Welcome to Montecito
Stunning, rural coastal community with A-list homeowners
Montecito is a rural Santa Barbara County community nestled between the Santa Ynez Mountains and a gorgeous stretch of sandy coastline to the east of the city of Santa Barbara. Known as a celebrity enclave, many of the community’s luxury estates are owned by A-list superstars. Numerous upscale hotels provide first-class options for dining and lodging, while Upper and Lower Montecito Villages boast outstanding boutique shopping and restaurants. Montecito’s attractions include glorious beaches, boating harbors, and scenic trails for hiking and horseback riding through the majestic surrounding mountains.
Montecito real estate consists of masterpiece estates showcasing spectacular architecture and landscaping. Each property here is a unique work of art with attention lavished on every interior and exterior detail. The range of bespoke luxury amenities and custom design details these homes offer is endless. Montecito’s grandest residences sprawl across acreage lots and tout valuations of tens of millions of dollars.
What to Love
- Stunning natural scenery
- Magnificent estates
- Sublime places to shop and dine
- One of California’s best school districts
People & Lifestyle
Montecito’s stunning natural scenery, refined amenities, and private, small-town atmosphere have made it a popular destination for celebrities. Homeowners in Montecito include Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rob Lowe, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Ariana Grande. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle brought this quiet town international fame when the royal couple moved into a $15 million Montecito chateau in July 2020. Montecito was already well known among Hollywood royalty long before this. A century earlier, Charlie Chaplin declared Montecito the “cream of the coast” as he established the chic Montecito Inn, and other luxurious hotels followed. Montecito soon boasted first-class amenities on par with its breathtaking natural beauty. Montecito’s 9,000 residents enjoy an incredible lifestyle on one of the most captivating stretches of California’s Pacific coast.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
Montecito’s Upper and Lower villages provide a plethora of sublime places to shop and dine. Upper Montecito Village features restaurants, boutiques, and antique shops housed in cute coastal cottages. Montecito Gourmet by Village Cheese and Wine is a longtime local favorite combining a butcher-style deli with a fine selection of wines and cheeses. Other Upper Village highlights include Via Vai for thin-crust pizzas and homestyle Italian cooking, The Montecito Coffee Shop for classic American breakfast and lunch plates, and Pierre Lafond Wine Bistro for organic farm-to-table fare paired with local wines.
Lower Montecito Village is home to most of the town’s hotels, plus many upscale restaurants and trendy boutiques. Coast Village Road is at the center of everything in Lower Montecito Village. Here, you’ll find more than a dozen stylish clothing stores alongside eateries such as elevated pizzeria Bettina, inventive French-Californian culinary hotspot Coast & Olive, sophisticated steakhouse Lucky’s, and artisanal bakery Bree’osh.
The new Rosewood Miramar Hotel boasts six bars and restaurants in a captivating oceanfront setting. The Rosewood’s dining and drinks options include Caruso’s for exquisite Southern Italian cuisine paired with international wines and craft cocktails, The Revere Room for ultra-fresh, locally sourced fare, The Manor Bar for exceptional wines and cocktails, and the relaxed Miramar Beach Bar for refreshing cocktails and unobstructed ocean views.
In Montecito’s leafy Santa Ynez foothills, the historic San Ysidro Ranch hotel features a rejuvenating salon and spa alongside several award-winning restaurants. John and Jackie Kennedy honeymooned in a cottage at San Ysidro Ranch. Other legendary guests have included Winston Churchill, Groucho Marx, Sinclair Lewis, and John Huston. The San Ysidro Ranch’s Stonehouse serves outstanding regional cuisine in a charming space with an ocean-view terrace and a lounge heated by a roaring fireplace. Plow & Angel’s menu of elevated comfort cooking includes classics like baby-back ribs served in a space decorated with stained glass windows and original artworks.
Things to Do
Miramar Beach stretches along the oceanfront in front of the Rosewood Miramar Hotel. Follow this sandy beach to the west to explore tidepools along the way to the famous surf break at Hammonds Beach. Secluded Butterfly Beach is a dog-friendly sandy stretch that is known for its mesmerizing sunset views.
Just beyond Montecito’s western boundary with Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Harbor is an outstanding destination for boating and waterfront dining. Here, 15 trails traverse the mountains surrounding Montecito, providing hikers with sweeping views over the city of Santa Barbara and the islands dotting the Santa Barbara Channel. The exclusive Montecito Club originally opened in 1918 and reopened, following a $119 million renovation, a century later in 2019. This hillside country club’s world-class amenities include a Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course. Many of Montecito’s stunning homes boast private, resort-style amenities, including tennis courts, polo fields, and other equestrian facilities.
Montecito is served by the Montecito Union and Cold Spring Elementary school districts, both of which are ranked among the very best public school districts in California.
- Cold Spring Elementary School, Public, K-6.
- Montecito Union Elementary School, Public, K-6.