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The Santa Barbara lifestyle evokes thoughts of all the finer things in life – incredible luxury homes in exclusive neighborhoods such as Hope Ranch and Montecito, the best in wining and dining, pristine beaches and high end resorts, strolls along the waterfront, world class golf and country clubs, and so much more. Another major part of the Santa Barbara lifestyle is our community’s love of and support of arts and entertainment. From the annual star-studded Santa Barbara International Film Festival to our monthly “1st Thursday” celebrations, it is abundantly clear that Santa Barbara is a city that values and encourages community-driven creativity and artistry.
Santa Barbara’s involvement in the entertainment industry reaches back to the birth of our city. In 1873, the Lobero Theatre was founded, and today it is California’s oldest continuously operating theatre. Originally an opera house, the Lobero would evolve into a venue for artists and performers of many types to showcase their talents in beautiful Santa Barbara. The building itself was rebuilt in the early 1920s and redesigned by the famed architect George Washington Smith and Lutah Maria Riggs in the Spanish Colonial Revival style, making the building itself a part of Santa Barbara’s art history. During this time, the Lobero really developed into a cultural hot spot with headliners such as Bela Lugosi and Sergei Rachmaninoff. In the 1940s, the Lobero continued to attract a wide range of talented artists such as Clark Gable, Igor Stravinsky, and Ingrid Bergman. The late 1940s marked the beginning of the Lobero’s jazz history – the theatre would go on to host jazz legends such as Dave Brubeck, Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie, and many others. Today, the Lobero continues to host a wide variety of world class performers, and is hailed as one of DownBeat Magazine’s Best Jazz Venues. (Click here for the Lobero’s current lineup.)
Santa Barbara is a perfect stop between Los Angeles and San Francisco for performers traveling between these major centers of the entertainment industry, and Santa Barbara residents enjoy the luxury of the finest offerings in entertainment without the hustle and bustle of living in a major urban center. We hope to share our love of arts and entertainment with you on your next trip to Santa Barbara!
Santa Barbara is beautiful in so many ways. For one, our city on the coast is home to some of the finest luxury real estate in the world, with homes in exclusive neighborhoods such as Hope Ranch and Montecito that show truly inspired design and architecture. However, Santa Barbara possesses great natural beauty independent of these stunning luxury homes. Nestled in between the towering, verdant mountains which slope into gentle foothills and the sparkling Pacific Ocean, Santa Barbara has earned the nickname of “the American Riviera.” In addition, Santa Barbara’s ideal Mediterranean climate makes it easy to enjoy the outdoors any time of year. This summer, we have hosted a variety of outdoor events and extravagant festivals such as the Summer Solstice celebration and Old Spanish Days Fiesta. We also enjoy a number of smaller scale events that occur throughout the season to bring the community together and make it easy to take advantage of the wonderful weather and fantastic vistas.
No trip to Santa Barbara is complete without a visit to the waterfront, and weekends along the coastline never fail to please! Few things are as enjoyable as strolling down Cabrillo Boulevard during a summer sunset with music floating through the fresh seaside air. On Thursdays at Chase Palm Park, locals and visitors alike gather under the tall palms to listen to live music. Each concert brings its own special flavor to the waterfront, with performances ranging in style from Latin to Oldies to Beatles tribute bands. On Fridays, head to Stearns Wharf to catch a movie above the water and under the stars. On Sundays, take part in a treasured Santa Barbara tradition by visiting the Art Walk at the base of Stearns Wharf. Here, you can stroll along the beachfront to view and purchase paintings, sculptures, crafts, and many more varieties of handcrafted artwork in support of local artists.
There's something wonderful to do in Santa Barbara every day, whether you're searching for luxury homes and real estate with us, attending the many events, festivals, and celebrations that our city offers or simply taking in the natural beauty of the Riviera landscape. We hope you'll be able to join us in your search for the best in Santa Barbara homes and real estate in our coastal paradise!
It’s that time of year again – Spring Break! Many vacationers take off to exotic locations, only to find themselves in the middle of a bustling crowd of tourists who all had the same idea. Santa Barbara, on the other hand, offers all the amenities, sights, and opportunities for enjoying the luxury lifestyle in a relaxed, refined environment. Here are some of the top reasons Santa Barbara is the ideal Spring Break destination…
Our Beautiful Beaches
Butterfly Beach Butterfly Beach is located in the prestigious neighborhood of Montecito, an exclusive community of incredible luxury real estate and beachfront properties. One of Santa Barbara’s best kept secrets, Butterfly Beach is peaceful and rarely crowded, making it a favorite among local celebrities.
