Santa Barbara, Montecito and Summerland are known as the "American Riviera" due to the area's Mediterranean climate, mountains and ocean.
This stunning combination is found in very few locations in the world.
Over 200 years ago the Chumash Indians thrived in this area. Then, in the short span of two centuries the villages developed into a world
famous resort area. The city and bay was named after Saint Barbara by the Spanish. In 1782 they came to stay. The Spanish governed the
area until 1822 when California became a Mexican territory. Twenty Four years later, in 1846, John Fremont took Santa Barbara for the United
States. Thus Chumash, Spanish, Mexican and North American influences merged together to form a unique blend of language and culture.
For a short time only, wealthy Easterners could afford to become permanent residences. Great hotels and cultural opportunists blossomed. For a short time Santa Barbara was the film capitol of the world. Though Santa Barbara ceased being the film capitol it has become the favorite
getaway destination for film stars and wealthy Easterners. Many celebrities lived in and owned businesses in Santa Barbara. The San Ysidro
Ranch will long be remembered as the resort of the film industry.
Mediterranean architecture dominates the town. All of this pays tribute to the unique circumstances that created Santa Barbara – a resort area known around the world for its weather, special character and beauty.
Today, the Santa Barbara Mission, founded in 1786, is considered the "Queen of Missions." It was the tenth mission to be founded in California. The Mission remains a church of renown reputation throughout the world.
The architecturally treasured Court House property is visited by thousands for its magnificent architectural detail - interior of this beautiful property that continues today as the center of the Santa Barbara Court system.
Read more about the Santa Barbara Coast Communities of Santa Barbara - Montecito - Summerland.