Isla Vista (often abbreviated to IV) is a neighborhood for the young and adventurous. Adjacent to UCSB, the majority of residents here are students at one of the area colleges. There are a lot of places to caffeinate up, grub down and party on. It's also right next to the beach!
See & Do
House parties are the unofficial main attraction of Isla Vista, but there are some other fun sights to see too. Check out Anisq'Oyo' Park, the Isla Vista Theater and, of course, the long stretch of beach at the base of Del Playa Drive. IV is best explored by bike, so bring your beach cruiser!
Restaurants in IV cater to a student population. This means you can usually get a lot of food at a great value, fast! Don't expect white tablecloths and sommeliers. Instead, head to Woodstock's for delicious pizza or scarf down a giant burrito at Freebird's. Need something to perk you up? There's plenty of places to get a good cup of joe.
The best nightlife happens at home in Isla Vista, where house parties kick off every night of the week. In fact, a lot of the most legendary party houses have names, like the Dolphin House and the Marley House. Can't wrangle an invite? Don't like not knowing what's in the punch? Head to The Study Hall (it's a bar, not a library) instead.
Are there hotels in Isla Vista? It's possible that there are, but we don't recommend you stay in one. If you can't crash with a friend, get a room in nearby Goleta instead. The parking is better, and we're pretty sure it will be a lot cleaner, too. If you're a parent visiting your college-aged kid, you'll both appreciate the distance.
Shops in IV mainly consists of places to buy liquor, school supplies and bike locks, but there are some hidden gems for shopaholics. Go to Miss Behavin' for cute bikinis and women's boutique fashion brands. Or pop into the Isla Vista Food Co-op to find a shockingly fresh and delicious selection of groceries.