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Santa Barbara is just about 100 miles (160 kilometres) west of Los Angeles, but couldn't be more different. It's a relatively small city, tucked between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean and its red-tiled roofs, white buildings and Spanish mission give it a Mediterranean vibe, called the American Riviera.
Santa Barbara must have one of the best climates in all of the United States. Summers last from May to September with generally warm and sunny weather, but very rarely too hot to enjoy. Temperatures are mostly between 20 and 25 °C and nights are never cold, though rarely warm either so bring a sweater for the colder nights. Winters are not much worse actually, although it's a few degrees cooler of course from November to March.
Santa Barbara can easily be reached by taking Interstate 101 from Los Angeles or coming from the north.
Greyhound has several daily services to Los Angeles (2.5 hours), San Francisco (8-9 hours) and San Luis Obispo (2 hours).
The Santa Barbara Airbus travels to Los Angeles Airport (LAX).
Buses are operated by the Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District and run all over the city and its surroundings.
|Haley Cottages||227 East haley Street||Apartment||-|
|Santa Barbara Tourist Hostel||134 Chapala Street||Hostel||-|
|AAE Santa Barbara||111 N. Milpas Street Greyhound/Amtrak||HOSTEL||70|
|Motel 6 Santa Barbara - Goleta||5897 Calle Real US 101 at Fairview Avenue Goleta, CA,||HOTEL||-|
|SB Home Away From Home||416 East Valerio Street||Guesthouse||-|
There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.
See also International Telephone Calls
The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.
The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.
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