As the the town of Santa Barbara’s picturesque backdrop stretching along the Santa Ynez Mountains foothills, the scenic Riviera extends from Mission Santa Barbara on the west nearly to Montecito on the east. Riviera real estate provides its fortunate residents panoramic views of the beautiful town below, and many of its Santa Barbara ocean view homes offer vistas beyond the town’s picturesque rooftops to the Channel Islands. Hilly, winding streets and lovely red tile-roofed homes create a distinctly European ambiance. The Riviera also hosts public parks, the chic El Encanto Hotel (currently closed for extensive renovation) and the internationally renowned Brooks Institute of Photography.
The rich history of this area’s development evolved from 1913 when a group of investors secured a significant block of land and created a housing tract. Within a year, the Santa Barbara State Normal School, which would later become the University of California Santa Barbara College, had opened its doors in the neighborhood.
Three years later, an ornate Italian villa was constructed nearby. It would later become the private Marymount School – still a cherished part of the neighborhood. “Pickfair,” the much-acclaimed mansion of silent fim stars Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Mary Pickford, was nearly built here, although the deal failed and the couple built their estate in Los Angeles. Today, the Riviera is one of Santa Barbara’s most cherished and most sought-after neighborhoods.
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