Address: 2521 Banner Avenue, Summerland
Status: On the market
My first real road trip as an adult was during my sophomore year of college. My friend Tricia and I planned a long weekend, driving my VW bug from San Diego to the Bay Area. What should have been a pretty uneventful straight shot up Interstate 5 became interesting when an unseasonably early snow caused a closure of I-5 at the Grapevine. We could have canceled our plans and gone back home, but we were ready for adventure and not easily dissuaded by a little snow. In those pre-Google, pre-cell phone days, we stopped, looked at our map, and traced what appeared to be the most logical alternate route: cutting up the coast on the 101.
This is how I first experienced Summerland. As Tricia and I trekked along, not quite sure how long this detour would take, Summerland arose before us: houses clinging to the side of the mountain, awash in shades of cute. Having grown up a sunshine lover, I pledged that I would one day live in this beach town called Summerland that we found because of snow.
Flash-forward some 30 years, and while I haven’t exactly made good on that pledge quite yet, I do live close enough to often enjoy the beachy allure of Summerland. I thought about this allure as I headed toward an open house on a recent Sunday afternoon. Summerland gazes toward the ocean, skipping details like sidewalks and focusing instead on the endless horizon view.
The home at 2521 Banner is on a large, prominent lot yet feels secluded. As you walk from the street toward the house, the hideaway feeling begins as you pass beneath a huge palm tree to reach the entrance. The front door itself features a speakeasy window, enhancing the impression that you’re about to step foot into a secret clubhouse.
Once you’re inside, every window and door opens onto that view. Stepping into the living room, huge doors invite you out to the patio. Even the built-in shelves are “backless” and use the ocean as their backdrop. If you can tear yourself away from the view long enough to notice the details, the living room offers a huge stone fireplace, Saltillo tile floors, a balcony, and super high ceilings. The formal dining room opens to the patio, as well, and the kitchen boasts a beautiful granite countertop, stainless-steel appliances, and windows over the sink. You even get that view when you’re washing dishes.
From this main floor, staircases lead to bedrooms both above and below. The three floors of living space give this home versatility and options for shared living. Downstairs there are two bedrooms and a full bath that take advantage of lush landscaping, giving it a secret-garden feel. The two bedrooms and two full baths upstairs take advantage of — you guessed it — the view. The top floor deck provides both bedrooms with a sweeping vista all the way from Santa Barbara to Ventura. If that’s not romantic enough, imagine sunsets and sea breezes next to your private fireplace in the master bedroom suite. It feels like you’re at the top of your own faraway tree house.
Snow may have led me to Summerland that first time, but now it beckons to me by sparkling in the sunshine, promising a feeling of summer vacation forever. I reluctantly left this three-story Santa Fe–style tree house and headed off to — where else? — the beach.
2521 Banner Avenue is currently for sale in Summerland, listed by Jim Witmer of Village Properties. Reach Jim at (805) 448-3921.