Downtown Santa Barbara is the heart of the town, and it is an exquisite place to visit or live. The beauty and history that lies within the downtown area is quite enchanting with its historical background, but also busy with a wide array of activities. Downtown is always buzzing and the energy is contagious, but the beach allows Downtown to be a relaxing and rejuvenating location at the same time.
The downtown area is very friendly to those who love to walk (currently my listing at Alma Del Pueblo has a walk score of 100!), revolving around the main street “State Street”. State Street divides the city of Santa Barbara between east and west, beginning at Stern’s Wharf and continuing on for miles throughout the city. State is filled with architectural beauty, fine dining (we could write pages on this alone…see our links page for some of our favorites!), unique shops and a variety of cultural venues including galleries, performing arts, historical sites, and museums. State Street is essentially the highlight and heartbeat of Santa Barbara.
Some of the landmarks located in Downtown Santa Barbara are the stately Arlington, Lobero, and Granada Theaters, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and the historical El Paseo (California’s first shopping center built in the 1920’s). You will commonly see the historical red-tiled roofs on many of the buildings located Downtown. We also have the Victoria Theater (now nicknamed “the new vic”) located right off State Street, and the courthouse, which is a gorgeous landmark.
The downtown area also encompasses East Beach and West Beach. East Beach is known for its volleyball courts, and it is right near the Santa Barbara Zoo. The zoo was once home to the giraffe with the crooked neck, but this giraffe passed away in recent years, making a lot of us locals sad! The giraffe with the crooked neck was replaced by another giraffe, and during the time of delivery to the zoo, they did not know the new giraffe was pregnant, so that was a nice surprise to gain a bonus giraffe! West Beach is known for its numerous bed and breakfast locations and darling hotels, and the architecture matches in charm.
Housing in Downtown Santa Barbara consists of apartment buildings, condo complexes, townhomes, and single-family homes. The housing gently slopes up and away from the ocean with peak views of the mountains and ocean if you go far enough up the street (or if you live in a building that offers views). I am currently in the process of selling a new development called Alma Del Pueblo, which consists of 37 residential units, along with three commercial spaces offering a total of 29,000 square feet and home to the Santa Barbara Public Market. The Public Market will be similar to Pike’s Place in Seattle or the Ferry Building in San Francisco, and will be home to 18 vendors within the space. It will become another Santa Barbara hot spot, and home to some amazing food artisans. Since it is located right next to the Arlington Theater, Alma Del Pueblo will definitely bring additional life to the Santa Barbara cultural district.
Because downtown Santa Barbara runs all the way down to the beach, and also because of its close proximity to the main industries of Santa Barbara, downtown property is pretty highly priced and highly sought after. Downtown Real Estate values average around $400,000 to $5 million.
*Painting by Chris Potter*
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