Downtown Santa Barbara

Explore Downtown Santa Barbara and Homes For Sale

Area Description

Santa Barbara sizzles with a unique mix of big-city cosmopolitanism and small-town hospitality, and downtown is the epicenter of this culture, where you can eat at a world-class restaurant, walk a few minutes to catch the opera or a rock concert, and see 10 of your best friends along the way. The city offers the widest array of housing options, from mansions on the Upper Eastside to modest single-family homes and affordable condos, all within a 15-minute walk of good food, great entertainment, historic landmarks, and a vast mix of retail shopping options.

Area Highlights

The Neighbors

You name it. Young professionals, families of all sorts and sizes, long-time residents, students just passing through, old money and new money, rich and poor.


Varies widely, from entry-level condos to multimillion-dollar mansions, with a smattering of single-family homes or duplex opportunities in between.


All the urban offerings of a bigger city but on a much more walkable scale, all set against one of the more picturesque settings on the planet.

You’ll Love

World-class restaurants, theaters, and retail shops, all within a 15-minute walk of the beach.

Perfect For

Young professionals, families, retirees, and anyone who wants the action of a big city but without the traffic, pollution, and other headaches.

Around the Area

When the Spanish colonists arrived to establish the Santa Barbara Mission and Presidio in the late 1700s, they found the Chumash people enjoying one of the West Coast’s most thriving native economies and cultures. Santa Barbara quickly became one of New Spain’s most important cities, and the unique mix of Spanish, Mexican, and Yankee cultures gave rise to the Californio lifestyle. As such, a reverence for a shared history that is unrivaled by other West Coast towns runs through the soul of Santa Barbara, where the traditions and styles of yesteryear are beloved.

The city would have probably become just another Southern California beach town with traditional Craftsman and Victorian architecture were it not for the earthquake of 1925. With much of the town decimated, civic leaders decided to rebuild with a Spanish Colonial theme, giving rise to the whitewashed adobe walls and red-tiled roofs that have become Santa Barbara’s calling card. Today, millions of tourists visit each year to get a taste of life on the American Riviera, and nearly 100,000 people are lucky enough to call the City of Santa Barbara home.

The bulk of residents live on the grid of streets that make up downtown Santa Barbara, which runs roughly from the Mission down to the waterfront, cradled by the Eastside and Westside neighborhoods, and with the Mesa and Riviera districts rising higher in elevation on the edges. Home to an eclectic array of restaurants and bars, numerous theaters and performing-arts venues of all sizes, and a lively energy usually reserved for cities 10 times the size, downtown Santa Barbara forms the heart of coastal California culture, a place where cultural sophistication meets small-town life.

Given the iconic setting and history as a gathering place for the Chumash, Spanish, and Yankee settlers, it’s no wonder that Santa Barbara is home to so many annual parties. There’s the vividly colorful Solstice Parade every June; the five dancing, eating, and drinking days and nights of Old Spanish Days Fiesta each August; and a major civic event nearly every month, from the renowned Santa Barbara International Film Festival in February to Earth Day in April to the holiday parades on land and sea in December.

Santa Barbara also boasts the best weather on the planet, never getting much hotter than 85 degrees and never much cooler than 65. Because of that, the city attracts people involved in active, healthy lifestyles, so expect to see countless joggers, bicycle riders, and other outdoor sports enthusiasts throughout the region. It’s also a hotbed for the farm-to-table movement, and many residents strive to live as sustainable, local, and organic a life as possible, made easy by multiple Farmers Markets weekly. Being surrounded by an amazing wine country and lively agricultural community doesn’t hurt either.

Area Map

Area Listings