The Lagoon District is an energetic hub of makers, movers and shakers that’s located just slightly off the beaten path, adjacent to downtown Santa Barbara. The thriving eight-block neighborhood stretches from Anacapa Street to Milpas Streets between Cota and Montecito Streets. It’s easily accessed on foot from downtown State Street and the Funk Zone, and you can easily spend an entire day taking advantage of its many retail, wellness and dining establishments.
History of the Lagoon District
Named for Laguna Street, the Lagoon District embraces its history as a place of reinvention and innovation. As early as the 1860s, Santa Barbara residents started working to reclaim the former salt-crusted dry lakebed from Mother Nature to use it for agricultural purposes. As the population expanded and the city was further developed over the decades, industry followed, creating a mix of industrial, commercial and residential buildings—many of which remain today.
The Lagoon District has evolved significantly as new businesses plant roots in the neighborhood and entrepreneurs convert existing structures. The Mill is a prime example of how the neighborhood is transforming. The cooperative complex is home to a brewery, restaurant, winery, women’s ready-to-wear designer and home décor shop/showroom. It’s just the sort of place you can meet the makers and see production in action, all the while enjoying the fruits of the creators’ labors. The welcoming, relaxed atmosphere combined with a regular line-up of special events and weekly entertainment make The Mill an anchor of the neighborhood.
Things to do
The Lagoon District offers plenty more to explore. Thirsty? Winery and brewery hop—or pick up a fresh pressed juice. Hungry? Fuel up at an authentic taqueria, family-run Mexican café, barbecue joint, bakery, chocolate shop or healthy organic café. Non-profits, caterers, creative agencies, homegrown lifestyle brands, fitness trainers, wellness companies, tech start-ups, furniture and houseware makers and construction and design firms are also part of the diverse Lagoon District mix.
Experience the innovative spirit of the Lagoon District for yourself to discover emerging brands and support independent, small businesses.