Most ground travel in Santa Barbara County is north or south, with the occasional crossover on an east-west state route. U.S. 101, the sole federal highway, is supplemented by nine state routes including state Route 1, the storied Pacific Coast Highway. Pacific Ocean surf forms the county’s western boundary, and much of the east is roadless, devoted to protected forest, mountains and wilderness. Backcountry around Vandenberg Air Force Base, along the coast northwest of Lompoc, is off-limits to development and the public as well, and offers refuge to endangered coastal species.
Los Angeles International Airport, 92 miles away, is the closest mega-air connection, but both Santa Maria and Santa Barbara have airports served by commercial flights, and Lompoc and Santa Ynez airports accommodate private planes. Central Coast Shuttle provides services to and from Santa Maria, Buellton, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Airport and Ventura to Los Angeles International Airport. Visit Central Coast Shuttle at www.centralcoastshuttle.com or call 800-470-8818.
Amtrak has two busy full stations, one in Goleta and another in Santa Barbara, and the Pacific Surfliner makes a dozen daily trips between nearby San Luis Obispo and San Diego. Special racks on the train bristle with passengers’ bikes and surfboards.
Santa Barbara County is served by Greyhound Lines, with stations in Santa Barbara and Santa Maria, and by several metropolitan transit districts.