Page 12 - The Montecito Journal Magazine Winter Spring 2008

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spr ing
ucked between the mountains and the sea and boasting a
near-perfect year-round climate, Montecito has become one
of, if not the most exclusive and attractive communities in the
world. Home prices begin at nearly $2 million and go up to
$45 million and more. Along with a coterie of movie stars and celebrated
authors, some dozen billionaires either call Montecito home or maintain
second homes here.
Readers unfamiliar with our spectacular little village should find the
following information both illuminating and helpful; for residents, let it
serve as a reminder of how fortunate they, and we, are to live here:
There are two distinct commercial areas of Montecito: the upper village
and Coast Village Road. In the upper village, a small shopping area
between San Ysidro Road and Santa Angela Lane features a hardware
store, grocery store, post office, gas station, stationery store, bookshop,
three banks, a frame & art store, photo shop, two jewelry shops, hair
salons & fragrance shops, a brokerage firm, drugstore, coffee shop, deli,
real estate offices, antiques, architects, dry cleaners, cheese shop, clothing
& houseware boutiques, and three (yes,
) Italian restaurants. The
Montecito Village Shopping Center is indeed the hub of this unique
Coast Village Road has a myriad of restaurants, real estate offices, banks,
boutiques, delis, hotels, motels, art galleries, video stores, pizza parlors,
banks, jewelry stores, exercise salons, ice cream & gelato shops, and more.
It is often compared to Rodeo Drive, although it is far more laid back;
the number of clothing and accessory shops along Coast Village Road are
limited and none are as ostentatious as their Beverly Hills counterparts.
Montecito’s two public elementary schools (rated among the best
in the State of California) are joined by five private schools and a
1,200-student highly ranked liberal arts college. Two public parks, a
public tennis court, and a family-oriented YMCA also benefit Montecito
homeowners and residents. Architects connected with Montecito
range from George Washington Smith and his associate Lutah Riggs,
to Carleton Winslow, Sanford White, Reginald Johnson, Bertram
Goodhue, Frank Lloyd Wright, Julia Morgan, and many others of equal
There are three private golf courses in Montecito: Birnam Wood
(designed by Robert Trent Jones), The Valley Club (designed by Alister
Mackenzie, co-creator of Augusta National, site of the Masters), and
Montecito Country Club (landscape architect Max Behr’s original design
is about to be altered by Jack Nicklaus). The Knowlwood Tennis Club and
Coral Casino offer both swim and tennis clubs for their members. The
fabled oceanfront Biltmore Hotel is now the Four Seasons Biltmore and
is one of the few five-star establishments in California. One day, in the
not too distant future, developer Rick Caruso will revive the oceanfront
Miramar Hotel & Resort.
Tourist facilities and diversions are limited: one can spend the day at
Butterfly Beach or go off hiking and/or horseback riding in the back
country, but many visitors enjoy the simpler pleasure of dining in one of
the many restaurants and coffeehouses along Coast Village Road or in the
upper village and taking leisurely strolls to the ocean afterwards. Most
of Montecito’s storied activities take place, however, in private mansions
behind tall hedges and up long driveways.
Whether you are staying at one of Montecito’s hotels or motels or with
friends in a modest cottage or grand estate,
Montecito Journal
would like
to offer you a friendly “Welcome to Montecito!” To permanent residents
and regular readers of our weekly, we welcome you to
, a supplement
Montecito Journal
that will be delivered to homes in Montecito as well
as locations in Ventura, Ojai, Santa Ynez Valley, Los Angeles, Brentwood,
Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Orange County, and elsewhere. You can
expect to find it too in better hotels and resorts in the Santa Barbara and
Central Coast region.
Tim Buckley
Publisher’s Note