Santa Barbara > Community > Neighboring Communities > Summerland
Summerland, California is a quaint little seaside town reminiscent of a New England village nestled on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean. You won't want to miss the many antique stores that line Lillie Ave, the main street of Summerland. Summerland is just five minutes down the coast from its neighboring city, Santa Barbara.

Photo Albums

Web Videos

View from Lookout Park (1.5 MB)
The beach (2 MB)
Driving down Lillie Ave (5 MB)
View from the hills (2 MB)
Singing by the Sea (3.5 MB)

In The Spotlight

Stacky's Seaside - a review


Lookout Park - Evans Ave at the beach
Lodahl Park - Lillie Ave at Ortega Ridge Rd
Veterans Memorial Park - next to the Fire Station
Greenwell Preserve - Greenwell Ave at Asegra Rd

Historical Points of Interest

Summerland Presbyterian Church - built in 1901 at 2400 Lillie Ave
The Big Yellow House - built in 1889 - on Pierpont Ave
The Antique Chase - former Post Office built in 1939, on Lillie Ave at Colville
Summerland Beach Cafe - built in 1891 on Lillie Ave at Hollister
Galen Clark House - built in 1891, on Shelby St.

Community Services

Summerland-Carpinteria Fire station - 2375 Lillie Ave
Summerland Presbyterian Church - 2400 Lillie Ave
Summerland Citizens Association - P.O. Box 508, Summerland, CA 93067
Summerland School - 135 Valencia
Summerland Sanitary District - 2435 Wallace Ave
Summerland Recycling Center - Wallace Ave
Summerland Post Office - 2245 Lillie Ave

       A History of Summerland

When Summerland was founded as a Spiritualist colony in 1889, terraced streets lined with small lots that sold for $25 apiece replaced the eye-high yellow mustard on the hillsides. The newcomers built a temple where they hold sťances and contacted spirits, assisted by mediums who could communicate with departed friends and relatives. The peaceful little enclave's serenity was doomed, however, when oil was discovered in 1894.

Within a few years a forest of the first offshore oil wells in the Western Hemisphere rose on piers jutting out into the Santa Barbara Channel. Today, offshore oil rigs, at night resembling aircraft carriers, still dot the horizon. Oil drillers and workers streamed into town, to the dismay of the original settlers. The oil that could be reached by primitive wells eventually dwindled and by the 1920's the boom was over.

In 1951 Highway 101 was expanded into a freeway, wiping out the original business district on Wallace Ave, and cutting off the town's access to the beach. In the 1960's the freeway was elevated, allowing an underpass at Evans Ave and reuniting the town. An influx of surfers, artists, and hippies joined the older residents, drawn by inexpensive housing and a casual life style. Additional housing was, for many years, curtailed by a lack of water, but when Lake Cachuma was built, additional water was available and a building boom began. Now only a handful of undeveloped lots are available, but homes (most with ocean views) are in great demand.

Today the oil wells on the beach are gone and the area provides recreation for swimmers, sun-bathers, horses and dogs. On weekends the streets bustle with visitors and antique hunters, but it's said, in certain houses, strange and unexplained sounds can be heard in the still of the night.