Explore Riviera and Homes For Sale

Area Description

Rising out of Santa Barbara’s Eastside is this neighborhood that gives the region its “American Riviera” tagline. An undulating series of ridges covered in houses with the best views in the world, the Riviera is almost entirely residential, save for the legendary, and recently remodeled, El Encanto hotel and restaurant and the office complex that surrounds the Riviera Theatre. Because of the city and ocean views, the properties tend to be costly and rise in price with their elevation, but a number of houses requiring TLC hit the market each year and can spell a great deal.

Area Highlights

The Neighbors

Successful professionals, retired couples, and those willing to pay extra money for outstanding views.


Single-family homes, often with grannie units, usually with views from the deck that go forever.


For those who love looking at the twinkling lights of a cityscape but don’t necessarily want to live in the heart of it.

You'll Love

Watching fireworks on the Fourth of July, enjoying the sunset from Franceschi Park, sipping a martini at the El Encanto bar, and grubbing on excellent Mexican food just down the hill on Milpas Street.

Perfect For

Those who appreciate the value of views over lot size.

Around the Area

Rising out of Santa Barbara’s flatter Eastside neighborhood, the Riviera is a mostly residential ridge that stretches from the Santa Barbara Mission down to Sycamore Canyon. There is one commercial hub, home to an office park, the Riviera Theatre, and the legendary and recently remodeled El Encanto hotel and restaurant. Once Santa Barbara’s streetcar held tightly to cables that ran the length of Alameda Padre Serra, and there are still many tiny stairways that connect this neighborhood.

The view is the Riviera’s main attraction, and most homes feature a deck that overlooks the Channel Islands, Pacific Ocean, and cityscape of Santa Barbara, from the shoreline all the way to Hope Ranch. Property lots tend to be tight and steep, but the homes are designed — some by world-class architects — to emphasize the views. The prices tend to get higher as you climb in elevation, yet there are a number of fixer-upper properties that hit the market annually and could be amazing opportunities to remodel into dream homes.

There are a number of pocket parks to enjoy the sunset, and everything one needs can be found just down the hill along Milpas Street on Santa Barbara’s Eastside, from countless taco shops and numerous grocery stores to wine tasting rooms and art galleries. The beach, Montecito’s Coast Village Road, and Santa Barbara’s State Street are just a few minutes further away, making the Riviera one of the most convenient yet iconic places to live in the region.

Area Map

Area Listings