Just east of Santa Barbara rests the tiny coastal town, Summerland, nestled in between Montecito and Carpinteria, located on a hillside facing the ocean and islands. Quiet, relaxed and full of local charm and warmth, Summerland attracts a sophisticated crowd with its plethora of antique shops, art galleries and small businesses. Of these small businesses it includes plenty of bed and breakfasts, hotel accommodations and restaurants, such as Summerland Beach Café and Café Luna, to draw in tourists looking for a tranquil beachside getaway.
Henry Lafayette Williams, a Spiritualist, purchased the land in 1883 and sold the lots to his fellow Spiritualists. In 1889, the town was named “Summerland” which was the name of the Spiritualists’ heaven. In 1890 the town experienced an expansion of wealth when a large amount of natural gas was uncovered, eventually leading to the discovery of oil in 1894 by way of water well. Summerland had the world’s first offshore oil well, but no longer pumps oil after being shut down in the 1990s.
Many of the residents of this area either stay local or commute to Santa Barbara from Summerland, which is only minutes away. Homes in this area include estates, homes and condos that have been renovated, expanded or kept original to the 1960s surfers paradise.
Homes in this area range from $700,000 to $5 million. Oceanfront properties and larger estates are priced at $1.4 million and up.
*Painting by Chris Potter*