Natural Amenities Index We're not the only ones who have fallen in love with the beautiful Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties! Based on the USDA's Natural Amenities Index, Ventura County has been named the most desirable place to live in America, followed closely by Santa Barbara County at #3. The Index looks at the best and worst places to live according to scenery and climate, and combines six measures of "environmental qualities most people prefer." Home to year-round sunshine, mild winters, and pristine beaches, it's no surprise that the Santa Barbara area has made it to the top of the list!