Summerland

Explore Summerland and Homes For Sale

Area Description

One of the more iconic communities on the entire California coast, Summerland rises like a knife blade out of the sea, its steep ridge covered in colorful, cute bungalows that stare directly at the ocean. At the bottom of the ridge, along Highway 101, is the commercial corridor of Via Real, where a few restaurants, coffee shops, garden stores, antique shops, and beds and breakfasts serve locals and tourists alike. A quick walk through Lookout Park drops onto the sprawling Summerland Beach, while a two-minute drive down the coast reaches the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club, home to exciting polo matches all summer long.

Area Highlights

The Neighbors

Retired couples, artsy professionals, outdoors lovers, and spiritual seekers, for the community was founded as a religious commune.

Market

Mostly single-family homes of varying shapes, sizes, and prices, almost all on steep streets with ocean views.

Lifestyle

People are visibly relaxed (thanks to waking up to the sounds of the ocean every morning) and yet enthusiastic about the artistic and spiritual side of life.

You'll Love

Burgers at The Nugget (where President Bill Clinton once played the saxophone), a latte at Café Luna, a stroll along Summerland Beach, and antique browsing throughout town.

Perfect For

Retirees, professionals young and old, vacation homeowners, and anyone seeking a small-town beachside vibe.

Around the Area

A small grid of streets that cling to the a seaside ridge overlooking Highway 101 and the Pacific Ocean, Summerland was founded as a community for a religious sect known as Spiritualists in the 1880s. Because of that, the tiny town retains a somewhat mystical vibe and attracts those who are open to the more magical ways of the world. Of course the cute bungalows, small-town setting, and two-minute walk to the beach tend to attract most everyone else, as well, and everything you need can be found along the rather thriving commercial hub of Via Real, which offers everything from coffee shops, restaurants, and antique shops to an eponymous wine tasting room and beloved garden suppliers.

Situated geographically between Montecito and Carpinteria, Summerland shows off the best parts of those two adjacent communities, offering the walkability and beach access of Carp along with the swanky, artsy sentiments of ’Cito’s Coast Village Road — but it wasn’t always that way. From the 1890s until the 1920s, the entire stretch of Summerland’s coast was dominated by oil rigs. Though they are far offshore today, these “crystal ships,” as The Doors’ Jim Morrison called them, are still visible, twinkling somewhat magically at night.

Today, about 1,500 people live in roughly 700 households; about 20 percent are families, and another 20 percent are retired. A great debate would be whether one’s money is better spent on a burger at The Nugget or a glass of pinot noir at Summerland Winery, but all would agree that the polo matches at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club just down the street are worth at least one summer day.

Area Map

Area Listings