Long known as one of the great family neighborhoods of Santa Barbara, without question the Mesa remains a relatively affordable California coastal gem. While just about all SB townsfolk know the Mesa well, for clarity, we realtors consider it to encompass the area from the eastern-most border of Santa Barbara City College, stretching along the coastline westward to Arroyo Burro Beach (Hendry’s to some, The Pit to others). The tops of Meigs Road and Flora Vista Drive mark the northern boundary…and the Pacific Ocean marks the southern one.
Not a bad bit of geography. Reminiscent of the beach communities from our (or my) grandparent’s childhood, the Mesa offers residents easy access to some of Santa Barbara’s best attractions. Shoreline Park provides Marine Terrace families a 15-acre ocean front expanse within walking distance, complete with sprawling grass lawns, biking and running paths, children’s playgrounds, and BBQ grills and picnic tables. Many residents can easily walk or ride their bikes to Santa Barbara Harbor, lower State Street and Stearns Wharf. There are or four shopping centers (depending on how you look at it) with restaurants, markets (including Lazy Acres, a local favorite), shops and more located in the middle of the Mesa…so essentially there is no need to leave. And the Douglas Family Preserve offers miles of trails for dogs and humans alike to enjoy gorgeous views of the coastline and Channel Islands. (Doug, my 90-pound Labrador—he’s not fat, by the way, just pleasantly plump—truly loves the 70-acre nature haven/K-9 amusement park, and we consider it one of Santa Barbara’s best kept secrets.)
Historically the weather on the Mesa has proven to be eight to ten degrees warmer than downtown Santa Barbara in winter and eight to ten degrees cooler in summer. Washington School—one of two on the Mesa—is among Santa Barbara’s best public schools. The views are great year-round, and the people are too. Without a doubt, the Mesa is its own little paradise within the larger paradise of greater Santa Barbara.