Santa Barbara’s Westside refers to the neighborhood west of the 101 freeway between Carrillo Street and Las Positas Rd., extending all the way to Elings Park at its west border.
The first Santa Barbara neighborhood to be settled by the Anglos, the area of the Westside has a colorful history. Its street names commemorate landmarks and battlegrounds in California’s struggle to annex from Mexico. Throughout the nineteenth century, the area was occupied by many ranchers and farmers cultivating everything from walnuts to wine.
Between 1910-1920, Santa Barbara was the hub of the film industry for the first movies, especially Westerns. Before Hollywood was established, films stars and directors posted up in the Westside, where the American Film Company purchased a large lot on which a film studio was developed at State and Islay Streets.
Today, the Westside is the most densely populated neighborhood in Santa Barbara and the town’s oldest established residential neighborhood, many of the homes dating back to 1940’s construction. The neighborhood’s many Mexican restaurants reflect the strong Chicano culture, home to such local favorites as Super Cuca’s.
Harding University Partnership School is the only elementary school in the Westside. Residents of the Westside enjoy close proximity to all of the amenities downtown has to offer, and easy access to the 101 freeway for quick transportation to all areas of Santa Barbara.