Within Santa Barbara, Montecito and our surrounding areas, there are a decent amount of options for true gated communities.  With true gated communities, I am referring to homes with a true gate that is locked at the entrance to the community and only accessed via a code and/or someone who is watching the gate.

I have gone ahead and listed the communities below that fall into this category for both Santa Barbara proper and Montecito.  I have also offered a brief description of some of the highlights.  If you would like more specifics on any of these areas and communities, such as current active available homes, more pictures, prices, schools etc., please be in touch.

Santa Barbara Area Gated Communities

  • El Escorial Villas & East Beach Town HomesThe El Escorial Villas is a wonderful resort-style feeling, gated condominium complex located next to the beach in Santa Barbara CA.  Situated just steps from Santa Barbara’s famous East Beach with its pleasing Mediterranean style architecture, idyllic beachfront climate and proximity to numerous outdoor activities, The El Escorial Villas offer for many a perfect Santa Barbara home or weekend / second home.  In addition to a locked gate there is someone watching at the gate during most of the day.
Gated Community El Escorial - East Beach Santa Barbara

Gated Community El Escorial – East Beach Santa Barbara

  • Vintage Ranch – Vintage Ranch is a high end luxury community of Mediterranean style homes. There are a total of 12 homes built around 2000-2001.  The homes are larger, tending to be in the 3200-4000 sqft range.  Every home has high quality top of the line amenities including a larger family room, large gourmet kitchen, well-appointed traditional exteriors with interior courtyards, and open floor plans…simply quality construction all around.  The neighborhood in general has a rural feel to it, even though it is located fairly close to town.
Vintage Ranch

Vintage Ranch

  • One Twenty OneOne Twenty One is a wonderful modern style smaller complex of 14 units built right next door to Paseo Chapala.  The complex is truly an award winning luxury town home development here in downtown Santa Barbara. One Twenty One is the winner of The American Institute of Architects Santa Barbara Chapter Merit Award for excellence in design and has been awarded the coveted Santa Barbara Beautiful Award for 2014. The complex is a combination of large 1 bedroom plus loft units as well as some 2 bedroom units.  The designs of all the units really showcases an open concept floor plan with wood floors, gourmet kitchen, granite counters, gas fireplaces & private patios.
One Twenty One - Santa Barbara

One Twenty One – Santa Barbara

  • Sevilla – Sevilla is one of the newer developments located only a block off state street and just 4 blocks from the beach.  Sevilla is a private, luxury, new, town home Spanish style complex that blends modern style with traditional architecture. Artfully expressed in arched porticoes, expansive terraces, and coastal and Riviera views, Sevilla offers one and two bedroom town homes that range from approximately 1,006 to 2,264 sq. ft.  These offerings range from sleek studios to breathtaking penthouses, many with large deck/patio spaces.  All have high ceilings and luxury finishes.  Sevilla’s location puts it very close to the beach, harbor, restaurants, shopping, art galleries and yoga studios.
Sevilla Santa Barbara

Sevilla Santa Barbara

  • El AndaluzEl Andaluz and the familiar designs of Jeff Shelton here in Santa Barbara, CA. are now well recognized.  One of his most prominent and recognizable developments is called El Andaluz, located at 531 Chapala Street.  El Andaluz is a 3-story, Moroccan influenced condo / town home style project designed around an open-air courtyard.  A total of seven very high quality residential homes are filled with luxurious finishes.
El Andaluz - Santa Barbara

El Andaluz – Santa Barbara

  • Paseo ChapalaPaseo Chapala was the biggest complex that really changed the look and feel around the Santa Barbara downtown corridor and really started the expansion of downtown luxury condos.  Built in 2007 and located at a very prominent corner across from the Paseo Nuevo (Santa Barbara’s mall), Paseo Chapala is a beautiful mix of Santa Barbara Spanish design elements.  The complex has commercial space on the ground floor as well as parking.  The units are thus located on the second and third floors. There is a mixture of one bedroom, two bedroom and 3 bedroom units as well as penthouses.  All units have private garages, fireplaces, patios for entertaining, ceiling heights of 9′ to 10′, as well as three elevators for convenient access.  Units tend to be all varied sizes.
Paseo Chapala - Santa Barbara

Paseo Chapala – Santa Barbara

  • Alma Del PuebloAlma del Pueblo “is more than a home — it is a spirited and soulful way to live. With the historic Arlington Theatre on one side and the bustling Santa Barbara Public Market on the other, you’re in the center of it all. Here, you can entertain and be entertained, kick up your feet and whet your appetite, stroll through jasmine-scented courtyards and relax under stars on your rooftop garden. Designed to achieve the prized LEED for Homes Platinum designation, the Alma del Pueblo offers you the rare opportunity to experience the finest of everything, inside and out.”  (excerpt from website)
Alma Del Pueblo

