A land for all seasons

Don't let the fancy new sidewalks and relatively tony real estate fool you: Summerland remains a quirky beach town. Sandwiched between star-studded Montecito and unassuming Carpinteria in southern Santa Barbara County, this sleepy seaside enclave is home to new upscale boutiques, but its offbeat past is close at hand.

The antique trail

Antiques collectors consider Summerland a must-stop on the northbound trail, but the town's eclectic retail roots sprout all along Lillie Avenue. The Menagerie specializes in parrots -- boarding, training, adoption and rescue, plus party parrots. (2430 Lillie Ave., [805] 969-1944). Advocating for one's inner and outer beauty is easy at Belleza Vita Day Spa and Salon (2410 Lillie Ave., [805] 969-7300, www.bellezzavita.com). Antiques shop Just Folk salutes craft work and its place in Americana, as opposed to pristine collectibles (2346 Lillie Ave., [805] 969-7118, www.justfolk.com).

Breakfasts are king

Breakfast is the best bet in Summerland. Snuggle into the Summerland Beach Café for eggs any which way -- omelets, huevos rancheros, eggs Benedict and more (2294 Lillie Ave., [805] 969-1019, www.summerlandbeachcafe.com). Pack up to-go fare from Cantwell's Market deli for a picnic at the beach (2580 Lillie Ave., [805] 969-5893, www.cantwellsmarket.com). History buffs, take note: President Bill Clinton played saxophone at old-timey diner the Nugget in 1992 (2318 Lillie Ave., [805] 969-6135).

All roads to the sea

Along with the fancy new sidewalks came brightly striped bike lanes, which are busy most days of the week. A west turn at Evans Avenue leads to Lookout Park and its grassy mesa overlooking a sandy, dog-friendly beach, the No. 1 reason most call Summerland home.


Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World