Explore Santa Barbara with Maureen McDermut
World renowned as the "American Riviera," a reputation buoyed by its attractive Mediterranean climate and upscale, laid-back lifestyle, Santa Barbara offers the gold standard of California living. Approximately 90 minutes up the coast from Los Angeles, the city offers a peaceful home for crowd-weary Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego residents, in addition to travelers and part-time residents from all over the world.
The city enjoys 250 days of sun each year, delivering months of warm days that contrast pleasantly with the area’s cool nights. The Santa Ynez Mountains and its miles of hiking trails, recreational activities and variegated pink and purple sandstone color, offer an appealing backdrop to the city, which is nestled along their base. The Pacific Ocean, and the nearby Channel Islands, glitters a deep blue and green in the distance as the city’s front yard.
Santa Barbara offers world-class culture. The city has its own symphony orchestra, in addition to ballet and theater troupes, historical and art museums, and public and private universities and colleges. Residents and visitors enjoy year-round golf, tennis, hiking, bicycling, swimming, sailing and surfing, in addition to a nearly endless selection of shopping, art galleries and restaurants.
The city hosts a number of festivals celebrate throughout the year that celebrate Santa Barbara’s vivid, internationally-influenced lifestyle including the week-long “Old Spanish Days” Fiesta each August, the Summer Solstice Celebration, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and the I Madonnari festival.
The area is renowned for its educational institutions including award-winning public grade schools to exclusive K-12 private schools. Santa Barbara is also home to a suite of respected higher education campuses including a branch of the University of California, a four-year Christian college in Westmont, Santa Barbara City College, the internationally-acclaimed Brooks Institute of Photography and the Fielding and Pacifica Graduate Institute.
Whether you are looking for a condominium, modest family home or world-class estate in a style from Mediterranean to Modernist to Cape Cod to Classical, Santa Barbara offers buyers a wide range of real estate choices. See some of its standout homes currently on the market below.