Alma Del Pueblo

  • Shadow Hills – Shadow Hills is one of Santa Barbara’s few gated and private adult communities (One party on title must be 55+, other may be 45+. No permanent residents under 18.). Set in the SB Foothills, many of the units have expansive views of the mountains and ocean. Complex amenities include a community orchard, 25 meter year round heated pool, spa, two tennis courts, clubhouse & gym.  Built in the late 1980’s, there are numerous options of size and living situations within the community.
  • San Marcos Court – San Marcos Court is a smaller award-winning gated community of 13 homes located in Santa Barbara out towards San Marcos High School.  The architecture style is a wonderful Mediterranean design in stucco with tile roofs.
San Marcos Court

San Marcos Court

  • Hitchcock Ranch – Hitchcock Ranch is a smaller community of 16 homes located in the up town area of Santa Barbara across the street from Whole Foods.  Homes were built in the mid 1990’s and are larger homes for the area…generally around the 2500-3000 sqft. range.  Located in the prestigious Vieja Valley School District, the area offers not only a wonderful opportunity for a family, but a great option for buyers looking for an “in-town”, low maintenance home.
  • Las Brisas – Las Brisas is a smaller development built in 1987, located in the Hope residential area just north of La Cumbre area.  There are a total of 15 homes, built with a Mediterranean / Spanish design.  Homes tend to be in the 2200 – 2700 sqft range, with 2 and 3 car garages, high ceilings and good mountain views.
  • Sierra Madre Heights – Sierra Madre Heights is a smaller gated enclave of 12 luxury single family homes with a private pool and spa.  Sitting on a prominent knoll top, many of these homes have mountain and ocean views.  Homes tend to be in the 2500 to 3500 sqft. range.
  • Hidden Oaks – Hidden Oaks is a small gated community of 11 luxury homes sitting tucked into the hills behind Hidden Valley adjacent to Hope Ranch.  There are lots of majestic oak and fruit trees in the community including 27 acres of open space.  Homes tend to be larger Spanish style with many custom elements and sit on lots roughly .5 to 1 acre in size.
  • Rancho Asoleado – Rancho Asoleado is a wonderful small gated community adjacent to Hope Ranch.  There are only 12 homes located in the cul de sac community and rarely do homes seem to come on the market.  Located in the rural feeling community next to Vieja Valley School.
  • Loma Alicia – Loma Alicia is a small luxury town home development of 11 units located at the top of the hill on Via Alicia.  The gated enclave sits on a wonderful perch with 15 acres of dedicated open space.  There are fantastic mountain and ocean views all around.  The community has a pool and spa as well as dedicated walking paths.  The property was built in the early 1990’s and features some of the largest town homes we have in our area.
  • Dorwin Lane – Dorwin Lane is a small enclave of 12 luxury homes located on the bluff tops here in the More Mesa area of Santa Barbara.  Half of the homes have commanding front row ocean views, while the others sit just on the other side of the street.  Each home is custom built and styles vary a good amount.
  • La Romana Estates – La Romana Estates is a gated development that sits in the SB Foothills and offers individually custom designed estates of exceptional quality.  All estates and unfinished sites have spectacular mountain views and solid ocean views.  The estates are all generally larger homes with pools and custom touches.  In total there are 24 sites with about half built out.
  • Diamond Crest – Diamond Crest is a wonderful gated enclave situated next to the More Mesa open space and adjacent to ocean access.  The complex was built in the late 1980’s and features larger homes.  Amenities include a pool, spa and tennis court.  All homes are well taken care of and the overall grounds are very pleasant with ocean breezes.  Easy access to walking and biking trails.
  • Vista de Lejos – Vista de Lejos s is another wonderful gated enclave situated next to the More Mesa open space and adjacent to ocean access.  The gated community features wonderful recreation facilities including a pool, tennis courts and an open garden space.  Easy access to walking and biking trails.  This complex was finished in the late 1980’s.
  • Vista La Cumbre – Vista La Cumbre is another wonderful gated enclave situated next to the More Mesa open space and adjacent to ocean access.  The community also includes a beautiful pool and tennis court located upon the bluff.  Trails, bike baths, restaurants and shopping are all minutes away.  This complex was completed in the late 1980’s.
  • Calle Las Brisas – Calle Las Brisas is the newest of the gated communities next to the open More Mesa bluff tops space.  Finished in 2004, all homes are of the Spanish / Mediterranean style with custom finishes.  Homes are large and very spacious feeling. Trails, bike baths, restaurants and shopping are all minutes away.
Las Brisas

Las Brisas

Montecito Area Gated Communities

  • EnnisbrookEnnisbrook is a high end private gated community in Montecito made up of wonderful estates sitting generally on parcels ranging from 1 to 3 acres.  Many of the properties command spectacular ocean and/or mountain views.  The entire community is blessed with extraordinary landscaping, privacy, open spaces and a connection with nature.  Over 50 acres in the community have been set aside as open space.  In addition to a locked gate there is someone watching at the gate during most of the day.


