Santa Barbara (Spanish: Santa Bárbara; "Saint Barbara") is a coastal city in Santa Barbara County, California, of which it is also the county seat. Situated on a south-facing section of coastline, the longest such section on the West Coast of the United States, the city lies between the steeply rising Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Santa Barbara's climate is often described as Mediterranean, and the city has been promoted as the "American Riviera". The official 2020 population was 88,665. In addition to being a popular tourist and resort destination, the city has a diverse economy that includes a large service sector, education, technology, health care, finance, agriculture, manufacturing, and local government. In 2004, the service sector accounted for 35% of local employment. Education in particular is well represented, with four institutions of higher learning on the south coast: the University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara City College, Westmont College, and Antioch University. The city is served by Santa Barbara Airport and train service is provided by Amtrak, which operates the Pacific Surfliner, which runs from San Diego to San Luis Obispo. The Santa Barbara area is connected via U.S. Highway 101 to Los Angeles 100 mi (161 km) to the southeast and San Francisco 325 mi (523 km) to the northwest. Behind the city, in and beyond the Santa Ynez Mountains, is the Los Padres National Forest, which contains several remote wilderness areas. Channel Islands National Park and Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary are located approximately 20 miles (32 km) offshore.
Santa Clarita () is a city in northwestern Los Angeles County, California. With a 2020 census population of 228,673, it is the third-largest city by population in Los Angeles County, and the 17th-largest in the state of California. It is located about 30 miles (48 km) northwest of downtown Los Angeles, and occupies 70.75 square miles (183.2 km2) of land in the Santa Clarita Valley, along the Santa Clara River. It is a notable example of a U.S. edge city, satellite city, or boomburb.Human settlement of the Santa Clarita Valley dates back to the arrival of the Chumash people, who were displaced by the Tataviam circa 450 AD. After Spanish colonists arrived in Alta California, the Rancho San Francisco was established, covering much of the Santa Clarita Valley. Henry Mayo Newhall purchased the Rancho San Francisco in 1875 and established the towns of Saugus and Newhall. The Newhall Land and Farming Company played a major role in the city's development. In December 1987, the city of Santa Clarita was incorporated, encompassing the communities of Canyon Country, Newhall, Saugus, and Valencia. The four communities retain separate identities, and residents commonly refer to one of them when asked where they are from. Santa Clarita is bounded on the west by the Golden State Freeway (I-5). The Antelope Valley Freeway (CA-14) runs northeast–southwest forming part of the city's irregular east boundary. The two freeways meet at Newhall Pass, near the city's southernmost point. Santa Clarita is home to three institutions of higher education: California Institute of the Arts, an internationally renowned art university; The Master's University, a Christian liberal arts university; and College of the Canyons, a community college. Companies headquartered in or near the city include Princess Cruises, Sunkist, Remo, and the Newhall Land and Farming Company. Santa Clarita has a low crime rate and high-ranking schools, and is one of the state's fastest-growing cities. Six Flags Magic Mountain amusement park and Stevenson Ranch are both commonly associated with Santa Clarita. However, they are both located west of Interstate 5 and are thus outside the Santa Clarita city limits.
Santa Ynez Valley
The Santa Ynez Valley is located in Santa Barbara County, California, between the Santa Ynez Mountains to the south and the San Rafael Mountains to the north. The Santa Ynez River flows through the valley from east to west. The Santa Ynez Valley is separated from the Los Alamos Valley, to the northwest, by the Purisima Hills, and from the Santa Maria Valley by the Solomon Hills. The Santa Rita Hills separate the Santa Ynez Valley from the Santa Rita and Lompoc Valleys to the west.The valley has a population of about 20,000 residents living in the communities of Solvang, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez, Buellton, and Ballard.
Solvang (; Danish: [ˈsoːlˌvɑŋˀ]; Danish for '"sunny field"') is a city in Santa Barbara County, California. It is located in the Santa Ynez Valley. The population was 5,245 at the 2010 census, down from 5,332 at the 2000 census. Solvang was founded in 1911 and incorporated as a city on May 1, 1985. Solvang is often dubbed "The Danish Capital of America".Solvang's origins date back to 1804, when Mission Santa Inés was founded by the Spanish under Esteban Tápis. A small community grew up around the mission called Santa Inés during the Mexican period, but it was largely abandoned after the American Conquest of California. In 1911, a new settlement was founded around the mission by a group of Danish-Americans who purchased 9,000 acres (3,600 ha) of the surrounding Rancho San Carlos de Jonata, to establish a Danish community far from Midwestern winters. The community took on its distinctive Danish-themed architecture beginning in 1947 and has since become a prominent tourist destination. Though only about 10% of residents in the 21st century are Danish, the town attracts many tourists from the Nordic countries, and has been the subject of several Danish royal visits, most recently by Prince Henrik in 2011.