A coastal community just north of Santa Barbara, Goleta has plenty to offer in the way of outdoor recreation. The sparkling waters and white sands of Goleta Beach include 29-acres of parkland, picnic areas, a 200-foot fishing pier and popular seafood restaurant. The historic Stow House and Sexton Museum are surrounded by a wooded park with large picnic and playground areas, and a variety of birds and wildlife can be encountered on the trails around Los Carneros Lake. One of Goleta’s true gems, attracting photographers from all over the world, is the Coronado Butterfly Preserve, a rambling stretch of groves that are a protected winter home to the migrating Monarch butterflies.
In addition to many delectable restaurants and boutiques in the original business center of Old Town Goleta, other large shopping centers with restaurants and theaters have sprouted up including the Camino Real Marketplace, Calle Real and Fairview. There is also a weekly farmers market for fresh, local produce. The sprawling and spacious Goleta landscape includes ranch-style homes and condominiums alternating with small family farms, golf courses and an abundance of parks, woodlands and eucalyptus groves. Homes with views and more acreage can be found in the foothills. Goleta has a thriving local economy with its clean industries of aerospace and internet technology, the Santa Barbara regional airport and the University of California, and an excellent school system. Once mostly avocado and lemon orchards, Goleta now offers a more sophisticated, yet relaxed lifestyle.