Welcome to Montecito
Just a five-minute drive from Santa Barbara’s State Street, and less than 90 minutes away from Los Angeles, is one of the most idyllic towns in California to remain under the radar. Montecito is an exclusive community that is both chic in style and peaceful in atmosphere, with a mellow vibe and natural beauty that penetrates the soul. With its consistently reliable Mediterranean climate, the town is kissed by both ocean and hillside and is often compared to the south of France and the Tuscany region of Italy—with year-round sunshine, tree-shaded lanes, picturesque scenery, ample open space, tranquil atmosphere, and an Old World charm that is divided between the quaint streets of Montecito’s Upper and Lower Villages. However, its location is the primary reason why Montecito is both a haven to those seeking a private life of luxury in glorious isolation and a magnet for Hollywood royalty seeking a second-home.
Accessible by way of State Route 192 and the U.S. 101 Freeway, the Montecito region of Santa Barbara County is also accessible by plane, train, and bus connections—with the Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District serving as its primary in-town bus service. Montecito is tucked between the natural boundaries of the coast and the Santa Ynez Mountain Range, which leaves little room for urban sprawl—but contributes to high, sustainable property values spread across a thriving community. Luxury real estate and architectural styles vary, with a little something for every taste—ranging from grand Mediterranean and oceanfront estates to stunning ranch-style homes and charming storybook California cottages that take advantage of the surrounding natural beauty.
What to Love
Private, safe, idyllic neighborhoods
Picturesque landscape, natural beauty, and effortlessly chic villages
Old World charm and unassuming prestige
Ideal location with easy access, yet secluded from urban sprawl
People & Lifestyle
Montecito’s lifestyle is one of leisure made effortlessly chic, where celebrity isn’t celebrated as much as it is simply integrated into the unassuming and intimate vibe of the community. Residents are welcoming and easygoing since the area is one where people of note can live in peace as regular folks amongst other folks regardless of net value. Attractive to both families and empty-nesters, its quaint, easygoing community spirit has drawn cultural icons like Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Steve Martin, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus to call the area home.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
in Montecito’s Lower Village is a classic steakhouse and, quite frankly, one of the best restaurant and bar scenes in Montecito—touches of Old Hollywood glamor elevates it beyond upscale into the realm of iconic. Garnering rave reviews since opening in 2000, Lucky’s serves a variety of meats—aged and cut to perfection—along with divine seafood selections. Each dish is prepared with impeccable taste and in-house ingredients, and guests can dine in a stylish interior room graced by black-and-white photos of classic film stars or along a charming outdoor patio.
At , simple Italian classics are transformed into delicious cuisine that is both thoughtful in authenticity and unafraid of flavor. A Montecito culinary landmark, Tre Lune offers an extensive, traditionally seasonal menu distinguished by flavor profile influences that honor various regions of Italy—a priority that also extends to the restaurant’s incredible wine list. The atmosphere conjures the essence of Italy, with an old-school, festive dining hall set within a charming two-story building in Montecito’s Lower Village.
Pierre Lafond established the Montecito Market in Montecito’s Upper Village in 1964, setting the region’s pace for high-end grocery and specialty items with the . It is equal parts urbane bakery and deli, gift and gourmet food boutique, exquisite coffee bar, and classy wine bistro, and has become a popular meeting spot for Montecito residents to catch up with their neighbors.
is a contemporary multi-label clothing and lifestyle boutique, owned and operated by celebrity entrepreneur Marcus Lemonis and his wife Bobbi. One of several luxe, curated shops founded by this power couple, Marcus in Montecito is a one-stop-shop balanced to perfection with handpicked bestseller items and up-and-coming labels—along with a staff of experienced styling professionals who help customers define and refine their own unique look.
is a gift-buyer and self-pamperer’s paradise where climate, natural beauty, and style meld into an imaginative shopping experience. Located above the Pierre Lafond Market & Deli, this store defines the lifestyle of Montecito with hidden treasures and key finds set along open spaces, amongst elegant displays, and a beautiful outdoor patio with bubbling fountains and plants and the Santa Barbara Mountains as a backdrop. There’s a little something for everyone—fragrant candles, luxurious blankets, silken robes, children’s toys, stationery, handbags, and shining tableware are just a few of the many finds here.
Things to Do
is a whimsical universe of rare and unusual blooms and blossoms, planted and
maintained within a botanical haven created by famed heiress and opera singer Ganna Walska. With a collection of over 3,000 plants, there is no other garden like it in the world. Tours are available to let guests discover the botanical magic residing within this 37-acre masterpiece.
For well over a century, has been a romantic destination treasure for both celebrities and regular folks alike—Sir Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh were married in the ranch’s lush gardens, and the Kennedys (John F. and Jackie) honeymooned here. The hotel is a combination of suites and cottages that are ideal for private moments and intimate gatherings, with two on-site restaurants serving world-class cuisine.
Unlike most of Santa Barbara’s south-facing beaches, in Montecito looks west— making it one of the few beaches in California where one can watch the sunset instead of the sunrise. This sparkling swath of white sand is perfect for a romantic stroll in the relaxing ocean breeze, with a rock wall lining the upper part of the beach that is perfect for relaxing while taking in the views.
Just across the street from Butterfly Beach, the marries the romantic atmosphere of its pristine, white sand neighboring beach with posh amenities and a level of hospitality that treats every guest like royalty. Packages allow guests to train with decorated athletes or create vino blends with celebrated winemakers. The resort is lush and scenic, with access to the exclusive restaurant at your fingertips.
is 16 acres of exclusive heaven set along the beautiful Southern California coastline, with a captivating estate-style atmosphere and fine leisure amenities. This posh hotel sits next to Miramar Beach and is a short distance from the famed Stearns Wharf. The rooms are elegant and airy, with furnished terraces and balconies, ocean views, cozy fireplaces, and relaxing, free-standing tubs. Along with its oceanfront restaurant, plush bar, spa, outdoor pools, and a ritzy piano lounge, Rosewood Miramar is an oasis within the oasis of Montecito.
Montecito is zoned within the Montecito Union School District. Highlights include:
Montecito Union Elementary, Public, K-6
Cold Spring Elementary, Public, K-6
Laguna Blanca School (Lower Campus), Private, K-4
Crane Country Day School, Private, K-8
Cate School, Independent, 9-12