Upper Montecito Village, Montecito
||Santa Barbara, CA|
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Upper Montecito Village's proximity to the mountains make for a magical feel. When I first drove through here by accident, I was mesmerized by the prettiness. There is deep green grass everywhere, wonderful tall trees, and the breathtaking mountains, that seem greener here than in Santa Barbara.
Montecito Library occupies a cute historic house. The kids section is a cozy room with windows all around. Next door to the library, walk around El Montecito Presbyterian Church with its gorgeous Spanish architecture, archway, and fountain that kids enjoy. There is plenty of grass everywhere for kids to run around. Listen for the bell chimes!
Most of the shops and restaurants are found along East Valley Rd, where it meets San Ysidro Rd. On the northeast corner is Pierre Lafond Market and Deli where you can sit by a blue tile and brick fountain under interesting trees and have a bite to eat. Next to it is a corner park with some benches and boulders under trees by a fountain. On the northwest corner is Montecito Coffee Shop in its red building with white trim. Like most of Montecito, this isn't a very fun area- people are serious and guarded.
If you walk ten minutes west on E. Valley Road you will come to the beautiful Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church.
While here, check out Manning Park, another magical spot. There is a toddler playground and another area with pine trees and grass from heaven.
For more shops in Montecito, check out Coast Village. For a cute curved beach, check out Miramar Beach, at the other end of San Ysidro Rd.
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Exit Highway 101 at San Ysidro Rd and head toward the mountains. Turn left on East Valley Rd and park immediately in one of the shopping areas.
Pierre Lafond Market and Deli, 516 San Ysidro Rd, Santa Barbara CA 93108, call (805) 565-1504.
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Overall Visitor Rating: Unrated.