You’ll know you’ve arrived in Hope Ranch, Santa Barbara’s most sought after oceanside enclave, when you pass through its iconic wrought iron arch with its stone pillars and palm treed backdrop. And I truly do mean “arrived,” because although there’s no secret code or guard at the gate, Hope Ranch is pretty exclusive.
It’s an unincorporated suburb of Santa Barbara and they exclude themselves from the government of conventional police. Instead, they have their very own “Hope Ranch Patrol,” with limited law enforcement powers.
It’s a community so exclusive, they have a private beach. Of course, Hope Ranch beach is accessible from the public beaches to either side of it, but the only road down to it is behind a gate with a password that is only bestowed upon Hope Ranch residents.
Hope Ranch sits on the bluffs just north of the mesa and just south of Goleta. It’s a rather hilly area, polka-dotted with palm trees and other lush landscape. The Ranch is home to the La Cumbre Country Club with their dazzling pond and open green for golfing.
The main drag of Hope Ranch is Las Palmas Road. You can take this street from the main entrance all the way through the neighborhood and it will drop you off just above Hendry’s Beach at Cliff Drive.
If you’re looking to live here, you’ll be interested to know that there is one school in the neighborhood, and it goes by the name Laguna Blanca. The lower school campus with grades kindergarten through fourth grade is located in Montecito. The middle and upper school campuses with fifth through twelfth grades are right inside Hope Ranch just above the La Cumbre Country Club.