East Beach Situated along Cabrillo Blvd., which stretches along the entire waterfront downtown, East Beach is a larger, more popular choice among residents and visitors. This beach is a wonderful destination for a fun-filled afternoon of Frisbee or playing volleyball on any of the numerous, free to use volleyball courts.
Leadbetter Beach Leadbetter Beach is located on the opposite end of Cabrillo Blvd., west of downtown Santa Barbara. Its picnic tables and proximity to the harbor and the downtown area make this another popular beach. The gentle surf at Leadbetter beach is perfect for beginning surfers, windsurfers, and sailboats.
Goleta Beach About 15 minutes north of downtown Santa Barbara, Goleta Beach is a great option for avoiding the downtown crowds. Here, you can enjoy a grassy picnic area, horseshoe pits, a volleyball court, and a walk down the pier. Goleta Beach is surrounded by preserved wetlands, making it an excellent destination for bird-watchers and wildlife enthusiasts.
Wine making (and tasting!) in Santa Barbara is deeply tied into the local history. Even before California was a state, Father Junipero Serra planted vine cuttings near the mission. By the turn of the 20th century, Santa Barbara County was home to 45 vineyards covering 260 acres of land. Today, the Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Association boasts a membership of over 100 wineries and more than 20 vineyards spanning over 17,000 acres! The most popular varietals in the area are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Syrah.
In the heart of Santa Barbara lies the Urban Wine Trail, a collection of fine wineries surrounding the downtown area. This group of wineries is a great option for enjoying our world-class wines while experiencing the downtown area, including the beachfront! For a more pastoral getaway, head up to the nearby Santa Ynez Valley. Here, the verdant landscape is spotted with expansive vineyards and wineries which highlight the world-renowned wines of Santa Barbara County. Another feature that makes Santa Barbara’s wineries special is that many are owned and operated by families or individuals, allowing for a more personalized, intimate experience with the added benefit of supporting the local economy and small businesses. (Click here to view an extensive list of wineries in the area.)
Our Resplendent Resorts
The Biltmore The Four Seasons Biltmore in upscale Montecito is situated alongside Butterfly Beach. This resort seamlessly combines Old World charm with modern luxury. Built in 1927 and remodeled beginning in 2001, this resort features remarkable Spanish Colonial Revival architecture and gardens with a lush array of both local and exotic vegetation – a perfect complement to a stroll among the cabanas. Another beautiful feature is the outdoor pool. The pool’s surface is crusted with smooth abalone shells and music is piped from speakers under the water for a unique swimming experience.
The Bacara The Bacara Resort and Spa in Goleta, just north of downtown Santa Barbara, is truly a world-class luxury vacation spot. With direct access to a 2 mile stretch of beach, small groups of rooms along gently winding paths, and incredible views no matter which room you choose, this resort provides the experience of an intimate Mediterranean getaway without the hassle of international travel. The Bacara is also near a number of hiking trails ranging in difficulty from beginner to advanced athlete, allowing guests to enjoy Santa Barbara’s ideal climate and learn about the beautiful variety of local plants and wildlife.
Fess Parker Doubletree The Fess Parker Doubletree resort is located just across the way from East Beach and Chase Palm Park upon an expansive, lush lawn with tall palms scattered about. From the luxurious rooms, guests enjoy spectacular ocean, mountain, and garden views. The resort offers plenty of activities to help you make the most of your visit – spend a relaxing day in Spa Del Mar being pampered from head to toe, enjoy a variety of salon services to look your best at Salon Del Mar, or rent a bike from the on-site kiosk for a ride along the bike paths that stretch along the entire waterfront.
Come relax in Santa Barbara this Spring Break, and experience the luxury lifestyle that residents enjoy year-round!
