Gaviota, California

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A view of the Pacific Ocean from Gaviota, California

Gaviota is an unincorporated community in Santa Barbara County, California located about 30 miles (48 km) west of Santa Barbara and 15 miles (24 km) south of Buellton. Approximately 35 people live in and near Gaviota. The ZIP Code is 93117, and the community is inside area code 805.

Gaviota area

The Gaviota coast is the subject of "The Twenty," a film by The Surfrider Foundation. While the main industry of Gaviota is ranching, the area is well known as a haven for surfers and hippies.

The town is south and east of Gaviota State Park, and is at the point on U.S. Route 101 where this primarily north-south highway takes a turn due east towards Santa Barbara, Ventura, and the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles. The road to Hollister Ranch, the large private land holding along the coast between Gaviota and Point Conception, connects with U.S. 101 just west of Gaviota, at the turnoff to Gaviota State Park.

Gaviota was once the location of the Gaviota Marine Terminal, the large storage tanks of which are visible on the ocean side of the freeway, and which is currently being decommissioned and abandoned, with intent to become public open space.[1] On the mountain side of the freeway is the Gaviota Oil Heating Facility, also known as the "Gaviota Gas Plant", built by Chevron Corp. and currently owned by Plains Exploration & Production Company (PXP); this facility is being reconfigured and partially abandoned. The former purpose of the facility was to heat and process the heavy crude oil produced offshore so that it could flow through the All American Pipeline to refineries in the Bakersfield area.[2]

Gaviota is derived from the Spanish word for "sea gull".[3]

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Coordinates: 34°28′18″N 120°12′50″W / 34.47167°N 120.21389°W / 34.47167; -120.21389