There's More To Isla Vista Than Partying

When you tell someone that you go to UCSB or that you live in Isla Vista (IV) they usually never fail to comment on the notorious party scene that surrounds the city.  I mean yes, most sunny days you can take a stroll down Del Playa drive and see college kids playing throwing a dice in the air, trying to make it into a cup full of beer on the other side of the table. Oh and you will definitely see balconies filled with (probably way too many) people dancing to some heavy trap music until 12:00 AM sharp on the weekends. 

However, there is more to IV than partying.

When IV is brought up in a conversation outside of the city and those who live in it, people never think about:

1. The beautiful bike and walking trails

There is an ecological preserve right past the end of sands beach that has a dirt trail for walking and biking. The start of the trail, right behind sands beach, is pretty flat and an easy ride overlooking the bluffs. This is a pretty well known spot for watching the sunset. However, if you continue on the path the terrain gets a bit more rugged and it seems as though you are no where near the college-populated town of IV. The trail follows the bluffs and there are several spots where you can hop down a sand bank to get down to the beach. The beach is quiet and seems almost untouched. There is definitely no partying going on in this beautiful sanctuary.

2. The plethora of restaurants that curb just about any food craving…

From pizza to pho, from macaroni and cheese bread bowls to crepes, from “burgerito’s” to deli sandwiches…and beyond!

You can get just about anything you are craving at a restaurant in IV. There aren’t many towns where you can grab some pho, while your friend orders a hazelnut crepe, and your boyfriend orders a burrito and you can all meet up in about twenty steps to eat your meals at some picnic tables.

3. Isla Vista has some quite nicely kept parks

In fact, IV has over 20 different parks, which is quite a few despite the relatively small block of land that the town sits on.  Although several of the parks are quite small, these nice patches of green grass offer up the perfect spot for a peaceful and relaxing study break picnic with some friends or a quick game of spike ball.


Next time you hear good old Isla Vista come up in a conversation, try to look past the ever so present stereotype of IV just being a “party haven”. IV has so much more to offer than a bottle of plastic handle vodka or a Coors light.