Exploring Montecito’s Most Prized Microclimate

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California’s coastline has certain towns, as well known as prime wine varietals, with names that have become shorthand for wealth, luxury, golden light fading into soft rose at twilight, and sparkling off the water in the heat of the day. Montecito has drawn celebrities for decades, but what lures Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, and a bevy of executives to Santa Barbara County?

Montecito’s unique position provides a host of microclimates, and some of the most prized real estate isn’t along the coast. Instead it’s above East Valley Road, where a combination of gentle breezes, warm sunshine, and ocean views provide an idyllic setting. In this area you will find the most extravagant estates often boasting exemplary gardens.

Montecito’s reputation as a garden paradise began at the end of the 19th century as the East Coast wealthy began to seek out the restorative effects of a Southern California winter.

A modern example that has a similar appeal to some the George Washington Smith homes in the areas is 710 Picacho Lane. The home was built in 1996 and has been created for modern living with commanding ocean and mountain views.


The home’s wide-plank oak floors and crisp white walls are a canvas for your art collections and furnishings. From the foyer, a sightline draws your gaze past the terrace, over the pool, beyond the lawns, and out to the endless sea. The formal living and dining rooms have a southern exposure and Palladian French doors to showcase the views and the pink sunsets Montecito is known for.


Upstairs, the home’s private spaces include a lavish master suite with a fireplace, balcony, two oversized closets, and a master bath with Carrera marble and crisp, white millwork. An oversized walk-in shower features dual showerheads and a lovely soaking tub is beautifully framed by arched windows. Dual vanities offer fantastic storage options.

The main house has four bedrooms and approximately 10,300 square feet of space. There is also a separate two-bedroom guest house and a cabana with a full bath and kitchenette. The 3.5 acre grounds include a pool, north-south facing tennis court, rose garden, and three private wells.

It is listed for $19.5 million with Village Properties and showcased on Luxury Portfolio.


Another home with a different style and a similarly enviable vista is 570 Meadow Wood Lane. Also above East Valley Road, it offers more of an English country style. While the lavish Mediterranean is more classic Montecito, this home has lots to recommend it, including over 3.45 acres of grounds, a two-bedroom guest house, pool, and cabana.


The home combines formal rooms mingled effortlessly with casual spaces to create a flexible floor plan with a casual country feel.


It is listed for $10.9 million with Village Properties and showcased on Luxury Portfolio.