Packing List for Selling Your House and Moving to a Boat in Santa Barbara

Packing for a stay in Santa Barbara is pretty simple almost any time of year….

In general, Santa Barbara weather is really wonderful year round. I know. I live on an old boat in the Santa Barbara marina, and get to enjoy both the ocean and the mountains…daily. 

I’m 72, and from Minnesota. It took me about 30 seconds to realize Californians really are casual. Not sloppy, just… comfortable . Lots of active wear clothing, easy wash, fast dry in neutral colors. 

Key things to remember:

  • It gets chilly—yes chilly —as in light weight down jackets are night time wear—which means the moment the sun starts to set you’ll want that piece of clothing you popooed.   When I first started coming to Santa Barbara I was amused—who were these folks in down jackets when the temps were 55 degrees?  But… now I’m totally one of the crowd.  If I’m going to be out past 5:00 pm—my costco black down jacket is in my backpack and ready to wear. You will not look silly to have a jacket and scarf—even in july—for evenings out.  Leave for an evening on the town at 4:00 when it’s still boiling hot, but the minute—and I do mean minute—the sun begins to set-whamo-you’ll want that wrap, jacket or shawl. 
  • Hats. Always take a hat wherever you go.Hats—big or small for men, women and children.   If you forget to pack one, a cute and not so expensive shop on State Street can solve head covering issues for the whole family in a second. Plus you’ll look  more like a native with that one tiny purchase. 
  • Sunnies—ditto. Lots of eyewear stores in town, from hipster ray-ban to super stylish options at saks on fifth. Depends on what you want and how much you plan to spend…. Bring an extra pair of sunnies just in case you lose your first pair. 
  • Sun protection. Ditto. The usual stops are the  pharmacies in town: cvs, rite aid, and federal drug, though costco in goleta has the best prices.
  • Hair ties—it can get pretty windy and it’s nice to be able to not be eating hair…. Also at drug stores, plus claire’s. 
  • Sandals, tevas, chacos, tennis shoes. Comfort matters, and if your’re going to walk a lot—wear comfy shoes. If you forgot your walking or hiking shoes two excellent places to buy are The Walking Company and REI.
  • Snacks. I’m always starving after a hike and keep snack bars in my car—to keep me from eating junk food. Better yet—on tuesday afternoon and saturday morning sb has a great farmer’s market—the right place to find  organic produce: apples, oranges, nuts, fresh dates are just a few of the organic items for sale. Packaged snaks are available almost everywhere, but our local trader joe’s—with  two locations in town is the least expensive place to purchase prepackaged trail
  • Water. The water in sb tastes awful. Terrible. Cost-co in golete sells 6 1 gallon containers of water with minerals for $3.69 plus tax and a water fee of $.60. Keep water close by, it’s easy to get dehydrated. When you feel even slightly thirsty—you’re already water short. Drink up!
  • Have one pair of junky ready to toss flip flops in for walking on the beach. Sometimes tar pops up—in large gobs, especially after a storm.  You may find this next hint amusing—a rag generously covered with peanut butter will remove the tar—better than mineral spirits and a whole lot less toxic.  Plus, with crackers, the peanut butter is dual purpose— snack food….
  • It can rain. Yes, I know we’re in a drought and it looks as if the whole state is on fire, but it really does rain. And for that waist length or water proof jacket and rubber boots are de rigeur. I’d skip the boots unless it’s march and rain predicted, but a light weight jacket can be your nighttime survival ticket to rain and cool evenings. 
  • And if you forget a tee shirt, think about supporting our local goodwill and thrift stores. Goodwill on Carillo is in town and hands down the best place for tee shirts for women and mens shirts, Alpha Thrift in Goleta for something more fancy, and the X Store on Milpas can sometimes have good clothing finds, though their strength tends to be glass wear and pots and pans. Don’t ask me why.