  • Birnam WoodBirnam Wood is located in the heart of Montecito CA., and is considered the premier gated golfing community within Santa Barbara.  Birnam Wood first started development in the early 1970’s and is made up of only single family homes and estates and consists of a total of approximately 142 unique homes.  Most of the homes in Birnam Wood are very private feeling and line the golf course.  All homes primarily sit on 1 acre parcels (although the net land of these parcels is less as easements often extend into the golf course and/or road).  All homes must be single level with a footprint of 3,000 to 6,000 sqft.  There are no true restrictions on styles of homes within Birnam Wood and you will find a large variety consisting of French Normandy, Cottage, Ranch, Contemporary etc.  Most of the estates within Birnam Wood also enjoy wonderful views of the local Santa Ynez Mountains.  In addition to a locked gate there is someone watching at the gate during most of the day.
Birnam Wood

Birnam Wood

  • Sea MeadowSea Meadow is a wonderful high-end, private and tropical feeling, guarded and gated beach community located steps from the Montecito beaches of Hammond’s and Miramar. A few minutes by foot and you can additionally access all there is to offer at The 4 Season’s Biltmore Hotel and Coral Casino as well as all the shops and fine dining located at The Lower Village on Coast Village Road.  The people that live there consider this to be as desirable of a location as you can find.  Gated and guard on site.
  • Bonnymede – The Bonnymede condominium complex is located just next to the spectacular Four Seasons Biltmore and Coral Casino here in Montecito CA.  The original buildings for Bonnymede were constructed in 1965 and consisted of 113 condos.  The exterior of the buildings still have the 1960’s style feel, but the overall grounds are now very mature, clean / modern looking and somewhat tropical.  Bonnymede has a security person at the guarded gate.  The complex has a pool and spa, tennis court and a beachside entertainment area.  Most of these facilities seem very lightly used.  Bonnymede again sits on a gorgeous coastline that invites you to indulge in walks and outdoor pursuits year round.
  • Montecito Shores – The Montecito Shores condo complex is located right next to Bonnymede and in fact shares the same guarded gate.  Montecito Shores was constructed in 1974 and consists of 99 condos.  The exterior of Montecito Shores still has the look and feel of a 1970’s or even 1980’s Spanish style building, but the overall grounds are spectacular with mature lush landscape.  Many to most of the units have been updated and modernized over the years. Similar to Bonnymede, Montecito Shores has its’ own pool, spa and tennis court.  Every building in Montecito Shores looks very similar from the outside and is three stories high.  One big difference with this complex is that it was built in a way that there are no common walls between the units and additionally all the units are single level and can be accessed via an elevator. There is a gate and guard.
Montecito Shores

Montecito Shores

  • Fernald Point – Fernald Point is one of the most exclusive coastal areas in the United States. Homes here sit on a very cherished piece of land and beachfront.  Most of Fernald Point is open, yet there is a small group of homes at the end that are behind a gate.  All single family, these homes range from a getaway weekend home to a grand estate.
  • Villa Del Montecito – Villa Del Montecito is a medium sized condo complex in Montecito located on the north side of the 101 Freeway.  Built in the early 1970’s, this gated complex is in the MUS school district and also has a pool & spa.  All units seem to be the similar floor plan and size of 3 bed 2 baths and roughly 1250 sqft.

Further Reading:

  1. Santa Barbara Market Statistics
  2. Goleta, Summerland, Carpinteria Gated Communities
  3. El Escorial Villas Santa Barbara Beachfront Condos
  4. El Escorial & East Beach Town Homes
  5. Santa Barbara CA Neighborhoods – Downtown
  6. Santa Barbara Rated Amongst The Best Mid-sized Downtowns in California

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For more information on Real Estate here in Santa Barbara, Montecito and/or our surrounding areas, as well as any other aspects of life in our wonderful town, please don’t hesitate to contact Kevin Schmidtchen at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services.

Thank you for reading.  I hope you find Santa Barbara Real Estate Voice informative.  Please feel free to contact me or comment below with any thoughts.