Santa Barbara Region
Santa Barbara Region
Santa Barbara County has a mountainous interior abutting several coastal plains on the west and south coasts of the county. The largest concentration of population is on the southern coastal plain, referred to as the "south coast" meaning the part of the county south of the Santa Ynez Mountains.
This region includes the cities of Santa Barbara, Goleta, and Carpinteria, as well as the unincorporated areas of Hope Ranch, Summerland, Mission Canyon,
Montecito and Isla Vista.
Located approximately 12 miles east of Santa Barbara, Carpinteria boasts a population of about 15,000 people who enjoy the gracious Carpinteria real estate. The small community is an ideal balance of both residential Carpinteria properties and business districts. The thriving downtown area is composed of a variety of storefronts ranging from quaint antique stores to candy shops, all perfectly complemented by a delightful assortment of restaurants. Residential communities are located around the downtown area, each with its own special character, all of which combines to form a unique small town atmosphere. Carpinteria is also a flourishing agricultural and horticultural gem. Locally grown avocados are featured in the Avocado Festival, held each year on the first weekend in October. Other agricultural products, such as walnuts and cherimoyas are also produced in the area. Many different varieties of flowers and plants, such as carnations, azaleas, tulips and roses, are grown in and around Carpinteria. Orchids are also grown in the many green houses in the foothill areas. Carpinteria is adjacent to "Rincon Point," one of California's prime surfing locations. The local beach is proudly advertised as the "safest beach in the world." Camping and recreation are available next to this very popular southern California stretch of sand.
The community of Goleta lies 15 miles west of Santa Barbara. Formerly home to acres of avocados, lemons, and oranges, Goleta real estate is built among the few remaining productive groves. Goleta has its own beach and a pier for fishing and for launching small boats. Local parks, such as Tucker's Grove and Stow Park, contribute to the family feel of the area. Many residents are employed by one of the areas largest employers, the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB). Many college students live in the college community of Isla Vista, adjacent to the university. Due in part to its friendly business atmosphere and its proximity to UCSB, Goleta has long attracted numerous technology companies, many of which have built distinctive architectural Goleta properties northwest of town. Goleta enjoys all of the comforts of a large city; local hospitals, excellent public schools, and numerous shopping centers, yet it remains a small, family-oriented beachside town of parks, jogging trails, and bike paths. Two golf courses are found in the area: Sandpiper Golf Course is found on the bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and Glen Annie Golf Course is located in the nearby foothills. A luxury spa, the Bacara, is just north of town.
The palm lined, private community of Hope Ranch is a world of its own. One of a widely known Santa Barbara homes, once owned entirely by Thomas W. Hope, was broken up into individual Hope Ranch real estate parcels c. 1925. Many Hope Ranch properties have spectacular views of both the mountains and the ocean. The main road through "the Ranch," is a public street. It begins by the wrought iron Hope Ranch sign that is suspended over the gate at the Las Palmas Drive entrance. It passes by a portion of the private La Cumbre Country Club golf course, past picturesque Lake Laguna Blanca, past sports fields, and then runs adjacent to the private riding trails that are found throughout the ranch. Residents of the Ranch are members of the Hope Ranch Homes Association, which oversees the maintenance and protection of the entire area. Residents also enjoy membership and access to the private beach, tennis courts, horse trails, and security service. A wonderful blend of fine estates and family living, Hope Ranch remains one of the great gems of gracious living in the Santa Barbara area.
Los Olivos is a small, former stagecoach town nestled amongst the rolling hills of the Santa Ynez Valley. Located 3 miles east of the US 101, this quiet community of 1,000 residents is home to wonderful Los Olivos real estate and world-renowned vineyards and wine-tasting rooms, many of which have their products featured at the various gourmet restaurants located throughout the area. Los Olivos has a rich artistic heritage, reflected in the numerous art galleries found amongst the quaint stores located at the city center. The city center itself is marked by an historic flagpole erected in 1918 in honor of World War I veterans.
The elegant community of Montecito offers a quiet retreat for the residents living there. From its inception, the rich and famous have been enticed by the stunning surroundings and relaxed atmosphere. Montecito real estate boasts tree-lined streets with luxury properties that stretch from the beach up into the foothills. Both the Montecito Upper Village and the Montecito Coast Village are interspersed with shops and boutiques and a variety of exceptional local restaurants. Montecito is dominated by lavish estates, many of which are architecturally significant, including English manor houses and elegant contemporary homes. Premier architects of the past and present helped create these local gems. Homes are shielded from curious eyes by hedges and trees, which transform the neighborhood into pleasant streets canopied by foliage. Residents can participate in the Montecito Association, which seeks to preserve the character of the area. About 9,000 people live here, and families have two exceptional public schools as well as a choice of three private schools. Montecito beaches are a favorite with the locals. Three private golf clubs as well as tennis clubs are found in Montecito. A variety of luxury spas and resorts are also available for those seeking a quiet get away from daily life.
