Living as a Digital Nomad in Santa Barbara

Zack Garhart
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Our Guide to Living as a Digital Nomad in Santa Barbara

For remote workers and freelancers, Santa Barbara is the perfect place to set up shop for a while and enjoy all that it has to offer. Santa Barbara has a lively nightlife, a deep and rich culture, and great food.

If you’re tethered to a schedule, the workday might require you to be behind your computer for most of the day. But this means you still have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the sandy beaches, incredible food, and Santa Barbara’s great mix of live music. With enough time to step away for a quick lunch, you’ll have everything you need to enjoy Santa Barbara to its fullest as a digital nomad.

Housing Options in Santa Barbara

While Santa Barbara has a mix of housing options, we recommend checking out nearby Goleta or Carpinteria. In Goleta, you’ll find more affordable housing options since it’s so close to UCSB and students are often coming and leaving for stretches at a time. Craigslist is a perfect place to look for temporary housing options, while Airbnb can be helpful when it comes to locking down month-to-month options. Carpinteria is not only a nice place to take a day trip from Santa Barbara, but it’s a great place to live. There are excellent beaches, small shops, and an array of eclectic food options in Carpinteria. And if you’re a surfer, there are few better places in Southern California to hit the water than Carpinteria.

Santa Barbara is a special place to live, but if you’re a digital nomad looking for flexibility we recommend hitting up our ITH Hostel for both short and long-term stays. Our interior space and outdoor patio offer a great working environment, and you’re sure to find other digital nomads doing the same thing. Being so close to the Amtrak station, and not far from the airport, our Santa Barbara Hostel is an ideal place to stay while living as a digital nomad in Santa Barbara.

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Where to Work Remotely in Santa Barbara

Most people come to Santa Barbara to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Situated between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Santa Barbara’s laid-back vibe makes it a perfect place to relax while also having exposure to great live music and interesting bars. From the Funkzone to the lively strip of bars on State Street, there are plenty of great options for having a beverage while you bust out some work on your computer.

For daytime remote workers, quiet cafes can be found all around town. Some of our favorite coffee shops in town include Cajé and Dune Roasters. Both have multiple locations and boast great interior spaces for remote workers. Places like Lighthouse Coffee offer ample seating outdoors and have some of the best coffee in town. If you’ve got a full day of work ahead of you, don’t miss out on these coffee shops.

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Nightlife in Santa Barbara

Work is hard. While you’re living in Santa Barbara, take advantage of the beaches by breaking away from the computer for an hour or two and taking a swim in the ocean. Once the day is through, make sure to hit up some of the many taverns and local watering holes for a night out. We especially like Elsie’s Tavern as a low-key but buzzing place to end the night. For a more eventful night, walk down State Street and stroll into one of the many bars that regularly feature live music.

Another one of our favorite spots in town is Wylde Works. This locally run operation specializes in honey products, including hard jun and mead, as well as wine and beer. The best days to go are on the weekends when they feature live music, and also Tuesday nights. Wylde Works draws a large crowd every Tuesday night for their open mics. From local to traveling musicians, this weekly event draws in crowds of all ages and does not disappoint. Wylde Works also doubles as a cafe space, so you can come during the day and enjoy their relaxing interior space while you bust out a day of work.

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Weekend Activities

Of course, you can hit the town and tour the different bars and restaurants. But one thing that makes Santa Barbara special is their amazing beaches and awesome hikes. There are also hot springs within driving distance, which means you can spend hours soaking in warm, natural pools after putting in a long week of work. One of our favorite beaches is Leadbetter Beach, which is not far from our hostel and the Amtrak Station. To get around Santa Barbara easily, you can either walk or rent bikes at one of the many bike rental shops. Make sure to also check out the Farmer’s Markets that happen every Saturday on Cota Street in downtown Santa Barbara, where you’ll find a ton of local vendors and fresh food.

With a mix of incredible beaches, cozy coffee shops, and lively nightlife, Santa Barbara has something for everyone. As a digital nomad, it’s a great place to spend a few days or even a few months! For your stay, head over to our ITH Santa Barbara Hostel for a great night’s rest. We offer discounts on long-term stays, so inquire with our staff before booking!

Want a better look at the lifestyle in Santa Barbara? Watch this video!

Make sure to sign up for our Traveler’s Club so you can save on all of your future stays at ITH!

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