Pros and Cons Living in The Mesa Neighborhood -- Santa Barbara


People often ask what it is like to live in various Santa Barbara neighborhoods. We have talked to a number of people who live in different parts of Santa Barbara and asked them to tell us the pros and cons. This article looks at what it is like to live in Santa Barbara's The Mesa neighborhood.


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Where is the Mesa Neighborhood?

The Mesa is a large neighborhood just up from the Santa Barbara Harbor and ending at Las Positas Road. It is divided into 3 areas, East Mesa, West Mesa, and Alta Mesa.

Generally speaking, West Mesa lays on the Harborside of Miggs road, below Cliff Drive. East Mesa is on the ocean side of Cliff Drive and ends at Douglas Preserve and Alta Mesa spans both areas in the hills above cliff drive, with Elling's park on its eastern border. Each area has its own personality and features.

What do people like about living in the Mesa Neighborhood?

Below are some of the things residents of The Mesa Neighborhood said they love about living there.

  • Amazing location with fantastic restaurants, shopping and so close to the beach.
  • We live in Alta Mesa and love the island views. Our kids like biking at Elling's and I appreciate having both Von's and Lazy Acres just minutes away. 
  • Having Shoreline Park down the street is a real treat. It's great for the kids and Charlie the dog can't wait for his walks. 
  • We bought on the Mesa for Washington Elementary. Such a great school!
  • Why do we love the Mesa? There are so many reasons. Douglas Preserve is a great place to get away to nature, Hendry's rocks, the Mesa Verde restaurant is our fav and we've made so many great friendships. 
  • We like to go out to eat and especially like walking or biking to places. The Mesa has so m,any great ones. We especially love Mesa Verde and the Mesa Cafe. Very different yet both are special.
  • This may sound corny, but we really like "The Mesa Paper." It's our own neighborhood news and Alice really does a great job finding the stories and connecting people.
  • We live in Marine Terrace and love Ledbetter and the ease of getting to the beach and harbor. Our oldest goes to SBCC and he can bike to school. 
  • Alta Mesa is the best area we've ever lived. Love our view and the peace and quiet of our neighborhood.

Cons of living on The Mesa

To be honest, not too many people have anything negative to say. Here are a few concerns people mentioned.

  • The marine layer can get a little old and cold in late June and July. 
  • It took us a while to find our home since few seem to change hands. 
  • We get a fair amount of traffic noise as we are close to Shoreline Park.
  • For a while, we had a rental next door and the SBCC students were rather loud, especially on the weekends. 

Conclusions - Living In Santa Barbara's Mesa Neighborhood 

It is hard to beat life on the Mesa, especially if you are a water person. There are a variety of homes from modest ranch style to epic view properties. Depending on what you want, it can take a while to find the right place and there are often competing offers on the best properties.