Great Quality of Life, Prettiest City in US, but T
SB is an amazing city to live. Great People, almost without pretension. It is super laid back, billionaires hang out with starving students, surf attitude all day long. If you wear a suit and tie, you are felt sorry for because you must be a lawyer or banker - guys that would be envied in any other town. Sure its expensive, but you trade a standard of living for a lifestyle, and that style is outdoor activities year round, too much to do all the time to do it all, GREAT CHURCHES (who would have guessed?) great people.
But it is CA, and there is no summer here, it is always bloomin freezing. Even the people that LOVE the weather (my wife included) actually enjoy the fact that you need a jacket at night. Have they never enjoyed a warm summer evening....anywhere else on Earth? In 2011 there was not one day the whole year that didn't require a light jacket or heavier. After living here 10 years, I'd say that on average there are five evenings a year that don't require a light coat or more. And the water temp - forget about it without a wetsuit, the water rarely is over 60, and only above 55 for two months a year.
You also have to look very hard for a decent meal in this town, the Santa Barbara restaurant scene is a city of expensive mediocrity. We nearly always come away from a dinner out wishing we had cooked at home or driven to LA. But there are maybe 5 good places to eat in the area, and tons of average though expensive places.
I love the city, love my friends, love the lifestyle, LOVE my church. But I am just soooo over freezing my toes off all year long. Take me home to Miami!
Ben | Santa Barbara, CA