Santa Barbara has a diverse range of suburbs, neighborhoods, cities, and places to call home. Whether you’re a surfer, a hiker, or a connoisseur of all things food and wine — Santa Barbara offers a little something for everyone.
Its year-round sunshine and beautiful climate make it one of California’s top destinations. Between its beautiful wine country, art galleries, and world-renowned restaurants, it’s easy to see why so many people try living in this unique location. If you’re considering a move to the Santa Barbara suburbs, you’re most likely curious about what they have to offer.
From Carpinteria to Montecito, San Roque and Summerland — we’re breaking down everything you need to know about Santa Barbara’s most popular areas. From places to eat, explore, and shop, here’s what you can expect when choosing to find your dream home in these Santa Barbara locations. If you’re interested in this home or other real estate in the area, contact our Santa Barbara REALTORS® .
Carpinteria is a charming and quaint city, filled with restaurants, shopping, and a community-vibe perfect for families. It’s home to Carpinteria State Beach and a popular main street, Linden, that is great for strolling on a sunny afternoon.
The Worker Bee Cafe
This cozy cafe is a popular spot for breakfast omelets and shakes. There’s a pet-friendly patio so feel free to bring your pups while you enjoy your meal.
For an Italian spot that serves up Tuscan specialties, this warm restaurant is a good option for a date night out or a special family gathering.
In addition to couches and a cool patio, Corktree Cellars is also known around Carpinteria for their wine tasting and small plates.
Carpinteria Bluff’s Nature Preserve
For camping, hiking, and swimming, this nature preserve is the place to be. There are scenic bluffs fit for picnics and plenty of places to see the seals.
Carpinteria Valley Museum
This museum focuses on the local area’s past — everything from Native American artifacts to a variety of Victorian antiques.
Tar Pits Park
A unique spot filled with rare natural asphalt lakes, Tar Pits Park is home to ocean views and scenic trails for hikes and walks.
Murphy’s Vinyl Shop
If you have an interest in music, this cool storefront on Carpinteria Avenue is home to everything from vinyl to memorabilia to gifts and posters.
Seaside Makers Collective
For bath, body, and home, the Seaside Makers Collective is a fun place in the neighborhood to hunt for coastal artisan gifts.
If you’re planning to move to Carpinteria with little ones, Traveling Pants is the place to go. It’s an upscale resale for kids with clothes, books, and toys.
If you’re looking for a suburb that’s rich with luxury and a village-like feel, the lovely Montecito might be your best bet. This city has a stunning coastline, a great surf break (Hammond’s Point), and a bunch of trails to help you maintain an active lifestyle.
Cava Restaurant & Bar
Complete with a pan-Latin menu, live music, and a patio, this fancy Mexican restaurant in Montecito is a great choice for a family affair or a lively meal with friends.
Located on Coast Village Road, Tre Lune is an old-school dining hall that features Italian classics like pizza and pasta.
The Stonehouse Restaurant
This historic stone house is located in the famous San Ysidro Ranch and has a beautiful view and a romantic setting, complete with a wood-burning fireplace
A botanical garden with an assortment of exotic plants, Lotusland is the best place to get lost in on a sunny afternoon.
This beach is equally as magical as its name, with a bike path and tons of scenic views worthy of a packed picnic lunch (or dinner).
Westmont Ridley-Tree Art Museum
Located in the Adams Center for the Visual Arts, this unique modern art museum features student work as well as a permanent collection.
Whiskey & Leather
This inspiring spot for fashion features womenswear as well as some menswear, too. The brands are youthful and the selection is great, from swimwear to sweaters.
If vintage finds make your heart sing, then Mate Gallery is the place to go. It has a nautical feel and is home to everything from candles to books.
A home shop filled with gifts and worldly treasures, this shop is the perfect place to browse and get inspiration for filling your new Montecito home.
Northwest of downtown Santa Barbara, you’ll find the residential neighborhood of San Roque, named after the San Roque Creek. It’s a place where many families choose to live, as its just far enough from the busy bustle of downtown but still close to all the best parts of Santa Barbara.
Harry’s Plaza Cafe
For the ultimate in comfort food, pay a visit to Harry’s Place Cafe for a homey meal. Known for their “generous drinks,” they’ve been a local legend since the late 60s.
Tee-Off Restaurant and Lounge
For the golfer in the group, visit this golf-themed eatery. It’s a place to watch the game, indulge in prime rib, and enjoy a cocktail or two.
Farmer Boy has been around since the 50s and is a favorite among San Roque locals for their breakfast and lunch (citrus dipped French toast included).
San Roque Park
Along 25 acres around San Roque Canyon, this park is filled with hiking trails, areas for picnics, and places for kids to play, including a playground. It also hosts events like spring adventure programs and herb walks.
Willow Glen Park
Families with small kids flock to this park, as it has a playground, places to ride bikes, and a soccer field.
Santa Barbara Natural History Museum
Located near East San Roque and Mission Canyon, this museum was founded in 1916 and works to connect local visitors with nature.
Vices and Spices
This boutique specialty shop is one of the gems of San Roque. They sell loose leaf tea, coffee beans, spices, and even locally made jewelry.
Chaucer’s Bookstore offers a sense of nostalgia and charm. It has a good selection and is a perfect place to spend the afternoon reading and daydreaming.
La Cumbre Plaza
In Upper State Street near San Roque, you’ll find this charming outdoor mall. It has a quintessential Santa Barbara Mediterranean feel and shopping options like Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn.
Summerland is a relaxing haven by the sea with a small town feel. It has a classic beach vibe and is known for its local wines and wildlife. There are eateries, places for antique shopping, and spots for surfing, of course.
Summerland Beach Cafe
This Victorian house turned cafe serves everything from breakfast to burgers. It’s known for its airy atmosphere and home-style cooking.
For a legendary, old-school burger shack, visit Tinker’s. They serve curly fries, milkshakes, burgers, sandwiches, and even soft tacos.
Summerland loves burgers and The Nugget is another place where you can enjoy one. It’s a family spot for burgers, steaks, salads, seafood, and saloon drink specials.
This wide, beautiful beach has nearby park access and is a favorite among locals, tourists, and residents from all over Santa Barbara.
This lush park has views of the Channel Islands and offers easy pedestrian access. It’s a great spot for walks, playing with kids, and taking a stroll down the paved road to the beach.
Santa Barbara Bird Sanctuary
To interact with singing and dancing birds, bring the family to the Santa Barbara Bird Sanctuary in Summerland. It’s a nonprofit that was founded to rescue companion parrots.
Stop by this dog-friendly boutique winery for a tasting and to pick up a few bottles. The winery is located just a few blocks from the beach and has a quaint seaside feel.
Summerland Antique Collective
Summerland is all about antique shopping. This antique collective is said to be home to one of the West Coast’s best curated collections of home decor, vintage jewelry, and more.
The Sacred Space
This truly sacred space has a collection of Buddhas, crystals, and inspirational items. Spend an hour or so in this magical store to instantly feel at peace.
Whether you’re choosing the relaxing seaside town of Summerland or the quaint beachy vibes of Carpinteria, we hope this guide has inspired you to find your dream Santa Barbara suburb.
When you’re ready to get started on the next step, reach out to one of our experienced agents. Our team of experts will discuss with you the different places to live and help you narrow down the perfect location that fits you best. It all starts with finding the perfect agent and ours are ready and excited to create a rewarding experience for our buyers.