Basking in the glow of the brilliant Pacific Ocean, Santa Barbara is one of California's most vibrant and beautiful communities. Santa Barbara's alluring landscape is enhanced by the red-tiled roofs of Santa Barbara homes and Montecito real estate, foliage of its Spanish heritage, the striking backdrop of the Santa Ynez Mountains, and the majestic palm trees lining the beach of this stunning coastal city. This refined city is home to more than 90,000 residents who enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, balmy weather, beautiful Santa Barbara real estate, and cultural gems that the town has to offer, such as the beautiful Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and the historic landmark Santa Barbara Mission. The ocean also lends itself to those wishing to surf or take a pleasure cruise from the harbor. Santa Barbara is home to several of California's renowned secondary education institutions. The most prominent is the University of California, Santa Barbara. Residents and visitors alike are welcome to tour the picturesque college and attend the various concerts and lectures hosted by the campus. Other institutions include Westmont College and the Brooks Institute of Photography. Younger students have access to a distinguished public and private school system. While having all the attractions and accommodations of a large city, Santa Barbara maintains a charming small town feeling with its close knit community and cheerful neighborhoods. Residents maintain an active role, and take pride, in keeping their city a beautiful and unique place to live, work, or visit.
Santa Ynez Valley
The Santa Ynez Valley is located about 30 minutes north of Santa Barbara, between the Santa Ynez and Rafael mountains. The Santa Ynez Valley is home to many world-renown vineyards and wineries as well as recognized horse breeding ranches. Other local attractions include the majestic Los Padres National Forest, beautiful Lake Cachuma, ideal for fishing and camping, Old Mission Santa Inez, golf courses, and the historic Carriage House museum that depicts relics of when Santa Ynez's past as a stage coach stop. Santa Ynez Valley real estate includes luxury homes and equestrian properties. There are many small communities that comprise the Santa Ynez Valley. Ballard is the Valley's oldest community. This charming town located 3 miles north of Solvang. Solvang is known for its historic two-room red brick school, which is still in use. This city also has a thriving miniature horse breeding ranch. The main road, Ballard Main Street, is lined with attractive art galleries, antique shops, western supply stores, and general stores. Another town, Buellton is located at the junction of the US 101 and Highway 246. There is a variety of restaurants in town, but the most recognized is Andersen's Restaurant, famous for its smooth, delicious pea soup. The main street is also lined with many gift and general stores. Lompoc is located between Pacific Coast Highway and Highway 246. Once famous for the mustard seeds that still cover the hillsides today, its major industry at present is the production of flowers and their seeds. The flowers are celebrated annually in a festival that includes a parade of flower-covered floats and a chili cook-off. The other main attraction is the variety of colorful murals, continually increasing in number, that are painted on the sides of buildings throughout town. Further north lies Los Alamos and Nipomo. Los Alamos, located about halfway between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, is known for the graceful cottonwood trees that line the banks of the San Antonio Creek. This town, once a stage coach stop, annually celebrates its heritage in a street celebration, called Los Alamos Days, in September. The town has a variety of quaint restaurants, antique shops, and wine tasting rooms. Nipomo is located off of US 101, just within the San Luis Obispo county line. This thriving city is popular for its hillside swap meet on the weekends and Black Lake Golf Course, the only golf course on the Central Coast boasting a 27-hole course. A popular attraction is the Nipomo Native Gardens, a botanical preserve of native plants and trees. Scenic roads lined with noble blue gum eucalyptus trees grazing the blue skies overhead, and the gracefully rolling green hills give this neighborhood a rural feel that is open to everyone.
Solvang, commonly referred to as the Danish capital of America, lies in the midst of the Santa Ynez Valley. Founded by Danish educators, the town's skyline is dominated by a windmill and other Dutch architectural replicas evoking poignantly the Old World atmosphere. Charming shops displaying imported European ware and collectibles welcome passerbys, and wonderful Solvang real estate is inviting for the residents of Solvang. The pleasant flower-lined streets, inviting for a casual stroll, are infused with the smell of chocolates and pastries that drift out of open doors. Horse drawn carriages are available for those desiring to tour the city in comfort and family bicycles are offered for those seeking a more physical alternative.
Aptly named, Summerland is a quiet, rustic community that lives about 5 miles to the east of Santa Barbara. It is situated on hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and Summerland real estate boasts some of the best, most unobstructed views in the area. There are many intimate cafes offering outdoor seating for those wishing to savor a quiet moment. Antique shops are a local landmark. Several bed and breakfasts are located in Summerland. Lookout Point, located on the south side of the freeway, is a grassy knoll suitable for picnics. You can also find a playground, volleyball courts, and walkways to the beach. There is a world class Polo Field nearby, which offers those interested an opportunity to watch a Polo match featuring some of the world's best