apartments at 1,000 square feet cost at least $4,040 a month.

Goleta Weather and Climate

Goleta CA has a Mediterranean climate with mild and clear summers and cool and wet winters. August is the hottest month of the year, with an average high of 75 degrees and an average temperature of 65. The average high stays in the 70s between June and October. December is the coldest month, with an average Goleta temperature of 52 degrees and an average low of 42.

The Goleta weather monthly is consistently clear. Each month has at least 50% clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy days, and July, August, and September each have at least 80% clear days. The community receives 14.5 inches of rain on average each year, with most rain falling between November and March. Humidity levels remain low throughout the year, with only a couple of days being muggy or humid. Goleta weather can change hourly, so follow Goleta news for weather updates.

August is the best month to visit Goleta. It has 91% clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy days, and it has the warmest temperatures in the city, so you can enjoy the city while wearing a short sleeved shirt and shorts.

Things to Do in Goleta

You can find many terrific things to do in Goleta, including family-friendly outdoor places to visit and unique Goleta stores. The Camino Real Marketplace is an outside shopping mall home to Costco Goleta, Best Buy, and other stores. You can get clothes and home goods at Target Goleta, and you can shop for groceries at Trader Joe’s.

Sandpiper Golf Club

Sandpiper Golf Club is an 18-hole golf course with scenic views of the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding countryside. You can take private classes and participate in fun tournaments throughout the year. The club is also home to corporate functions and weddings, and you can have outdoor events with beautiful views of mountains and the ocean.

7925 Hollister Avenue, Goleta, CA, 93117, 805-968-1541

Ice In Paradise

Ice In Paradise is a unique indoor ice skating rink home to free skates, skating lessons, and ice hockey games. Ice In Paradise is also home to cool events like trivia nights and holiday parties, making it a great point of interest during the winter.

6985 Santa Felicia Drive, Goleta, CA, 93117, 805-879-1550

Goleta Beach

Goleta Beach Park is a top beach and public park open for free bird watching, fishing, and boating. The park is open until sunset, and you can enjoy beautiful views of the setting sun and Pacific Ocean throughout the year.

5986 Sandspit Road, Goleta, CA, 93117, 805-568-2461

Additional Things to Do in Goleta CA

The Goleta Parks, Recreation, and Open Spaces Department manages parks, open spaces, and playground facilities around the city. You can use the city’s event calendar to see what Goleta events the department and other organizations are planning, including community coffees.

Restaurants in Goleta

Southern California is well-known for its diverse restaurants and fresh ingredients, and Goleta is no different. You can find dishes at Goleta restaurants from all over the world using ingredients from local farms, and you can enjoy both quick meals with teens and kids and top sit-down experiences.

The Habit Burger Grill

Habit Burger is a quick service restaurant well known for its chargrilled hamburgers, but you can also get chicken and fish sandwiches, salads, and other meals. You can order a burger and fries for less than $15, making Habit Burger a good choice for a quick and affordable meal.

5735 Hollister Avenue, Goleta, CA, 93117, 805-964-0366

Nikka Ramen

Nikka Ramen is a traditional ramen restaurant that offers pork, vegetable, chicken, and other forms of ramen. You can customize dishes to your liking, adding authentic Japanese ingredients like seaweed, fishcakes, and kikurage mushrooms.

5701 Calle Real, Goleta, CA, 93117, 805-845-7755

Three Pickles

Three Pickles serves classic kid-friendly sandwiches, including Cuban sandwiches, Reubens, and Italian subs. You can also order freshly made chili and salads in a casual space perfect for teens and young professionals.

420 South Fairview Avenue #104, Goleta, CA, 93117, 805-964-4585

Goleta Jobs

Roughly 17,900 people had jobs in Goleta in 2021. The community added almost 200 jobs between 2020 and 2021, including over 140 management jobs with an average salary of $163,974. Educational services, health care, and professional services are the three biggest job sectors in Goleta; all three of these industries have median earnings of over $80,000.

According to Payscale, the average salary for Goleta jobs is $87,000, while the average hourly rate is $22.77. Major employers in Goleta include Deckers Outdoor Corp, Montecito Bank and Trust, and Ritz Carlton. You can find jobs in Goleta using Indeed, and you can apply for City of Goleta jobs.

Goleta Schools

Goleta Union School District is the main Goleta school district. Nearly all schools in the district are inside Goleta, though two elementary schools are in Santa Barbara. US News ranks Foothill Elementary in the top 400 elementary schools in the state. Foothill employs 20 full-time teachers, all of whom are certified and have three years of experience. 74% of students test at or above the proficiency level in mathematics, 35 percentage points higher than the state.

US News ranks Dos Pueblos High School (DPHS) in the top 400 high schools in the state. Dos Pueblos is home to several unique programs, including the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy, where students can learn about physics, programming, and machining. Dos Pueblos has award-winning mock trials, science bowl, and capital markets teams.

Goleta California is home to a few small private schools, including South Coast Montessori. South Coast Montessori offers courses to infants as well as preschool and elementary school students. Goleta CA is also home to Waldorf School of Santa Barbara, which offers an nature-based and imagination-focused curriculum.

Goleta does not contain any colleges, but the University of California Santa Barbara (UC Santa Barbara or UCSB) is in nearby Isla Vista. US News ranks UCSB in the top 50 national universities and in the top 20 public schools. UCSB has 90 undergraduate programs, including physics, chemical engineering, and sociology.

The Goleta Valley Library serves residents living in Goleta California. The library offers books, DVDs, and ebooks for the public, as well as special services like 3D printing and homework help.

Goleta Statistics and Information

  • Goleta CA county: Santa Barbara County
  • Goleta area: 7.92 square miles
  • Goleta CA zip code: 93111, 93116-93118, 93160, 93199
  • Goleta area code: 805
  • Goleta elevation: 20 feet
  • Goleta time zone: Pacific Standard Time (UTC-8)
  • Closest airport to Goleta: Santa Barbara Airport (SBA), 1 mile from Goleta

Goleta Map

You can use this Goleta CA map to find must do attractions, great restaurants, and affordable homes for sale.

It’s great to live in Goleta! This quaint city has beautiful outdoor landmarks, delicious restaurants, and luxurious homes and condos for sale. Living in Goleta California is perfect for families, young professionals, and retirees.

But you must figure out moving to Goleta before you head down U.S. Route 101. Movegreen’s crew of Goleta movers has a 97% customer satisfaction rating from 16 years of service in the moving industry. Call 866-684-7336 for a free moving estimate today.

Erik Haney
Erik Haney
Movegreen was established in 2007 with a vision to innovate the age old trade of Moving and Storage. The company has grown by over 20% year after year and recently expanded our territory to all of Ventura County and Northern LA County . Movegreen has received more than 15 service awards and is the premier Moving and Storage company on the Central Coast.

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