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Santa Ynez Valley
The Santa Ynez Valley is located in Santa Barbara County, California, between the Santa Ynez Mountains to the south and the San Rafael Mountains to the north. The Santa Ynez River flows through the valley from east to west. The Santa Ynez Valley is separated from the Los Alamos Valley, to the northwest, by the Purisima Hills, and from the Santa Maria Valley by the Solomon Hills. The Santa Rita Hills separate the Santa Ynez Valley from the Santa Rita and Lompoc Valleys to the west.The valley has a population of about 20,000 residents living in the communities of Solvang, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez, Buellton, and Ballard.
Santa Barbara (Spanish: Santa Bárbara; "Saint Barbara") is a coastal city in Santa Barbara County, California, of which it is also the county seat. Situated on a south-facing section of coastline, the longest such section on the West Coast of the United States, the city lies between the steeply rising Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Santa Barbara's climate is often described as Mediterranean, and the city has been promoted as the "American Riviera". The official 2020 population was 88,665. In addition to being a popular tourist and resort destination, the city has a diverse economy that includes a large service sector, education, technology, health care, finance, agriculture, manufacturing, and local government. In 2004, the service sector accounted for 35% of local employment. Education in particular is well represented, with four institutions of higher learning on the south coast: the University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara City College, Westmont College, and Antioch University. The city is served by Santa Barbara Airport and train service is provided by Amtrak, which operates the Pacific Surfliner, which runs from San Diego to San Luis Obispo. The Santa Barbara area is connected via U.S. Highway 101 to Los Angeles 100 mi (161 km) to the southeast and San Francisco 325 mi (523 km) to the northwest. Behind the city, in and beyond the Santa Ynez Mountains, is the Los Padres National Forest, which contains several remote wilderness areas. Channel Islands National Park and Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary are located approximately 20 miles (32 km) offshore.
Pismo Beach is a city in the southern portion of San Luis Obispo County, in the Central Coast area of California, United States. The estimated population was 8,213 in 2018, up from 7,655 in the 2010 census. It is part of the Five Cities Area, a cluster of cities in that area of San Luis Obispo County. The "Five Cities" area historically is made up of Arroyo Grande, Grover City (now Grover Beach), Halcyon, Fair Oaks and Nipomo. Now most people refer to the Five Cities as Grover Beach, Pismo Beach, Shell Beach (which is actually a part of Pismo Beach), Arroyo Grande and Oceano (which is unincorporated county land serviced by the Oceano Community Services District).
Ojai ( OH-hy) is a city in Ventura County, California. Located in the Ojai Valley, it is northwest of Los Angeles and east of Santa Barbara. The valley is part of the east–west trending Western Transverse Ranges and is about 10 miles (16 km) long by 3 miles (5 km) wide and divided into a lower and an upper valley, each of similar size, surrounded by hills and mountains. The population was 7,461 at the 2010 census, down from 7,862 at the 2000 census. Ojai is a tourism destination known for its boutique hotels, recreation opportunities, hiking, and farmers' market of local organic agriculture. It has small businesses specializing in local and ecologically friendly art, design, and home improvement. Chain stores are prohibited by city ordinance to encourage local small business development and keep the town unique. The name Ojai is derived from the Mexican-era Rancho Ojai, which in turn took its name from the Ventureño Chumash word 'Awha'y, meaning "Moon". The city's self-styled nickname is "Shangri-La" referencing the natural environment of this health and spirituality-focused region as well as the mystical sanctuary of the 1937 film adaptation of James Hilton's novel Lost Horizon.