Welcome to Montecito

If the Santa Barbara area were an oyster, Montecito would be the pearl. Adjacent to the city of Santa Barbara and nestled between beautiful beaches and the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains, Montecito is an affluent 8-square-mile enclave of stylish homes, world-class estates, and a pair of distinctive shopping, dining and gallery districts. As one of the most prestigious communities in the United States, it is home to approximately 10,000 permanent residents, and home away from home to many more. 

A History of Affluence

Montecito’s appeal to the rich and famous began in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. With the advent of Southern Pacific train service to Santa Barbara (link to Santa Barbara page) just after the turn of the century, East Coast industrialists, land barons, and other wealthy travelers discovered the hospitable year-round Mediterranean climate, hot springs, and inviting beaches Montecito offered. Over the years, luxurious and extravagant homes on large estates were designed by noted architects such as George Washington Smith, Carlton Winslow, Lutah Maria Riggs and others.

Montecito Real Estate in the 21st Century

Although a few of those original mansions remain and have been meticulously restored, cared for and received historic designation, for the most part, residential Montecito real estate has evolved to accommodate contemporary practicality and design trends. Large estates of twenty or more acres often have been divided into smaller parcels – primarily of one to five acres each. Spacious homes of 5-25 thousand square feet are common and accommodate full-time owners as well as part-time residents who frequent a 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th home here. Architectural styles range from Mediterranean and Modernist, to French and English country. There are also more modest homes in the community. Overall, Montecito real estate prices vary greatly: from just under $3 million, to $20 million and more.

A Wealth of Amenities 

Although Montecito remains an unincorporated area of Santa Barbara, it is a self-contained community, with its own fire department, planning commission and other municipal services. The finest education is paramount here, with prestigious and highly rated public and private schools, including Westmont College. Leisure time is highly valued in Montecito as well. The community hosts two public parks, three private golf courses and a private tennis club. The two charming commercial hubs – Upper Village and Lower Village (Coast Village Road) – offer distinctive shops, boutiques, galleries, and a variety of restaurants and cafés. Visitors enjoy Montecito’s Michelin-rated hotels such as the San Ysidro Ranch and Rosewood Miramar Beach.

From Brunch to Dinner

Bella Vista at the Biltmore Four Seasons
Jeannine's Bakery & Restaurant
Los Arroyos 
Lucky's Steakhouse
Renaud's Bakery & Bistro
Sakana Sushi Bar
Stella Mare's
Stonehouse Restaurant
Tre Lune
The Honor Bar




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