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The Top 10 Dangers in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is home to fabulous beaches, spectacular wine, and architecture that will teleport you straight to Spain. But like any paradise, it comes with its own set of quirks and hazards. And who better to guide you through these dangers than locals who have faced - and survived - them all?

Embracing the Santa Barbara lifestyle

Living in Santa Barbara can feel like a never-ending vacation, filled with wine-tasting, beach outings, and Spanish fiestas. But don't let this fool you. Behind this laid-back façade lurks a minefield of potential perils, from the stealthy Farmer's Market to the infamous "June Gloom". As the Santa Barbara GURU, we've become adept at navigating these hazards, and we're here to share our wisdom.

Danger 1: The unending allure of local vineyards

Ah, the vineyards! The first time you visit one of Santa Barbara's numerous wineries, you may feel like you've stepped into a dream. The rolling hills, the rows of lush vines, the fall colors and the intoxicating aroma of fermenting grapes - it's enough to make anyone swoon. But beware - once you've tasted the divine nectar that is Santa Barbara wine, you might find yourself returning again and again, until you're spending more time at the vineyard than your own home!

Danger 2: The stealthy and irresistible Farmer's Market

Next on the list is the seemingly innocuous Farmer's Market. Sure, it starts as a simple trip to pick up some fresh veggies. But then you spot the artisanal cheese booth. And then the beautiful flowers. And then the locally-made honey. Before you know it, you've spent your entire paycheck and are heading home with a car full of awesomeness.

santa barbara farmers market

Danger 3: The beach - a sunburnt paradise

The beach, seemingly a place of relaxation and tranquility, is a wolf in sheep's clothing. The bright California sun has a sneaky way of convincing you to stay just a bit longer, resulting in lobster-red sunburns that will have you radiating heat like a nuclear reactor. On the flip side, don't under estimate the chill as night falls. Many a tourist can be found shivering in their shorts because they aren't used to the weather patterns.

Danger 4: Santa Barbara's infamous "June Gloom"

You may have heard of the legend, the myth, the downright enigma that is Santa Barbara's "June Gloom". This peculiar weather phenomenon brings overcast skies and cool temperatures, turning our sunny paradise into a gloomy spectacle. But fear not! This is just Mother Nature's way of giving us a break from our usual sunshine overdose.

Danger 5: The deceptive charm of Spanish architecture

Santa Barbara's Spanish architecture, with its white stucco walls and red-tile roofs, is undeniably enchanting. But don't let its charm deceive you. Once you start admiring these architectural beauties, you might find yourself fantasizing about living in one of them. And that, my friend, leads us straight to the next hazard...

spanich architecture

Danger 6: Fantasizing on how you can stay forever

It happens! Many a traveler has cruised the 101 and unknowingly stops to stretch their legs and get a bite to eat. Between the ocean breeze, gorgeous surroundings and quaint, walkable downtown, leaving can begin to feel like being in a tragic novel. Something about Santa Barbara immediately feeds your soul.

Danger 7: The omnipresent yoga enthusiasts and life coaches

Santa Barbara is teeming with wellness. They’re everywhere - at the park, on the beach, even in the office. And their enthusiasm is contagious. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself shopping for yoga mats and signing up to heal your inner child.

Danger 8: The State Street scene

State Street is a spectacle to behold. The lively bars, the bustling restaurants, the vibrant street performers - it's a symphony of entertainment. But beware, it's easy to lose track of time and find yourself still wandering the streets at 2 a.m., wondering how you ended up with a burrito in one hand and a souvenir sombrero on your head.

Danger 9: The wild side - local wildlife encounters

Finally, we have our local wildlife - the raccoons, squirrels, skunks and bears! These encounters can range from a harmless and amusing sighting to a full-on adrenaline-pumping stand-off. Santa Barbara wildlife, much like the town itself, always keeps you on your toes. Thanks to the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network, help is just a call away.

santa barbara wildlife

Danger 10: One way streets and roundabouts

You might start to think you're in National Lampoon's European Vacation after taking a few spins on the roundabouts or turning the wrong way down a one-way street. These streets are a great way to make driving easier. They can also be a bit confusing, however, as people often don't know which direction they're supposed to go in. In Santa Barbara, one-way streets are typically marked with signs and road markings that clearly indicate which direction is which. Just go slow and pay attention, especially downtown.

Bonus Danger 11: Stargazing - it's a thing here!

It’s dark outside, That’s a good thing! But what about those roads where there are no streetlights? Or the ones that just don’t have enough light to illuminate them? Those are dangerous places to be walking in. If you see a dark road ahead, pay attention. When it comes to walking in Santa Barbara and Montecito, make sure that every step is safe and sound—even if that means taking an alternate lighted route.

  • Cross only at intersections or crosswalks. If there are no crosswalks nearby, walk against traffic on the right side of the road and use extra caution crossing streets with multiple lanes.

  • Wear bright clothing that is reflective and have a flashlight with you so that vehicles can see you on dark roads (or even during daylight hours).

  • It's important not to be distracted by your phone while driving; put it away until you're safely off the road!

  • No need for Speed- This is not the big city. No one is in that big of a hurry is too good.

Embracing Santa Barbara’s quirks and dangers

Living in Santa Barbara comes with its unique set of hazards. But once you learn to navigate them, you'll find that these very quirks add to the charm and character of this sunny seaside town. So here's to surviving the top 10 dangers - and thriving - in Santa Barbara!

GURU TIP: Santa Barbara is an incredibly safe place to live. At night, pedestrians and bikers in dark clothing, with no lights or walking against the lights are the most common danger we look out for. Driving slow when downtown or near the ocean front is always the best advice.


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