Destination guide

Tired of your go, go, go lifestyle? Go, go, go to Goleta

Inhabited for thousands of years by the native Chumash people, Goleta has a rich history that is truly Californian. The Chumash gave way to explorers and Mexican ranchos, who gave way to lemon farmers and oil drillers, who gave way to the tech and aerospace industry, yet the town has never lost its laid-back vibe. Now, this beautiful seaside locale is a haven for families, friends, surfers and honeymooners. Neighboring Santa Barbara may be the more famous beach destination in the area, but Goleta is the more relaxed.

Things to do

Railroads and ranchos in a remarkable setting

You won't want to spend too much time indoors at your Goleta vacation rental, so it's a good thing that local historic sites offer both tales of the past and a taste of the area's natural beauty. Rancho La Patera and Stow House allows visitors to stroll through its dense clusters of exotic trees, shrubs, and plants imported from throughout the world. The South Coast Railroad Museum is a family favorite, with exhibits on the history, technology, and adventure of the railroad. Kids love riding the miniature train that tours the property.


Park yourself at Goleta Beach Park – it's got everything

The beach is where it's at in Goleta, and your vacation rental will give you access to several. Stretching across 29 acres, Goleta Beach Park is known for its 1,500-foot long fishing pier, its prime sunbathing and picnic spots, and its playground for the little ones in your life. El Capitan State Beach offers majestic bluffs and campsites. Want something off the beaten path? Lake Los Carneros is a hidden gem, surrounded by a mile-long walking path that's perfect for bird watching – even bird feeding. Bring crackers. The ducks will appreciate it.


Plan ahead! Or don't. You'll probably be fine

The California coast is known for its sun-drenched, Mediterranean climate, and Goleta is no exception. Temperatures are comfortable year-round, with summer highs in the 70s and 80s, and winter lows in the 40s and 50s. Most people can prepare for a trip to Goleta by chucking a bottle of sunscreen and a beach towel in a bag and taking off without a care in the world. If you're looking for a beautiful stay at a bargain price, book your Goleta vacation rental in spring or fall.

Natural features

Majestic mountain slopes and migrating monarchs

Your photos may focus on beautiful scenes overlooking the Pacific Ocean, but the Santa Ynez Mountains east of Goleta provide just as pretty a backdrop. The diverse plant and wetland communities provide roosting, foraging, and breeding habitats for birds and other wildlife. Monarch butterflies are a favorite. They migrate to Goleta each November through February, and are lovingly observed at Goleta Butterfly Grove. The grove is adjacent to the Ellwood Mesa open space, 137 acres set on coastal bluffs. The views from the mesa's walking trails are off the charts.

How to get there

Transportation to and around Goleta

The nearest airport is in Santa Barbara, CA (SBA-Santa Barbara Municipal), located 0.9 mi (1.4 km) from the city center. If you can't find a flight that works for your travel itinerary, you can also fly into Santa Ynez, CA (SQA), which is 18.4 mi (29.6 km) away.

If you're traveling by train, the main station serving the city is Goleta Station.

Where to stay around Goleta?

Our 2019 property listings offer a large selection of 660 vacation rentals near Goleta. From 383 Houses to 83 Condos/Apartments, find a unique house rental for you to enjoy a memorable stay with your family and friends. The best places to stay near Goleta for a holiday or a weekend are on HomeAway.

What is the best area to stay when traveling to Goleta?

Whether you're traveling with family or friends, here are the areas with the largest selection of vacation rentals for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in Goleta:

  • Santa Barbara Beach: 147 vacation rentals
  • The Mesa (Beach Area): 518 vacation rentals
  • Padaro Lane: 22 vacation rentals
  • Downtown: 195 vacation rentals
  • Mission Canyon: 157 vacation rentals

For other neighborhoods, please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

What are the popular points of interest near where I can stay when traveling to Goleta?

HomeAway offers a large selection of vacation rentals near lovely places in Goleta. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular points of interest to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend are:

  • Goleta Beach: 776 vacation rentals
  • El Capitan State Beach: 518 vacation rentals
  • Refugio State Beach: 239 vacation rentals
  • Nojoqui Falls Park: 150 vacation rentals
  • South Coast Railroad Museum: 782 vacation rentals

But there are many other points of interest around Goleta listed on HomeAway where you can find your place to stay. Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available near the point of interest of your choice.

Can I rent Houses in Goleta?

Yes, of course. HomeAway has 383 Houses in Goleta. Our other popular types of vacation rentals in Goleta include:

  • Condos/Apartments: 83 rentals available
  • Cottages: 69 rentals available
  • Villas: 18 rentals available

But you can also enjoy a great stay in one of our other vacation rentals including Bungalows and more.

Can I find a vacation rental with pool in Goleta?

Yes, you can select your preferred vacation rental with pool among our 166 vacation rentals with pool available in Goleta. Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

    Explore destinations around Goleta

    Santa Barbara Beach
    147 vacation rentals
    The Mesa (Beach Area)
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    Padaro Lane
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    195 vacation rentals
    Mission Canyon
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