Credit: Jim Bartsch

Address: 453 Vista de la Playa Lane
Status: On the Market
Price: $3,790,000

I know I’m not the only one with a COVID-clouded calendar. The days and weeks melt into each other, and summer weather in December just compounds the confusion. But last week I found a perfect hideaway where time stands still. Tucked into the ocean side of a Mesa hilltop, this secluded sanctuaryhas an endless summer vibe and a panoramic view that just may be the best in Santa Barbara.

While “panoramic view” may be one of the most overused phrases in real estate parlance, this one truly deserves the description. The vista spans the entire coastline all the way south to Point Mugu on the way to Malibu, and north past the majesty of the Channel Islands, along the Gaviota Coast to Point Conception, I’m told that on a clear night, even the lights of the Santa Monica pier are visible. No power lines or houses break the line of sight, so the view truly is unobstructed. And it is breathtaking.

There’s no way one can walk inside without pausing to drink in the ocean scenery, and the house anticipates that need. A Brazilian hardwood deck runs the length of the house and offers plenty of room for entertaining and soaking in both the sun and the view. It’s like the best view deck on Del Playa all grown up, or a Costa Rican tree house plopped onto a Santa Barbara hilltop: blissfully beachy, with an airy castle-above-it-all vantage point that quite literally can’t be surpassed.

Credit: Jim Bartsch

The house itself continues the blissful, beachy ambience. Custom built in 1947, the design was way ahead of its time. With a long, lean layout, it takes full advantage of the 200-foot-wide lot with floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall views in the living room, dining room, and kitchen. Even the bedrooms have porthole windows facing the front of the house so that you can gaze at the ocean even when you’re lying in bed.

Throughout the Spanish-style house, artistic touches reinforce the bohemian vibe, including arched doorways, colorfully tiled bathrooms, and gorgeous natural woodwork. High cathedral ceilings, skylights, and hardwood floors keep the airy, natural ambience flowing.

A long counter in the kitchen provides a perfect perch for gazing at the seascape over scrambled eggs. If I lived here, I’d eat every single snack and meal al fresco on the deck. But the kitchen counter and a separate formal dining room offer options and still allow the magnetic view to serve as an appetizing backdrop.

I pulled myself away from the vista long enough to discover a lovely backyard on the other side of the house. A flat back patio gives way to a beautifully terraced hillside of trails and secluded garden viewing spots. On one side, a bougainvillea-covered trellis leads to perhaps the most romantic outdoor spa setting in Santa Barbara. 

The multiple level spaces — including a grassy fenced front yard perfect for kids or dogs or croquet — are a rarity in a house set on a hillside such as this. A two-car garage plus plenty of additional parking and a short, easy driveway are also practical pluses.

Through a breezeway from the main house sits a separate self-contained bedroom and half bath, providing a private option for guest accommodations. Be warned though, anyone who steps foot on this property will fall under its endless summer spell and never want to leave. 

453 Vista de la Playa Lane is listed for sale in Santa Barbara by Ken Switzer of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties. Reach Ken at (805) 680-4622 or View a video of this property at


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