An exclusive oceanfront enclave on the California coast, Santa Barbara is home to A-listers aplenty, and with the arrival of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, it welcomes another set of bold-faced names to its shores.
The royal duo bought a home and moved in last month, according to reports, joining the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Brad Pitt on what has been called the American Riviera. "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex moved into their family home in July of this year," a representative for the couple confirmed to People. "They have settled into the quiet privacy of their community since their arrival and hope that this will be respected for their neighbors, as well as for them as a family."
Named the best place to live for quality of life by U.S. News & World Report, Santa Barbara is situated 92 miles (148km) north of Los Angeles on Highway 101, and its Mediterranean-style architecture, beautiful beaches, and eye-catching cliffs go a long way toward explaining its nickname. (The balmy year-round climate – and 300 days of sunshine – certainly don’t hurt either.)
Santa Barbara County covers 110 miles (176km) of coastline, from small seaside communities to the wineries of the Santa Ynez Valley, but it’s perhaps best known for a region comprising Montecito, Goleta, Summerland, Carpinteria, and the city of Santa Barbara itself. On a hilltop overlooking downtown, Old Mission Santa Barbara dates to the early 1800s, while an array of museums pay homage to the city’s history – and the MOXI science museum looks to the future. The dining scene is excellent, and there’s no shortage of things to do.
The area boasts a plethora of hiking and biking trails, plus surfing, kayaking, snorkeling, and more. Whale watching off the coast is de rigeur, especially at Channel Islands National Park, a unique bit of protected land that covers five islands and their underwater environments. Wildflowers bloom on the islands in April, making it an ideal time to visit, and in June, the Summer Solstice Celebration parades down State Street – a spectacle not to be missed. For winery-hopping, try October, when harvest festivities at the region’s 220-plus vineyards are in full swing.
The couple’s rep has reportedly declined to provide details on the specific location of their new home, but considering all the region has to offer, they can’t really go wrong.
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