In 1877, a grocery store was the big draw to what is now referred to as the Upper Village, the area intersected by East Village and San Ysidro roads. A center for commerce and congeniality, it was eventually joined by dressmakers, a temperance lodge, the Montecito Meat Market and a post office. The Presbyterian Church and the library came along in short order and remain vital organizations to this day.
A village in the truest sense of the word a century ago, it retains, as much as possible in the high-speed techno 2000s, that charm and atmosphere today, still attracting a unique mix of high-end retailers.
Coast Village Road, which runs parallel to Highway 101 between Hot Springs and Olive Mill roads, was Highway 1 in its former life and, as part of the main artery on California's coastal route, served the motoring public with gas stations, a restaurant or two and overnight accommodations. It still provides all of those conveniences and more. CVR, as it's often called by the locals, has more the feel of boulevard shopping. Park at either end and you can spend the afternoon or the day poking in a variety of shops, stopping at any number of establishments along the way for mid-morning coffee, lunch, afternoon tea, drink or dinner.
The Santa Barbara area (also known as the South Coast of Santa Barbara County) is generally known to consist of Carpinteria, Summerland, Montecito, Santa Barbara, Hope Ranch and Montecito. Other cities in Santa Barbara County, located 45 minutes to 1 and 1/2 hours north, include Lompoc, Santa Maria, Buellton and Santa Ynez. The nearest cities to the south are Oxnard and Ventura, about 40 miles away, and Ojai, a small town in the foothills. Los Angeles is about 100 miles south. There are about 100,000 people in the city of Santa Barbara, and another 100,000 in Montecito, Montecito and Carpinteria.
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