Arguably one of the most popular regions in the Santa Barbara County, the Mesa continues to be one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the Santa Barbara area. Stretching from Leadbetter Beach and Santa Barbara City College, and continuing to Arroyo Burrow County Beach, this two and a half mile stretch of land encompass three elementary schools, a junior college, many restaurants, parks, a beautiful bike path, and other tourist attractions. With some of the most beautiful views in the state, the Mesa continues to be a desirable area for both Santa Barbara locals, as well as visitors to the area.
Santa Barbara City College, located off Cliff Drive, is one of the most prestigious and respected junior colleges in the state of California. Ranked in the top ten community colleges in the country, SBCC is home to nearly 20,000 enrolled students, and 7,500 full-time students. Offering 80 degrees, and with an average class size of 28, Santa Barbara City College provides a comfortable and efficient learning experience for its students. SBCC is located directly across from the Santa Barbara Harbor, and the stadium directly overlooks the ocean.
The Santa Barbara Harbor and Stearn’s Wharf are located near the Mesa and are basically an extension of the Mesa. With a variety of outdoor activities, tourist attractions, and restaurants, there is always an overabundance of activities to do in the area. If you are visiting, the Boathouse is an excellent restaurant located on Hendry’s Beach. It’s nice to have a bite to eat for brunch or dinner, and head out to the beach right before or after to enjoy the beautiful day or the sunset. If you walk along Hendry’s Beach to the north, you will eventually connect to Hope Ranch. If you walk to the south, you will eventually get to Leadbetter Beach and then the harbor. Along the south stretch, you will pass Mesa Lane along the way (and the many steps up to it!) and some beautiful fallen eucalyptus trees that have become iconic to the Santa Barbara locals.
Shoreline, the Douglas Family Preserve, and Elings Park are a few of the most popular parks on the Mesa. They each host a variety of events, such as team sports, weddings, birthday parties, memorials, bird watching, summer camps, people walking their dogs, joggers, and much more. They all offer beautiful views of the bluffs and ocean. Leadbetter Beach is known for being a great surf spot for beginning surfers, and a great area for a picnic or for the kids to play. When it’s windy, you will also see the kite surfers out.
Another popular place on the Mesa is Lazy Acres, our local health food store. They have a juice bar, a salad bar, and the island where you can pick up great pre-made food or soups. You can also pick up fresh flowers, high quality meats, or a great bottle of wine. Lazy Acres is the main grocery store for many locals, and you will see quite a few people stopping to have a bite to eat in their café area or outdoor seating.
With an assortment of activities to do near the beach, the Mesa continues to be a beautiful place to call home. The average cost for a home in the Mesa ranges between $750,000 and $3.5 million. The Mesa does offer a few choices for condos and townhomes, and some investment properties, but mostly is home to single family residences.
*Painting by Chris Potter*
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