|— census-designated place —|
|Santa Barbara County and the state of California|
|• Senate||Tony Strickland (R)|
|• Assembly||Pedro Nava (D)|
|• U. S. Congress||Lois Capps (D)|
|• Total||9.265 sq mi (23.994 km2)|
|• Land||9.259 sq mi (23.979 km2)|
|• Water||0.006 sq mi (0.014 km2) 0.06%|
|Elevation||180 ft (55 m)|
|• Density||970/sq mi ( 370/km2)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC-8)|
|• Summer (DST)||PDT (UTC-7)|
|ZIP codes||93108, 93150|
|GNIS feature ID||1661052|
As a census-designated place, Montecito had a population of 8,965 in 2010. Many celebrities and wealthy business people including Oprah Winfrey, Rob Lowe and Eric Schmidt own Montecito homes and large estates. It boasts some of the most spectacular and expensive real estate in the United States, particularly along the coast and above East Valley Road for its perfect micro-climate.
According to the Montecito Community Plan, Montecito is bounded on the north by East Camino Cielo Road; on the east by Ortega Ridge Road and Ladera Lane; on the South by the Pacific Ocean. Montecito does not include areas such as Coast Village Road, which while usually considered part of Montecito, are actually within the city limits of Santa Barbara, located directly to the west. Montecito occupies the eastern portion of the coastal plain south of the Santa Ynez Mountains. Parts of the town are built on the lower foothills of the range. Notable roads spanning Montecito include East Valley Road, Mountain Drive, and Sycamore Canyon Road, all of which form part of State Route 192. In addition, the U.S. 101 freeway runs along the south end of town, connecting it with other cities in Santa Barbara County and the rest of Southern California.
The site of present-day Montecito, along with the entire south coast of Santa Barbara County, was inhabited for over 10,000 years by the Chumash Indians. The Spanish arrived in the 18th century, but left the region largely unsettled while they built the Presidio and Mission Santa Barbara farther west.
In the middle of the 19th century the area was known as a haven for bandits and highway robbers, who hid in the oak groves and canyons, preying on traffic on the coastal route between the towns that developed around the missions. By the end of the 1860s the bandit gangs were gone, and Italian settlers arrived. Finding an area reminiscent of Italy, they built farms and gardens similar to those they had left behind in Italy. Around the end of the 19th century, wealthy tourists from the eastern and midwestern United States began to buy land in the area. It was near enough to Santa Barbara for essential services while still being secluded. Desirable weather and several nearby hot springs offered the promise of comfortable, healthy living, in addition to the availability of affordable land.
The Montecito Hot Springs Hotel was built near the largest of the springs, in a canyon north of the town center and directly south of Montecito Peak, in Hot Springs Canyon. The hotel burned down in 1920; it was replaced a few years later by the smaller Hot Springs Club.
The architect George Washington Smith is noted particularly for his residences around Montecito, and for popularizing the Spanish Colonial Revival style in early 20th century America, as is Lutah Maria Riggs, who started as a draftsman in Smith's firm, rose to partner, and later started her own firm.
Montecito's scenery and climate lured such established families as the DuPonts, Rockefellers, Carnegies and McCormicks to create palatial mansions which occupied hilltops overlooking Montecito's beautiful oak woodlands.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 9.3 square miles (24 km2), 99.94% of it land and 0.06% of it water. Montecito is 14,280 acres.
Montecito experiences a cool Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csb) characteristic of coastal Southern California. Because of Montecito's proximity to the ocean, onshore breezes significantly moderate temperatures, resulting in warmer winters and cooler summers compared with places further inland. With its gentle Mediterranean climate, Montecito has long been a desirable location for nursery men and gifted horticulturists. Its transformation into a botanist's Eden began in the last quarter of the 19th century, reaching its height in the early decades of the 20th century with the influx of wealthy easterners who came to escape the rigors of east coast winters.
|Climate data for Santa Barbara, California (1981–2010 Normals)|
|Record high °F (°C)||89
|Average high °F (°C)||64.7
|Average low °F (°C)||46.4
|Record low °F (°C)||20
|Rainfall inches (mm)||4.14
|Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.01 in)||6.5||6.3||6.5||2.9||1.4||0.9||0.4||0.5||1.2||1.7||3.8||4.9||37|
|Source: Western Regional Climate Center|
The 2010 United States Census reported that Montecito had a population of 8,965. The population density was 967.7 people per square mile (373.6/km²). The racial makeup of Montecito was 8,267 (92.2%) White, 55 (0.6%) African American, 38 (0.4%) Native American, 218 (2.4%) Asian, 6 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 156 (1.7%) from other races, and 225 (2.5%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 605 persons (6.7%).
The Census reported that 8,033 people (89.6% of the population) lived in households, 932 (10.4%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and none were institutionalized.
