Not only is the Westside the most densely populated neighborhood in Santa Barbara, it’s also the most diverse. In 1850, when the United States annexed California to the Union, the Westside was open grazing range and farmland, turning marshy near the beach. Today State Street cuts the city of Santa Barbara into east and west halves. The Westside is west of State Street and lies predominantly in these lowlands between State Street and the Mesa. Residency in the Westside neighborhood of Santa Barbara is highly sought after for two reasons: both its proximity to the beach and downtown, and its potential for relatively inexpensive rent and or house payments. The Westside is definitely the most densely populated neighborhood in Santa Barbara due to these two reasons. West Beach and the lower west are much more affluent. The upper Westside and downtown portion of this neighborhood are much more affordable. A plethora of inns and hotels have sprouted up all over what is known as West Beach, providing luxurious amenities for all the tourists. The beach is just across Cabrillo Boulevard, which is the main street that skirts along the ocean.