Although there are many beaches sprinkled along the Santa Barbara coast, Montecito’s stunning Butterfly Beach stands out among the rest. This local treasure is nestled in Montecito, an exclusive community of incredible luxury real estate and beachfront properties. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Santa Barbara, this beach is a favorite among locals. One of the reasons it is so special, is witnessing the annual mating of the Monarch butterfly. Taking place every spring, the sole existence of the butterfly is to mate. Then, they fade to dust seven to ten days later. It is said that the clusters of buzzing butterflies are so robust, that they appear as thick as tree trunks. Butterfly Beach is one of the few west facing beaches in the Santa Barbara area, making it an ideal place to relax on the warm sand, watch surfers work the break or enjoy a colorful sunset. From the beachfront, you can see Stearn’s Wharf in the distance, which marks the end of State Street. Miles of coastline stretches out along the horizon, offering Santa Barbara’s unique Riviera views with spectacular, purple colored mountains and the Pacific Ocean in one sweeping, dramatic landscape.
Just a stone’s throw from the beachfront itself is the world renowned Four Seasons Biltmore located on Channel Drive. Built in 1927 and remodeled beginning in 2001, this resort features remarkable Spanish Colonial Revival architecture and gardens with a lush array of both local and exotic vegetation – perfect for complementing a stroll among the cabanas. Another beautiful feature is the outdoor pool. The pool’s surface is crusted with smooth abalone shells and music is piped from speakers under the water for a unique swimming experience.
If you’re feeling a bit peckish, be sure to check out all of the Biltmore’s luxury dining options. Enjoy five-star dining at Bella Vista which serves excellent organic, Italian-inspired California coastal cuisine. Watch the dolphins play in the Pacific while sitting on a marble-tiled terrace with stunning views of the water. The Ty Lounge serves a delectable selection of specialty drinks and classic cocktails and features a huge stone fireplace with couch seating. If you are a Resort guest or a member of the club, be sure not to miss the chance to dine at the resort’s legendary Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club’s Coral Café and Bar for casual poolside dining with gorgeous 180 degree oceanfront, island and coastal views. Also available to Resort guests and members is Tydes, cleverly named after local philanthropist and owner of the Resort, Ty Warner (famous for the creation of Beanie Babies and sponsor of the Ty Warner Sea Center).
Butterfly Beach and the famous Four Seasons Biltmore are absolutely must-see destinations for experiencing the luxury lifestyle of Montecito and positively ideal for taking a break from the excitement and crowds of downtown Santa Barbara. Escape from the ordinary and visit today!
Courtesy of Sterling Properties & Estates
Over the past few weeks, many of us at Sterling Properties have had the pleasure of enjoying the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (January 26th through February 5th, 2012). This annual gala celebrates and honors the best films of the year as well as the actors, writers, and scores of other professionals involved in the process. With a unique combination of high profile celebrity guests alongside the strong local presence, the festival draws a crowd of over 70,000 each year.
Santa Barbara was gleaming with a star-studded crowd, with over 23 Academy Award nominees in attendance. A number of celebrities already enjoy Santa Barbara’s luxury real estate opportunities, such as Oprah, who resides in the exclusive community of Montecito and Rob Lowe, who enjoys a main home as well as a cozy beachfront property in Santa Barbara. The prestigious film festival draws even more stars to our beautiful town during its two weeks of exclusive screenings, awards, symposiums, and tributes. Some of this year’s exclusive guests included Martin Scorsese, Diane Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Plummer, Viola Davis, and Rooney Mara.
The festival’s main hub is situated on historic State Street in Downtown Santa Barbara, lined with many theaters and arts & entertainment venues conveniently within walking distance of each other. Santa Barbara’s signature Spanish-inspired architecture makes exploring the one-of-a-kind locally owned boutiques, fantastic restaurants, and theatres between screenings feel like a miniature Mediterranean vacation- we highly recommend the Red Tile Walking Tour, which will guide you through our favorite landmarks. Many of the festival’s premieres and ceremonies are held at the Arlington Theatre, notable for its stunning interior (complete with a star-sprinkled ceiling) and dramatic architecture.
In addition to everything film-related, there were numerous other events held in conjunction with the festival highlighting the varied and unique culture of Santa Barbara. Film Feast participants featured the best gastronomical delights our town has to offer, with ample opportunity to enjoy our incredibly fresh seafood and renowned local wineries.
The 27th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival certainly didn’t disappoint. We can’t wait to see what (and who!) next year’s festivities will bring!
Diana Bull of Sterling Properties and Rebecca Riskin of Villagge Properties, both Luxury Real Estate members, are mentioned in this article on the Napa Consultants, International blog Language of Luxury.
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