Of the 3,432 households, 831 (24.2%) had children under the age of 18 living in them; 1,936 (56.4%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 234 (6.8%) had a female householder with no husband present, 93 (2.7%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 110 (3.2%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 36 (1.0%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 941 households (27.4%) were made up of individuals and 527 (15.4%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34. There were 2,263 families (65.9% of all households); the average family size was 2.79.
The age spread of the population accounts 1,515 people (16.9%) under the age of 18, 1,234 people (13.8%) aged 18 to 24, 1,169 people (13.0%) aged 25 to 44, 2,716 people (30.3%) aged 45 to 64, and 2,331 people (26.0%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 50.0 years. For every 100 females there were 87.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.9 males.
4,238 housing units represented an average density of 457.5 per square mile (176.6/km²), of which 2,522 (73.5%) were owner-occupied, and 910 (26.5%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.4%; the rental vacancy rate was 8.7%. 6,081 people (67.8% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 1,952 people (21.8%) lived in rental housing units.
The census of 2000 counted 10,000 people, 3,686 households, and 2,454 families residing in the census-designated pace (CDP). The population density was 1,072.3 people per square mile (413.8/km²). There were 4,193 housing units at an average density of 449.6 per square mile (173.5/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 94.03% White, 0.48% African American, 0.31% Native American, 1.29% Asian, 0.21% Pacific Islander, 2.14% from other races, and 1.54% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.19% of the population.
Out of the total of 3,686 households, 25.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.1% were married couples living together, 7.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.4% were non-families. 27.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.85.
The CDP population age distribution was 18.4% under the age of 18, 13.5% from 18 to 24, 16.6% from 25 to 44, 30.0% from 45 to 64, and 21.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 46 years. For every 100 females there were 84.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.1 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was US$110,669, and the median income for a family was US$130,123. Males had a median income of US$81,719 versus US$42,182 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was US$70,077. About 2.3% of families and 3.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.6% of those under age 18 and 2.2% of those age 65 or over.
Notable architecture 
- Lotusland—design and botanic gardens (public tours by appt.)
- El Fureidis—by American architect Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue
- Music Academy of the West
- Casa del Herrero—Spanish Colonial revival home and gardens (public tours by appt.)
- Montecito Inn—built by Charlie Chaplin
Notable current and former residents 
- Troy Aikman
- Dame Judith Anderson (died 1992)
- Ross Bagdasarian, Jr. & Janice Karman
- William Baldwin
- Thomas J. Barrack, Jr.
- Drew Barrymore
- Jason Bateman
- T. C. Boyle
- Jeff Bridges
- Carol Burnett
- Frank Caufield
- Julia Child (died 2004)
- John Cleese
- Jimmy Connors
- Kevin Costner
- Fred Couples
- Christopher Cross
- Tom Cruise
- Elizabeth Daily
- Kirk Douglas
- Michael Douglas
- Bob Gale
- Martin Lee Gore
- Tipper Gore
- Sue Grafton
- Andy Granatelli
- Pamela Hensley
- Hermes family
- Paul Hogan
- Tab Hunter
- Kathy Ireland
- Bruce Johnston
- Christopher Lloyd
- Kenny Loggins
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus
- Rob Lowe
- Steve Martin
- Charlie Munger
- Paul Muni
- Peter Noone
Jack Palance (died 2006)
- Suzy Parker
- Zack Pearlman
- Chynna Phillips
- Ivan Reitman
- Jane Russell (died 2011)
- Eva Marie Saint
- John Sanford
- Lori Saunders
- Eric Schmidt
- Peter Sperling
- Timothy Stack
- Thomas Steinbeck
- Shaun Tomson
- John Travolta
- E. Duke Vincent
- Joe Walsh
- Ty Warner
- Bruce Willis
- Oprah Winfrey
- Jonathan Winters (died 2013)
- Douglas Adams (died 2001)
See also 
- U.S. Census
- Baker, p. 61-62
- Baker, p. 62
- All data are derived from the United States Census Bureau reports from the 2010 United States Census, and are accessible on-line here. The data on unmarried partnerships and same-sex married couples are from the Census report DEC_10_SF1_PCT15. All other housing and population data are from Census report DEC_10_DP_DPDP1. Both reports are viewable online or downloadable in a zip file containing a comma-delimited data file. The area data, from which densities are calculated, are available on-line here. Percentage totals may not add to 100% due to rounding. The Census Bureau defines families as a household containing one or more people related to the householder by birth, opposite-sex marriage, or adoption. People living in group quarters are tabulated by the Census Bureau as neither owners nor renters. For further details, see the text files accompanying the data files containing the Census reports mentioned above.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Staff writers (April 30, 2010). "Orange Punch: Al Gore's massive carbon footprint". The Orange County Register. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
- Baker, Gayle. Santa Barbara. Harbor Town Histories, Santa Barbara. 2003. ISBN 0-9710984-1-7.